Wednesday, October 11, 2017

HDB Members doubling up at the Nerang TM speech contest - Report by Ursula Beatty

Christine Lennon, the current president of Nerang Toastmasters club organised this year’s speech contest for the Nerang toastmasters club which was held on Tuesday evening – 26th September, at the Red cross rooms in Nerang. This is the usual venue for the Nerang toastmasters Clubs bi-weekly meetings.

Some of the Helensvale Daybreak Club (HDB) members went along to assist in the running of the contest. Sarafina Zubovic, area 24 director was one of the judges, Ian Garvie was the MC or contest toastmaster, Julie Anne Cantwell, HDB club president, was tally counter and SAA. I  was timer.
















Julie Anne Cantwell, Sarafina Zubovic, Ursula Beatty and Christine Lennon

What happens when two TM clubs get together to run an event?
Some people may think it was double trouble or seeing double. Why? There were 2 Ian’s: Ian Garvie and Ian Mc Larren; 2 Ursula’s, both of us assisting as timers for the evening; 2 Julia's (Julia Schafer and Julia Vincent from Nerang TM) and 1 Julie Anne. We could have had 2 Hanna’s too if our membership officer, Hannah Castelijn came along. It may sound confusing, but it just added to the light hearted, enjoyable atmosphere of the evening.

Hannah Mitchell from Robina Sunrise club gave a very inspiring and motivating speech as the test speaker for the Evaluation contest. Well done Hannah!
A very enjoyable evening had by all. Thanks for the Invite Christine.
Also, congratulations  to the place getters from Nerang Toastmasters who will go forward to the next round of the contests to compete with our club's contestants and the other clubs at the Area 24 conference on the 21st October.  See you there!

 Lets try to get the pose right girls! Christine, Julie Anne, Sarafina and Ursula


For our assistance running the event, we received a lovely thank you card and  gift – a nice touch of appreciation from the Nerang Toastmasters Club President Christine Lennon.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Pets: Theme for Meeting No: 745. by guest reporter Oliver Pidgeon


My Name is Oliver or "Ollie". This was my 3rd visit to Helensvale Daybreak Toastmasters Club over the years that my Mom has been a member. As usual, all the members and guests warmly welcomed me.
To be honest, I had no idea I was going to Toastmasters. I was planning to go back to bed after breakfast, when I was ushered into my Mom’s car. I resisted at first, thinking I was off to the hairdresser or something. I dislike going to the hairdresser, as I come out looking and feeling  pretty bare and vulnerable.
I am told that the many dreadlocks that I have been growing for the past year "do nothing for my good looks and they need to go".  I protest: "Isn't  there a hair removal cream or something you could use instead of a radical trip to the hairdresser?"  Thankfully, toastmasters is a much better place to go than the hairdresser! 
I loved todays theme: Pets, that the President Julie Anne chose. I consider myself a ‘cat person’ so was glad to be sitting next to a lovely lady called Aimee, who adores cats and a new guy called Ken, who also likes cats and who exclaimed that I was very big boy! That sounded funny coming from him as to me, he was a real giant!

There was a lot of hand clapping and laughter by everyone,  which at first, I found a bit noisy and nerve wracking, but then I relaxed and chilled out with this relaxed bunch of happy toastmasters. 
Daniel wrote a big word on the whiteboard “Anthropomorphic”. Everyone had trouble with that word, so it wasn't  just me; what it meant and especially  how to pronounce it! 
It means “Attribution of human motivation, characteristics, or behavior to inanimate objects, animals, or natural phenomena.”
Such as the way Animals are treated like they are humans. What’s so wrong with that? Cats  (and dogs) love to sit on the comfy sofa and eat delicious human food and be spoken nicely to by their human owner. I like Anthropomorphic! Dressing pets up in silly outfits, well that kind of anthropomorphism is just daft. 
Seriously, do people actually use big words like this? Big words are superfluous if you ask me.

There was a range of ages and equal numbers of boys (including me!) and girls at the meeting, so it was evenly balanced in that way. I liked that. 

There were two longer  "prepared" speeches. Christine did an inspirational type speech (A project from the story telling manual) while  Ian did a speech project from the special occasion manual - mastering the toast, where he spoke in praise of a club member: my Mom! 

Paul had the very important job of timing everyone. He used a small set of 'traffic lights' which look really cool when the lights come on. The red light means your time is up. 

