Nottingham Speakers' Club - Getting Nottingham Talking

John Baird
Wed 26 Sep, 2018

Discover your inner Dickens at Nottingham Speakers' Club.

Writing may be a solitary pursuit but, for many of today’s authors, facing one’s readers has become part of the job description. Book promotion often involves embarking on the 'speakers’ circuit', the tour of talks, readings, panels and Q&As, all of which can be a daunting experience for the unprepared.

One master of public speaking was Charles Dickens. His performances were delivered to packed audiences that lapped up his theatrical displays. Specially adapted passages were crafted to allow the author to possess his characters in the most dramatic manner. Dickens’ energetic, stage-managed shows were so in demand on both sides of the Atlantic that they gave birth to ticket touts. Capitalising on his success Dickens undertook gruelling tours which proved more lucrative than his published work.


The poster claimed that this Nottingham Mechanics' talk was ‘The Only Reading that Mr Dickens will ever give in Nottingham’ but this was the last of four performances he gave in the city. By this time Dickens was not a well man and he died the following year.

Today’s writers and poets are increasingly making public appearances to showcase their work. In some cases, as with performance poets and spoken word artists, the words are written to be heard. In others, public speaking is a chance for self-promotion. But speaking aloud may not come naturally to a purveyor of the written word. For many, public speaking is a knee-wobbling, mouth-drying prospect. Thankfully, help is now at hand.

For those interested in sharpening up their spoken word skills and keeping an audience’s attention Nottingham Speakers’ Club is the place to go. Led by their amiable president Nathan Truesdale, the club’s members are a friendly and supportive group from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, who meet at Beeston Hockey Club (University Boulevard) on the first and third Thursdays of the month at 7.30pm. Feedback and advice is offered on a range of areas including the use of voice, body language and managing nerves. There’s even the chance to have your performance filmed.

So, don't let your words lose power at the point of delivery, sharpen up your act in the safety of a speakers' group. The first sessions are free and the next meeting is on October 4th.

If you can't wait until then, Nottingham Speakers’ Club are hosting a public event this Sunday, September 30th, at The Canalhouse. This Speakers’ Sunday will feature six speeches from six club members at different stages of their journeys, plus a talk from The University of Nottingham’s Dr Julian Onions on Galaxies: One Gigayear at a Time. Dr Onions will explore what we know about galaxies and how they’re formed whilst demonstrating the stunning beauty of the universe around us.

Twitter @NottsSpeakers

Meetup page


Time: 10.30am – 1pm. Cost: £4. Tea, Coffee and Pastries Provided.

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