Frequently Asked Questions
What is the ASC?
The ASC stands for the Association of Speakers Clubs. Sometimes it also indicates the aim of the organisation, Achieve Speaking Confidence.
The ASC is a UK national organisation of over 40 years standing. The 130+ clubs hold, in the main, fortnightly meetings where members can deliver speeches, learn public speaking skills and receive valuable feedback through evaluations.
The clubs normally meet in the evenings and create a safe, supportive atmosphere that helps to develop confidence, whilst ensuring a good sense of fun and camaraderie.
How is the ASC organised?
The ASC divides the country into 8 Districts, and these in turn are subdivided into smaller areas of normally 4 or 5 clubs.
Whilst each club operates independently, it does so under the general guidance and structure of the National Organisation. Clubs in the same area or district will often meet and share competitions and resources.
Not every member is interested in speaking competitions, but for those who enjoy the challenge, each club will hold competitions in the three main disciplines:
- Prepared Speaking
- Impromptu Speaking
The winners of the club competitions will compete in an Area final, and those winners in a District final. Finally all 8 District winners will compete at the National Finals held in April each year.
In addition to individual events, most districts have a couple of team speaking events which add interest and addition challenge to the speakers.
If you do not want to compete, it is still worth going to the Area and other finals as the standard of speaking is usually very high and there is always an opportunity to learn from others.
What happens at a meeting?
Although each club is different, most follow a similar agenda for their meetings. A typical evening could follow the outline below.
- 8:00pm start (some start at 7.30). Most finish at either 10.00 or 10.15.
- Introduction and outline of the evening, and alterations to the programme.
- Optional mini tutorial or learning point.
- 3 prepared speeches of about 6 to 8 minutes.
- Evaluations. Each speech is evaluated with learning points identified.
- Impromptu speaking session, called Topics. This is a chance for anyone to be given a generic topic and attempt to speak for up to 2 minutes.
- Topic evaluations and learning points.
- Final Evaluation and close.
Some evenings will follow a theme, and others will be more general in nature but all of them will create good learning opportunities whilst listening to interesting speakers.
Can I try it and see?
All clubs welcome new members and you can attend as a guest without any cost of commitment. Once you have tried a couple of meetings, we hope you will want to join.
I am nervous about attending my first meeting – any advice?
Simply call or email us and we will make sure that you are welcomed, someone explains everything to you, sits with you and makes sure you enjoy your first visit. We will introduce you to a few members so that you will quickly feel right at home.