Nicole and Mark evaluated these speakers. Evaluating means to give feedback in Toastmasters language. But hopefully in a kind, yet honest way. It doesn’t always come out that way though, but all toastmasters try to learn to become better at  giving and receiving  evaluations.

Now, over the years, I have had to listen to a lot of speeches by my Mom when she practices at home. It can be a bit tiring at times, but I have learned a great deal from it too.  For instance...
How to use vocal variety to enhance my presentation and get the desired outcome from my audience - usually just my parents. When I increase the  volume, rate and pitch of my voice, it nearly always works in getting what I want - which is usually my food!

Aimee led the impromptu speaking or table topics segment. Thankfully, she didn't call on me. Otherwise, I would have to be evaluated by my mom, Ursula, who was evaluating the table topics. She evaluates me enough at home... For instance, she says:  "that I have a very strong speaking voice, but that at times I can come across as way too demanding..." Whereas, I prefer to call it persuasive speaking!

It was interesting to hear some of the answers relating to the theme of Pets. Mark was very passionate about horses and that showed in his voice and with his gestures. Ken didn’t care much for Monkeys (I can’t say I blame him - Just stick with Cats Ken, I say), but he told a good story too. 
Nicole didn’t’ really agree with the statement: that Pets reduced depression or stress. She had everyone laughing with her answer, but I guess it wasn’t very funny for her when her dog did his business in her shoes and only her shoes! In my opinion, he was trying to tell you something Nicole, evaluating you perhaps, in his doggy way? (he should have gone to Toastmasters?) 

Later Sarafina evaluated the entire meeting but especially the evaluators or whomever wasn’t evaluated already. That's a very big job..

All in all a Purrfect ending to a Purrfect  meeting. By the way, its a shame that you have to be over 18 to join Toastmasters, other wise I would definitely like to join up. 

Aimee and "Ollie"

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Helensvale Daybreak TM Club speech contest 2017 - Report by Ursula Beatty

This years club speech contest was held in Christine Lennon's home in Nerang on Saturday 23rd September, 2017. It was an unusually hot spring day and Christine's Air Conditioner was very welcome. It was once again a very successful contest. Thanks to all the participants and  helpers and especially to Christine who organised and hosted the event. Well done.


Helensvale Daybreak club contest participants: Daniel Black, Sarafina Zubovic (Area 24 director), Hannah Castellijn, Julie Anne Cantwell, Ian Garvie and Ursula Beatty.


Contest MC Rod Dixon congratulates Humorous Speech Contest participants: Ian Garvie, Julie Anne Cantwell and Daniel Black.

 Daniel Black responds to MC, Rod Dixon's post contest interview questions, with Ian Garvie and Julie Anne Cantwell.


Humorous speech contest winners: 1st Place - Julie Anne Cantwell; 2nd place - Daniel Black.


Table Topics Contest participants: Ian Garvie, Julie Anne Cantwell, Daniel Black & Ursula Beatty

The Table topic question:  "I was driving along the motorway, when suddenly..."  had to be  answered in a  time of 1.5 to 2.5 mins. As the final participant, it was a weird feeling to come into the room, knowing that I was the only that did not know the question, until I was called up to the stage and given the question by Rod, the contest MC. 

Table Topics contest winners: 2nd Place Julie Anne Cantwell; 1st Place - Ursula Beatty

Ian Garvie and Daniel Black enjoy a chat over lunch

                                                     Sarafina and granddaughter Hannah

 Evaluation contest participants: Ursula Beatty, Ian Garvie and Hannah Castellijn.

Thanks to Colleen Carnes from Robina Sunrise TM club, who gave the 5 - 7 min test speech (for the evaluation contest). She wasn't fazed one bit by Pug and Emo (Christine's much-loved Pug and French bulldog) who were very keen to come into the room and observe her speech. They didn't seem interested in any of the other speeches!!

Evaluation contest winners: 1st place - Ursula Beatty; 2nd Place - Hannah Castellijn

 International Contest participants: Julie Anne Cantwell, Ian Garvie and Hannah Castellijn

International contest winners: 1st Place - Julie Anne Cantwell; 2nd Place - Hannah Castellijn 

Club President, Julie Anne Cantwell thanks the contest MC Rod Dixon for his participation and contribution to the success of this years speech contest.

