Yes, it’s true...Dereham Articulate Club members will be telling tall tales for Joe

Dereham Articulated Speakers Club are holding an open event next month. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Dereham Articulated Speakers Club are holding an open event next month. Picture: Matthew Usher.

It might sound like something out of a Monty Python sketch.

But the Dereham Articulate Speakers are quite serious about what they do – listening to members presenting talks on various subjects to help them hone their rhetorical skills.

Now, for the first time in its 30-year history, the club is relaxing its format to hold a special event of tall tales.

The meeting – which will be open to the public – will see speakers competing to tell the most outrageous and exaggerated story possible.

It is being staged on June 6 in memory of a long-time member, Joe Bradley, who died earlier this year.


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Mr Bradley was described as a joker and had long begged the club to host such a contest. Other speaking groups are expected to attend and compete for the Joe Bradley Trophy.

Julian Hammond, a founding member of the club, said: 'Joe always said, 'When are you going to do tall tales?', and we said we would do it one day. Now he has lost his chance, so we thought we would do it in his memory.'

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The group is part of Toastmasters International – a global organisation for public speakers – and some of its members have completed qualifications with the group.

The Dereham Articulate Speakers is wordplay in itself as the group formed, around 30 years ago, as part of the Crane Fruehauf company in Dereham, which produced trailers for articulated lorries.

Club president Helen Phoenix said: 'Meetings start with table topics, which is where the toastmaster running the meeting will give each speaker a topic to talk about for two minutes. It teaches you to think on your feet.

'Members are encouraged to be loquacious, but not verbose.'

The group meets at Dereham Meeting Point at 7.30pm every other Monday.

Are you part of an unusual club? Write to doug.faulkner@archant.co.uk

TOP TIPS FOR ARTICULATE SPEAKING:

• Remember to breathe - it sounds fundamental but it is the first step.

• Make sure you have got something to say to give yourself some thinking time.

• Take a pause - while it might feel like an eternity to you, it will only be a few seconds to everyone else.

• Think about what you are going to say last - most people will remember the last thing you say.

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