Tonight marked our inaugural ‘Members Only’ meeting whereby going forward, every second meeting will be dedicated to existing members of City Women Speakers and registered guests will only be able to attend the alternative meeting.

This will allow the committee to spend quality time supporting our paid-up members once a month, and then our attention can be turned towards giving our guests a fabulous first impression at the alternating meetings.

The meeting was conducted at a fast, energetic pace, skipping through some of the usual formalities and introductions given that all in attendance ‘knew the ropes’ as we were all members.

We had four prepared speeches, all from Pathways Level One. First up was ​Jane​, with her icebreaker speech “​Speaking Proper English​”. Jane works for an academic publishing company as a Development Editor. She quickly discovered that there is no such thing as ‘proper’ English. Jane speaks Australian English, works largely with authors writing in US English, supported by a team of people speaking Indian English, catering to a market speaking a multitude of English dialects, including a smattering who speak with the effected “ Received Pronunciation” of the Queen’s English. Basically, when it comes to publication, there is no such thing as “correct grammar” and it’s more of a case of what is correct “right now”.

Anju spoke on ​The Impact of Artificial Intelligence at Work​ from a ‘non-techie’ point of view, using the clever technique of asking the audience frequent questions which kept us engaged and made sure we were able to relate to her examples.

Proving that AI is very topical, our 3rd speaker, ​Laura​, delivered ​The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Machine Learning​. The high-level theme may have been the same as Anju’s however the content and examples provided by Laura were significantly different which evidences how far reaching AI is in our lives today.

Esmé took us on a trip to the summit of Everest with ​The Mountains are Calling​ as she talked of her love of mountains, her forthcoming trip to Nepal – and the reasons why she is NOT planning on joining the queues of thrill-seekers risking their lives and their life-savings in their bid to summit the tallest peak.

The speeches were evaluated by Elaine (the L56 Area Director), Eve, Maria and SiobhanKiran was our Timer and Aga the Grammarian.

Best Speaker went to Jane and Laura
Best Evaluator went to Elaine and Siobhan