Also a huge thanks to the contest judges: Ian Mc Larren, Mitch, Deniece and Tracey with Ian Garvie and Christine Lennon  (centre of photo) - contest organiser, tally counter, chef and host.
Missing from photo: Sarafina Zubovic who was timer for the contest with Colleen Cairnes. 

The  Area 24 conference and 2nd round of the speech contests will take place  on the 21st October in Arundel. See the upcoming events tab for more details. 1st and 2nd place getters will go through from our club to this contest. Best wishes to all. 



Thursday, September 28, 2017

Social Media and Negotiation - TM meetings in September - Report by Ursula Beatty


Themed meetings add variety and interest to our weekly meetings. The toastmaster or MC who leads the meeting  is responsible for selecting the theme for the day.
The following reports are from two club meetings in September with two different themes: Social Media and Negotiation.

Ian Garvie was the Toastmaster (MC) for the day. His chosen theme: Social media.

His  question for all of us: Is Social Media friend or Foe?

There were some very interesting answers to this question from the audience during our introduction of members section. 
Networking was the word of the day (WOD)– selected by Sarafina, who also gave a report on the WOD usage and grammarian report towards the end of the meeting.

Occasionally we have Debates related to the Theme of the day. The participants are required to speak for or against the motion regardless of their personal preferences!
Nicole led a debate with 2 motions. 1.  Is Social Media beneficial for society?  Ursula spoke in favour and  Aimee spoke against.   
2. Are Face book Friends better than real friends? debated by Ian (For) and Mark (Against). Both questions produced lively and entertaining answers.

Julie Anne gave a speech in preparation for the upcoming club speech contest.
A good selection of thought provoking Table Topics led by Mark Butler. For example “Is Social media heading in a positive or negative direction?”

Nicole answered the table topic: What is your favourite form of social media?: In Aimee’s evaluation of table topics, she noted that “Nicole  was like butter – very smooth!”  Another great quote Aimee!
In the evening, I 'happened' to  turn on the 612 ABC radio and there was a very interesting discussion and talk back  with a psychologist about  “Does Social Media and Facebook in particular,  make you sad and depressed?” It would appear that for many people, it does. What do you think?


*************************************************************
Meeting No: 743. Sep 13th, 2017

An Excellent meeting today with a great vibe and very well run. 

Nicole Kelly was the Toastmaster (MC) for the day. Her chosen theme: Negotiation. 

Her question to all of us: What is your negotiation style?
[after first explaining the 5 different negotiation styles: 1. Competing Win/lose; 2. accommodating Lose/win;  3. compromising lose/win some: lose/win some;  4. collaborating win/win and 5. avoiding lose/lose] 
One of the Guests,  Cameron was at a  workshop on this very topic the previous day, so this was an easy question for him to answer.  I love how synchronicity is always at work at our TM meetings!

Nicole shared a great quote:  Money isn’t everything, but I would rather cry in a Mercedes than on a push bike!”
Hannah was the 1st speaker with a speech from the speaking to Inform manual about how to play the violin. She gave a very informative and interesting presentation, especially for those of us that have never played the violin. Julie Anne evaluated Hannah’s speech

Ursula was 2nd speaker with a speech project on using Vocal variety. A story about the highs and lows of her recent visits to an aged care facility  in Ireland.   
Christine evaluated this speech as well as the table topics questions with her usual expertise. She  demonstrated her excellent multi tasking and focusing  skills, despite the fact she has only been back in the country a few days after a long haul flight.  

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Music to my ears – Meeting # 733; 5th July 2017 – report by Ursula Beatty


Julie Anne Cantwell began the meeting in a rather unusual way for Toastmasters!  Strumming along with her ukulele, we were treated to a  sing along to the upbeat song: “You are my sunshine, my ray of sunshine…”. What a great way to warm up our voices and lift the energy of the meeting.  Nice one Julie Anne.
Julie Anne Cantwell: the multi talented singing, ukulele playing toastmaster, and Club president. 
Note: This report is on one of our weekly meetings. Most meetings have standard features such as a theme and introduction of members, impromptu speaking segment and 2 prepared speeches, as well as oral and written speech evaluations. The theme for this meeting was Music to my ears, chosen by the Toastmaster for the day:  Julie Anne. It was also her first day as president of the club.

