Southside Speaker named Scottish champ

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Southside Speakers have plenty to shout about as member Ruth Forsythe reaches the final of a national competition.

The Langside group sent two members to the Toastmasters International’s divisional evaluation contest last month — Ruth and Elizabeth Roddick — and it was Ruth who was named overall winner, allowing her to bring the prize shield home to Shawlands.

The Scottish champion said: “I am always nervous before a contest, but experience helps you deal with it.

“Because it was an evaluation (a speech giving constructive feedback to another speaker), it was different to prepared speeches, and I couldn’t do much preperation in advance.

“But on the day I set out a sheet with different criteria and filled it in when I did my evaluation. Once a plan is in place, you pick out the points.”

Ruth has competed in the divisional competition before, but it’s the first time she’s made it this far — and the Belfast-born speaker will now go on to represent adopted home Scotland at the Britain and Ireland competition, held in Dublin this weekend.

The finalist has been a member of Toastmasters International for five years, and her fellow Southside Speakers will be wishing her the luck of the Irish during her speech, having contributed towards the cost of her trip on Saturday.

The club meets at Langside Church Halls on the second and fourth Thursday of the month, 7.15pm.

Anyone interested in following in Ruth’s footsteps is welcome to join — more info at