Monday, November 9, 2009

Interview with Ron Steffan DTM

Here is my interview with Ron Steffan DTM and VP of Education at Helensvale Daybreak Club.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Happy New Year at Toastmasters!

New Year resolutions anyone...?

The Toastmasters year follows the financial cycle, but your Toastmasters journey to becoming a confident, engaging public speaker can begin any day you choose. Why wait?

Perhaps you have an upcoming wedding for a best friend or sibling. Don't know what to say, or worried that you'll have the shakes and clam up on the big day? Worried about that job interview, or presenting your business proposal? Our club, Helensvale Daybreak, is ready to help in a friendly and supportive environment.

Guests are welcome. Come see for yourself at no charge, or obligation. Visit us on Wednesdays, at 7-8 am. Call Ron on 07 5531 4077, or reach us at contact details on the left margin of this page.

It's a fresh year, this is one resolution you can keep.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Special guest report: District 69 Convention Cairns

The Annual District 69 Convention was held in Cairns. Our club was represented by Ron. Ron met a beary special someone who kindly agreed to be our guest blogger and share their unique perspective on the event.

Hi I’m Anny Bear. I haven’t had this name all my life, I might tell you, but it is one I like and I’ll probably keep this one. It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

Let me tell you how I came to be called Anny Bear.

Me and some of my friends, there were thirty or more, are what is called Signature Bears. We are a big hit at conventions where people want a memory of the event and all the wonderful people they meet while they are there.

Well we found ourselves at the Toastmasters District 69 Annual Convention, 2009, at Rydges Hotel in Cairns this last Labour Day long weekend. I was sitting with my friends looking over the assembled crowd as they smiled at each other, shook hands or hugged. They are a nice friendly bunch, I thought. A bit like us bears in a way.

I was totally immersed in my study of all the people with their bright badges telling who they were when I felt a hand on my shoulder. I was a bit surprised but not alarmed because I could sense that the hand meant me no harm.

“This one looks cute, how much is this one?” a lady asked.

“Fifteen dollars to you?” the lady on the reception table replied. “You have to give him a name before you can have him though,” she added.

The lady smiled back, “Well my name’s Anny, so we’ll call him Anny Bear.

And thus began my new adventure. Everywhere Anny went she took me along and asked her many friends to sign their name on my coat. The one who signed inside my ear really tickled and I almost started laughing.

When they went into the big room for the speech contests, I got to sit in the middle of the table with a good view of all the contestants. There were four contests in total and six contestants in each of them. I kept very quiet while they were speaking so I could hear every word and they were really very good. I did manage to control my emotions and didn’t clap once, even though all the people at the table were doing so.

We had to wait until the end before the District Governor, a nice lady called Lesley, announced the winners. I must have a good sense of Toastmasters because I generally almost agreed with all the results.

The Evaluation Contest was won by Shane Allen, with Alison Cleaver from Southern Division as runner up. She’s nice, I like her.

I really like the Humorous Speech Contest and they all made me almost laugh, but you’ll be pleased to know I restrained myself. I am a bear after all. That contest was won by Richard Hansen, with a speech called Skin Deep. The runner up was Martin Tree from Southern Division and he was really, really funny. His speech was called An Insight to the Art of Public Speaking.

After the Humorous Speech Contest we had a dress up session. I was left in my bear skin because Anny thought I was cute in what I was wearing. Everyone else dressed up in their tribute to Australian heroes. They had a lovely dinner and then danced in the small area near the where the band played. I wanted them to play The Teddie Bears’ Picnic, but they didn’t. All the same everyone seemed to enjoy themselves.

I reckon even a bear like me could enter the Table Topics Contest. The topic was "And then there was Light". It was won by Karen Blackburn, with Karen Binder another Southern Division contestant as runner up.

The biggie as the people at our table called it was the International Speech Contest and it was won by a nice man in a wheelchair. His name was Mark Hunter and the runner up was Michael Doohan who was very, very good too.

After the main contest the people had a beautiful dinner and were entertained by speakers and a band. All the people wore suits or gowns. They were lovely but I was stuck with my bear skin sticking out. I do wish I could have got dressed up too.

We had a nice weekend and Anny got heaps more people to sign their names on me on Monday morning during the big breakfast. I didn’t have any though because I was already stuffed full.

Anny carried me around as she went to see all her friends to hug and kiss them and tell them she would be at the next convention in Caloundra next May Day long weekend.

I’m really enjoying my life as a signature bear and I now spend all my days on the little table in her lounge room and I get to watch the TV with her every day. I even get to watch The Bold and the Beautiful.

Thank you Ron and Anny Bear for the lively report :)
Photos and convention winners can be found here.
Perhaps you'll join them in Caloundra, May Day weekend 2010?