The answers from the different members to the question: “What is your favourite musical piece?” in the “Introduction of members” segment was quite interesting and humorous. For instance, for one member, it was easier to identify the least favoured instrument:  the great big (and beautiful) Cello that is dutifully manoeuvred and ‘squeezed’ into the car, when it’s time for the son’s Cello lessons! What a fabulous instrument for a child to learn to play, even if it is a bit cumbersome.

The Table topics segment, led by Mark Butler and evaluated by Nicole, got the musical stories going.
Have you ever played a musical instrument?” was the question I was given, which brought me right back to my childhood (which doesn’t seem that long ago!) to the Limerick school of music, where my siblings and I were dragged along to Piano lessons and music theory classes. My mother believed that a child’s education was incomplete unless they learned to play a musical  instrument. Unfortunately, at the time, I didn’t agree! Although I liked playing the Piano (for enjoyment), I disliked the very strict, regimented Piano teacher and the terrifying practical exams: Playing a grand piano up on a huge stage; on my own, watched on by a handful of austere looking examiners, sitting below me in the huge concert hall. No wonder I needed to attend toastmaster’s years later!

Looking back, I was grateful to my parents for the opportunity, especially as we were not well off financially.  I can also agree with the old battle axe of a piano teacher, that I was wasting her time, and my parent’s money with my lack of motivation and regular practice!!

Paul answered the question: “What Instrument would you like to play?” describing the instruments he already plays – the Guitar and Ukulele and then moving on to talk about the keyboard he would like to learn to play.

Ian surprised us all when he was asked to “describe your favourite piece of music as he started singing Frank Sinatra’s “More…” “More than the greatest love the world has known. This is the love I give to you alone. More than the simple words I try to say. I only live to love you more each day… ; which he loves to sing to his wife. How sweet is that! Nicole, as the table topics evaluator, was unusually lost for words, not expecting to see this 'softer and romantic' side of Ian!  Well done Ian.
Aimee gave a wonderful speech "Judgement and understanding", about the way we tend to judge people and circumstances without really knowing what is going on for that person. She gave some examples of children behaving badly (her own and then seeing other people with their kids) and the parents not controlling or disciplining them as we think they ‘should’. Often, we just need to appreciate the ‘true’ stories behind the ‘unforgivable’ tantrums and the parents 'inappropriate' response. This speech was evaluated by Ian.

Hanna gave a very informative, well researched  and motivating speech about reducing, reusing and recycling, using excellent props and visual aids. She engaged the audience’s participation at the start of her speech with a quiz to see which “bin” (rubbish bin, Recycle or compost/waste bin) various household and garden items, food and its packaging should go in. I was very happy to evaluate this speech.
Paul gave a general evaluation of the whole meeting and then later, Julie Anne finished this very lively and interesting meeting with another singalong to her ukulele. Thank you Julie Anne, and best wishes with your term  as  club president.




Monday, July 31, 2017

Club officer training (TM Southern Division) - June 2017 - report by Ursula Beatty

Is it worth giving up part of your  precious weekend time to attend the Club officer training? That is often the question for the various members who sign up for a club officer leadership position.

“It was the best Club officer training I have attended to date.” Sarafina Zubovic, outgoing VPE of Helensvale Daybreak Toastmasters club and incoming Area 24 Director.
"It was great value for money and very worthwhile."- Ursula Beatty, VPPR

Christine Lennon, Immediate past president of Helensvale Daybreak (HDB), organised this years excellent club officer training as the  training officer for Southern Division. Well done Christine, who received lots of positive feedback, from the many satisfied participants.

Attending the Club officer training at the Nerang Bicentennial Community centre, Nerang, QLD:
Sarafina Zubovic - Area 24 Director, Ursula Beatty - VPPR, Mark Butler -SAA and Julie Anne Cantwell - HDB club President.

What I liked about the training: It was great value for money and worthwhile giving up my Saturday  to attend!  For a nominal contribution of $15.00, not only did we receive morning tea and lunch, plus useful training on our specific club officer roles,  we also got to participate in numerous worthwhile workshops facilitated by experienced and highly trained presenters.

The first workshop was on  "Building a healthy team: there is no I in Team!" with exercises to identify whether we, as individuals are multipliers or accidental diminishers. This was facilitated by Carolyn Shaw (based on the highly acclaimed  work and book of Wiseman & McKeon).

