Clowns, silver pennies and The Monkey King

Clowns‘Clown wanted for mini circus’ is a great opener for any speech and immediately got our attention. It was even more impressive because this was Chris Ryder’s first speech – her icebreaker – and she went on to deliver a well-structured, informative and entertaining introduction to her fascinating career. I don’t suppose many people can claim experience as a clown, teacher, parachutist and caricature artist but Chris has done all these and recently won a local Dragon’s Den competition with her caricature drawing kit for children. A fantastic first speech that won Chris our Best Speaker award.

penniesTackling the history of money in 5-7 minutes is quite a challenge, but Tony Madeley gave it his best shot and managed to get us to the 1980s in his ‘How to say it’ speech. We learned that 240 pennies made of sterling silver weighed exactly one pound and gave us our currency. Tony led us through the complexities of the Gold Standard and its successor the Dollar Reserve using very clear language that we could all follow. Let’s hope he can explain the recent financial meltdown in such clear terms.

monkeySam Warner told us a tale, a folk tale about The Monkey King, her first speech in the advanced manual Storytelling. Building on a gentle start, Sam introduced her main character, explaining his naughty exploits and desire to rule the universe. As the tale unfolded, the energy increased and we awaited The Monkey King’s comeuppance as Sam recounted how he met the Buddha who set him the ultimate challenge of jumping from his hand. Another great speech from Sam.

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