The Frontiers Book is absolutely brilliant in concept and execution; in both content and production. It is a highly professional product.
I can, of course, only speak for myself (not the whole of my Club 68). After having just reskimmed through the Book I offer the following comments.

According to a recent ARC survey (and only 183 responses out of some 1700 members Australia wide was a disappointment but enough to make statistical judgements). 70% of members have been in Rostrum for over six years while 70% are aged over 60.

So one can assume that 70% of members (most, if not all, have retired) are experienced speakers already – certainly so in my Club – and would get minimal learning value – but certainly good practice – from Launchpad. Those who would benefit most are the remaining 30% in each category – and for them, it is an excellent learning tool.

Having an acknowledgement in the form of a certificate for completing Launch Pad was an excellent idea for their resumes but might not be important to older members.

I do have some doubt about the value of much of Orbit – this is a much higher learning curve and some activities may well be beyond the skills or needs of many members.

On a personal note, for example, although not a complete computer illiterate - I can do what I need to do on my computer - there are many things (easy if you know how) such as power point, chat room, shared screen (all on our zoom meetings) that I can’t do, so that is one Orbit activity I would have to skip and I doubt if I am alone there.

The forthcoming section on business activities (chair, motions, amendments etc) may add to the unnecessary complications of newer members while being totally unnecessary to many of the older members – although, I must admit, as President and Ambassador of Probus I still Chair many meetings and my old experiences still come in handy. But I think that is the exception rather than the rule.

The ‘three purposes of Rostrum’ asked in the survey was overwhelmingly aimed at ‘public speaking (social occasions?) confidence and communicating. I believe that the Launchpad section of Frontiers adequately caters for these purposes.

I must admit I haven’t looked at the Frontiers Book since first reading it. I just do whatever the agenda requires me to do and, as an experienced speaker for many years, I don’t expect to learn new tricks, so I just do the exercises.

However, none of these comments detract from the fact that the Frontiers program and Book are the best thing ever done to formalise Rostrum activities and, I believe, will change the direction of Rostrum well into the future – a magnificent effort by all involved.

I am a Rostrum member mainly to exercise my 91 year old brain which, I believe, is as important as physical exercise. I also enjoy the social atmosphere of the club – so will stay and do what I can, when I can.

Sorry to be so long winded about it – sometimes get carried away when I get passionate or obsess.

Clyde Woods - Member Rostrum Club 68 Melbourne Victoria - almost completed Frontiers program.

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