The second workshop: Building quality clubs, using the club success plan for the upcoming Toastmaster year, facilitated by Christine Lennon DTM,  was  useful for club teams members to get together, plan and share ideas.

This was followed by a specific workshop for each of the club officer roles.

I attended the (Vice President Membership) VPM and (Vice President Public relations) VPPR training with Rachel Pleasant, who is well qualified in this area, having worked in marketing for more than  20 years, as well as held VPPR and VPM roles in her club: “Southport Toastmasters club.
After lunch, we had a choice of sessions to attend, on topics such as Conflict resolution, Youth Leadership and Speech craft or Mentoring. Followed by a large group session with Mark Hunter on enhancing evaluations. Giving and receiving effective evaluations is such an integral part of the Toastmasters programs.  

 I attended an interesting and worthwhile workshop on Conflict resolution: (types of conflict, methods for resolving and facilitating collaboration), facilitated by Shane Cooper, DTM and the head strategy officer for the QLD police service. Shane is  well  qualified and experienced in this field and dealing with conflict resolution.
In the Enhancing Evaluations workshop with Mark Hunter DTM; Mark highlighted the importance of giving feedback Vs Advice: feedback is "In my opinion" or "I would suggest", whereas advice is more like "You should do this or that" etc.  Feedback is coaching, advice is more like telling someone what to do or just criticising.

Mark looked at potential obstacles to giving effective evaluations, and drew from his own vast experience as both a leader and educator, speech coach and Toastmaster speech contestant. He used some wonderful examples of rotten advice and feedback (deflating and demoralising evaluation techniques) which he was given, prior to and after he won the world championship speech contest in 2009. Mark certainly learned firsthand, how not to give an evaluation, which is in itself very useful.  


Sarafina Zubovic, Mark Butler and Julie Anne Cantwell all fired up after the training day to face the toastmasters years ahead!

I would certainly recommend the training to all club members, whether they are club officers or not.
Thanks again to all involved in organising this years worthwhile and educational training day and to all of the workshop facilitators and presenters.   

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Dispelling the myth: Toastmasters is just for old people! - Report by Ursula Beatty

 
A Selection of past and present members of Helensvale Daybreak Toastmasters Club

"Toastmasters - isn't this just for old people? "is a comment or similar that I have heard a lot lately. For instance:  

 "I thought Toastmasters was just for people like my Grandpa" said 20 year old Jay from Melbourne, who was visiting our club recently, from Melbourne with his Grandfather, Ian Garvie.  Ian, a long-time member of Toastmasters, as well as Lions is in his mid 70's.

 Jay was pleasantly Surprised to see many younger members - (a lot younger in fact!), and especially to see young Hannah,  our current membership officer who was Toastmaster or MC for the meeting that day.

 Jay was also surprised to see how structured the meetings are. This didn't stop him enjoying it and he  did a terrific job participating in the introduction of members as well as  the table topics (Impromptu speaking) sections of the meeting. Ian tells me, Jay was so impressed,  that he plans to source a TM club in Melbourne, if it fits in with his studies! 

Please Note: All guests are given the option whether to participate or not.
Also, Many universities and colleges have on Campus Toastmasters clubs, such as 'Griffith Guild TM club' at Griffith University,  Gold Coast campus.

I am not sure where this myth came from, but Toastmasters is not just a secret society for the older generation learning to Master the art of making Toast!!

It is for anyone 18 years and over, who is interested in public speaking and improving their communication and leadership skills.

It is probably one of the cheapest forms of personal growth and development educational courses you will ever do. For approximately AU$5.50 per week – not much more than a mug of coffee!


Toastmasters members come from all walks of life – whether you have a speech coming up for an upcoming wedding or special occasion, or you are required to give presentations as part of your work or college, or you just want to overcome anxiety or fear of speaking in front of a group.

Many people join to improve their communication skills but the leadership skills and opportunities are often one of the reasons members continue with the organisations for many years. The fact that the meetings are fun and great way to start the day certainly helps! That's the reason I like coming every week. 


Why not come along to experience TM for yourself. Visitors are always welcome to our Helensvale Daybreak Toastmasters Club weekly meetings. Or if the 6.45am time slot on Wednesday Morning is not for you, there are numerous other clubs to choose from that meet at different times (evenings or lunch time.) Visit the TM international website (see links on this website)  for further info and to find a club near you.

