Saffron Walden Speakers Group has had international guests as their meetings are now taking place with online video calls

PUBLISHED: 17:00 05 July 2020

An online video meeting of Saffron Walden Speakers. Picture: Paul Cowen

An online video meeting of Saffron Walden Speakers. Picture: Paul Cowen

Paul Cowen

Saffron Walden group attracts international guests online, and participants learn new skills.

The March meeting of Saffron Walden Speakers saw members saying hello by bumping elbows. Pictured are Paul Cowen and Dan. Picture: Paul CowenThe March meeting of Saffron Walden Speakers saw members saying hello by bumping elbows. Pictured are Paul Cowen and Dan. Picture: Paul Cowen

Guests from abroad have been able to join online video meetings of Saffron Walden Speakers Group, a Toastmaster Club that helps people develop speaking, listening and leadership skills.

Competitions have also gone online, including the UK International speech competition and the evaluation competition.

When not in lockdown, the group meets at the Kings Arms or the town hall on Thursday evenings every fortnight.

In March before lockdown, Saffron Walden Speakers welcomed the town mayor and group members touched elbows in hello instead of shaking hands!

The March meeting of Saffron Walden Speakers included the town council mayor Arthur Coote, pictured on the right. Picture: Paul CowenThe March meeting of Saffron Walden Speakers included the town council mayor Arthur Coote, pictured on the right. Picture: Paul Cowen

Councillor Arthur Coote took part in the Table Topics section of the evening, where people get up to speak for up to two minutes. He spoke about his council duties.

At other meetings, Table Topics has been about nature photos by an avid photographer, and healthy eating by a business that helps people.

Meetings also have a programme called Pathways where there are different types of speaking activities.

Group member Paul Cowen said: “We have a range of abilities in the group but everybody develops as they take part. My first meeting I was shaking like a leaf and had lots of filler words - ums, ers, ands, so’s.”

Mr Cowen said he improved as the weeks went on!

Speakers are given feedback so they can improve.

For a free tryout session email sw-toastmasters@thisisresources.com

You may also want to watch:


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Saffron Walden Reporter. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Saffron Walden Reporter