Some of the members at a leadership training workshop, Jan 2017 




4 club members achieved their Competent Communicator awards - March 2017
See blog: Four-club-members-achieve-CC awards.


Area Director  Sarafina Zubovic, presents  educational awards to Rivella Lewis, July 2017



Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Committee changover meeting June 2017 - Report by Ursula Beatty

This year, our committee changeover took place at our regular Wednesday morning meeting on the 21st of June 2017 , the winter Solstice and shortest day of the year.
Ian Garvie was our Toastmaster for the meeting with his theme: "If only"
The word of the day was Hindsight (provided by Ursula).

This special occasion called for a bit more time out than usual at the break. Thanks to Sarafina and Hannah for organising the refreshments.

Some club members with Thomas Krafft A24 director.(2016 - 2017) 



Christine Lennon outgoing president 2016 - 2017 

Thomas Krafft  was up  early to drive to our morning meeting to conduct the Committee changeover. Thank your Thomas and also for your great job this year as Area Director (2016 -2017).   

Thomas congratulates Mark Butler, Sergeant at Arms (SAA) 

Thomas reminds Ursula of her duties as Vice President Public relations (VPPR).

 Thomas congratulates Hannah Castellijn who continues in her role as Vice President Membership (VPM)


Thomas congratulates Paul Kirkland, welcoming him to the important role of Vice President Education (VPE)


Thomas enlightens Julie Anne in her new role and responsibilities as president of our club.

Thomas Krafft (Area 24 director) with the  incoming Committee for 2017 - 2018 : Julie Anne Cantwell (President); Mark Butler (SAA); Ursula Beatty (VPPR); Hannah Castellijn (VPM)  and Paul Kirkland (VPE). Missing from photo - Secretary and Aimee Simpson (Treasurer).  

Congratulations to all of the new committee members and a huge thank you to Christine Lennon, outgoing president and to all those who served on the committee this past year: Sarafina Zubovic (VPE), Hannah Castellijn (VPM), Ursula Beatty (VPPR & Webmaster), Nicole Kelly (Secretary) , Julie Anne Cantwell (Treasurer) and  Nick O'Donnell and later Mark Butler (SAA).



The ‘Art’ of speech craft. Report on Rivella Lewis’s Art Workshop – By Ursula Beatty


What has art got to do with Speech craft and toastmasters training? You may well ask.

Apart from providing fodder for a speech, it can also help with the creation of the speech itself.

A picture paints a thousand words’ or so the saying goes.

As toastmasters, and speech writers, we have to learn to use vivid word pictures to describe characters, events and to capture  scenes,  which help bring our stories and speeches to life.

Anything which helps to increase your observation and perception skills,  with greater attention to detail will enhance your descriptive skills and thus your creative writing and speech craft.

What better way to do this than with an art class!

On Saturday, 17th June 2017, Experienced toastmaster and Artist, Rivella Lewis gave an art class for our club members and friends.


Hosted by Christine Lennon, at her home in the Nerang Hinterland, we sat around the  dining table with our canvas and  selection of brushes and Acrylic paints ready, as we followed Rivella’s expert tuition.

 First, some background on our teacher: Rivella.

I am 76 and have been painting all my life. I am mainly self- taught, but did have lessons in Chinese Brush Painting in Penang, Malaysia. Also, lessons in Portrait Painting, Watercolours and Life sketching in Florence, Italy.

I have been teaching for the last 40 or so years and many of my students (both adults and children) have become artists in their own right; many going on to win awards for their art.

I paint several different styles myself using mixed media and I teach technique, how to use brushes, how to do strokes and how to apply the paint, whether it be watercolour, acrylic or oil. I also teach pencil sketching.”


Today’s workshop was on ‘Traditional landscape in Acrylic’, with a focus on sea scapes.

We learned how to prepare the paints and how to apply it using round and flat brushes of various sizes to create the desired effect. It was all free hand– no drawing or practicing the scene with pencil to get all the detail correct, before applying the paint! If you made a mistake, Rivella showed us some of her ‘miracle’ correction techniques. 

I liked it, even though I know I won’t be a Rembrandt anytime soon! I liked Rivella’s teaching methods and how she brought our attention to the detail of the painting and what to look for when painting a landscape or any other details in it.

The final result of the participants art work was pretty good for a 1st effort. We all enjoyed it and felt the workshop was worthwhile.

Thanks for yesterday. it was a great morning. Murray was so impressed with our paintings that he wants to be a part of the next one!  So there you go Rivella. All credit to you as a Teacher. We will have to make a firm date for the next one.”  Christine
Then later Christine added:
Murray keeps on picking up my painting and saying I can't believe it is so good. I would be really proud of that. I expected you all to just have blobs of paint and everyone's paintings were great. He really was inspired and genuinely wants to be part of the next workshop! Personally,  I didn't think my painting was that great!!” Christine (The self confessed perfectionist)
Rivella and budding artist, Christine 

Julie Anne and Rebecca. 
The proud students and the finished artwork!

 

        



Rivella and her finished masterpiece.  


So, it seems this art morning was a great success. Thank you Rivella for your time and your teaching and to all the 'students' who participated in the class, as well as the observers. Thanks to Christine and Murray for being great hosts and to everyone who contributed to the delectable morning tea. (Vegan chocolate caramel slice, Cheese scones, banana and blueberry Cake, Fruit etc.) 

If anyone is interested in art classes with Rivella, she can be contacted directly (google Rivella Lewis.)

Our Club will also be holding a follow up class soon.

Would you like to give your inner artist a good workout?  And at the same time, enhance your observation skills which will ultimately help to 'paint' vivid word pictures in your writing and speech craft. 

If so, let us know and, please feel free to leave your comments below.






Thursday, May 18, 2017

2017 District 69 convention and speech contests - Chinchilla, QLD. Report by Ursula Beatty


Round 4 of the TM speech contests took place at the 2017 District 69 conference, held at Chinchilla, Queensland on the labour day long weekend. (Apr 29th to May 1st )


I had never been to Chinchilla or a district conference before, so this was  a whole new experience for me!   Julie Anne and  I travelled by car on the Saturday. A leisurely road trip of  over 5  hours, along the Warrigo highway, through  Toowoomba, and numerous other towns I had only  heard of, but not yet visited.  

In our absence, the conference took place all day Saturday at the Chinchilla cultural centre – a full day of inspirational keynote speeches, workshops and the evaluation speech contest.

Alison Cleaver, did the southern Division proud, by taking home a medal for first place. Congratulations and well Done Allison, who in my opinion, is an excellent speech evaluator and speaker.

Place getters in the Evaluation Contest: Alison Cleaver (Centre)  - 1st place


We  arrived at the Chinchilla RSL, in time for the International Speech contest, followed by the semi-formal Gala dinner.  

Getting to the outback town of Chinchilla may well have been a deterrent for many toastmasters in D69, especially if coming from further afield such as Darwin or PNG Divisions.

It didn’t matter though, as the large function room of the RSL was filled with plenty of  enthusiastic, well ‘scrubbed up’ Toastmasters and  guests from around District 69.


Billy Jazz, Teresa Brake (Southern Division Director), Sarafina Zubovic, Julie Anne Cantwell , Alma San Antonio (from PNG) and ?

.
     Julie Anne Cantwell and Sarafina Zubovic


Ursula Beatty, Julie Anne Cantwell, Christine Lennon & Sarafina Zubovic


One of the things I liked about attending this conference was networking with toastmasters from other clubs in the district.  In particularly, I  enjoyed meeting two  members of the Entrepreneurs Capricorn club in Rockhampton.  I was impressed hearing about their vibrant and popular club, plus their marketing /PR strategies. I also enjoyed meeting Alma from the PNG division.

We know that as speakers, things don't always go to plan, and that includes speech contests. We have to learn to stay calm, adapt and improvise....

Picture this: You are the 2nd contestant in the International contest, all psyched up and ready to get on the stage to give your prepared 5 to 7 min speech.
Then …. at 6pm sharp , the PA system kicks in automatically– filling the room  with the beautiful sounds of the bugle and the “League Ode” as happens every night apparently, at that time in most RSL's.
You then join the rest of the audience, standing up in respect to this traditional tribute to commerate "the fallen" RSL soldiers.
If your nerves weren't frayed by that.. Then you get up for a  2nd and 3rd attempt.  Starting your speech from the beginning each time, and stopping when the  microphone and sound system refuses to co-operate.

Finally, the decision is made to ditch the microphone altogether, asking all of the 13 judges to sit closer to the front to ensure the speakers could be heard clearly – which they were.

So, I  was impressed too with the way contestants and district officials dealt with these microphone/sound system 'problems' in a calm and professional way.

Just as well this 2nd contestant, Marilyn Freeman , a well seasoned TM and speaker  wasn’t too phased by the disruptions. She went on to win the competition. 
Well done Marilyn, who will be the district 69 representative at the TM International Conference and world championship of public speaking contest in Vancouver, Canada, in august this year.


 
International Contest : Mahongo Fumbelo - 3rd place, Marilyn Freeman - 1st Place
and Billy Jazz -  (from Southern Division) 2nd Place.


Dinner was very welcome after the contest , followed by dancing to the very lively, one man band who sang and played songs that gave most people’s dancing shoes  a good workout. Isn’t that right Julie Anne? It was good fun too.








Teresa Brake, Julie Anne Cantwell, Christine Lennon and Sarafina Zubovic enjoying the Gala Dinner on Saturday evening at the Chinchilla RSL




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The following day – Sunday, An early start at the Chinchilla cultural centre.
Five  different educational workshops were on offer. I attended Carolyn Shaw's very interesting and worthwhile workshop:  ‘Are you a Multiplier or a Diminisher?'
Based on the work of  Wiseman  & McKeon, showing how to play to others intelligence, using more empowering and effective relating styles. 

The Table Topics and  humorous contests were held later that same day. Julie Anne Cantwell represented  Southern Division in the Humorous contest and although she didn’t get placed, she did a great job and of course did our club and division proud. Well Done Julie Anne! A Terrific achievement reaching District level in only 1 year of your TM membership.

Some of the attendees at Sunday's Speech contests.
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Humorous Contestants (above): Linda Blackstock, Patrick Byrnes, Cathy McGilabray, Matthew Savage, Neil Kleine, Julie Anne Cantwell and Mona Giheno.


Left: Mona Giheno - 3rd place, Patrick Byrnes - 1st Place, Cathy McGilabray - 2nd Place.


Teresa Brake (Southern Division Director) and Sarafina Zubovic (VPE, Helensvale Daybreak TM ) enjoying the conference and speech contests.
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The Mystery Tour.
Late Sunday afternoon, we piled into 3 busses and were taken on a  guided 'mystery tour'. Out into the Chinchilla countryside, our guide showed us the local coal seam gas (CSG) extraction site and then, as the sun was setting, we arrived at the Condabilla Fish farm, for a guided tour, followed by a BBQ  dinner.

Although I am not a huge fan of either CSG or fish farms. I did have a fun and enjoyable evening with good company.



An impressive sunset thanks to the  beautiful clear and cool autumn evening, plus the very flat terrain of this part of  Queensland.
later that evening,  It was fabulous to  witness  the stunning star filled sky with the half moon, making this  mystery tour in the  Chinchilla countryside, all the more worthwhile!

Another D69 conference  "in the bag".

Although I did not attend the full conference, it was overall a  positive and different experience. I was glad I made the trip and enjoyed the company of my fellow club and district members.

I take my hat off to all the contestants (especially to Julie Anne) and to the organisers of this huge event. Very well done.

Perhaps, I may see some of you at next year’s District 69 Conference at Ipswich -  whether as a speech contestant, an official or a regular attendee.

Links to blogs on previous rounds of the speech contests:
Round 3: Southern Division conference and speech contests March 2017

Round 2: Area 24 Conference and speech contests - Oct 2016

Round 1 : Helensvale Daybreak Club speech Contest - Sep 2016

What are your thoughts on D69 conference? how did it compare to other conferences you may have attended? do you feel inspired to attend next year ?  Please leave your comments below

Some extra photos:
Evaluation contestants


Table Topic Contestants

Table Topics winners with  contest Toastmaster Mark Snow


                       Julie Anne Cantwell (centre) and 2 of the other Humorous contestants



Some of the attendees at Sundays Conference and speech contests at the Cultural Centre



What is better than desert? more desert of course!
Ursula Beatty, Julie Anne Cantwell and Alma San Antonio at the Condabilla fish farm.


Teresa Brake, Sarafina Zubovic, Julie Anne Cantwell and Alma San Antonio.