Saturday, November 12, 2016

October 30th 2016, Area 24 Conference: Speech Contests and more…Report by Ursula Beatty

For the 2nd year running, the Area 24 conference was held at the Helensvale Cultural Centre Auditorium, beside the Helensvale Library. It is an interesting venue – theatre or stadium style  with the stage below the ‘stepped up’  seating area. The sound system was second to none.  A microphone is essential in this venue so a good sound system and audio technician is vital. Top marks.
There were 4 speech contests with representatives from the 5 clubs which make up Area 24: BeChange, Helensvale daybreak, Logan, Nerang and Tamborine Mountain toastmasters clubs. Plus networking opportunities , lunch and two educational sessions.
Including a panel discussion on: “Life after the CC and outside your club “,  facilitated by area 24 director, Thomas Krafft.
Note: As many of you already know, the Toastmasters educational development programs consist of a communication stream and a leadership stream. The competent communicator (CC) is awarded after completing your first 10 speech’s. The highest award attainable is Distinguished toastmasters (DTM) which is Advanced Communicator Gold (ACG) plus Advanced Leader Silver (ALS) awards.

The panel consisted of four very experienced and distinguished Toastmasters (DTM ‘s): Mark Hunter – World champion of public speaking 2009 and former member of this club; Christine Lennon – past District 69 director and current president of Helensvale Daybreak club; Mark Snow – Metro division director and Ian Mc Larren – Past southern division director.
This was a very interesting discussion and it was clear from the   4-5 min impromptu speeches given by each participant that TM has helped them enormously in their personal lives, in their careers and in their ability to answer specific questions by speaking off the cuff in a coherent, inspiring and often very humorous way. It has even helped one participant to prepare their own eulogy in advance!
All the panellists have visited a huge number of clubs around the country and around the globe which is a very enriching and worthwhile experience.
The speech contests:

Well done to our Helensvale Daybreak club representatives:
Rivella Lewis, Hannah Castellijn and Julie Anne Cantwell.
And a special congratulations to Hannah who was runner up in the Evaluations contest and Julie Anne who won the Humorous contest and will now go forward to represent our club in the Southern Division conference on March 18th, 2017

“I enjoyed the Area 24 Contest as both a supporter and a participant. I learned so much by watching the contestants in the various categories and I also gained experience participating in the humorous section. The stage setup meant speakers looked up to the audience rather than looking down, I loved this. The experience of thinking and speaking at the same time gives me a buzz. I am looking forward to the next contest in March. Bring it on!”

Helensvale daybreak member, Julie Anne Cantwell – contestant and winner of the Area 24 Humorous contest 2016.

Humorous contest Runner up Denise Ivory and Winner Julie Anne Cantwell

Evaluation Contestants Nerelle Pemberthy, Hannah Castellijn (Runner Up), John Fowler (Winner) and Katy Ramminger.

Table Topics Winner: John Fowler and runner up: Katy Ramminger

International contest toastmaster Ursula Beatty congratulates winner Novie Jay Onor  and runner up Nilantha Senevirathne

Monday, October 31, 2016

Meeting #701 Wed 26th October 2016. Theme: Halloween. Report by Ursula Beatty

What a wonderful inspiring, entertaining and informative meeting we had on  Wednesday. It even inspired me to write this article!

Each week, we have a different theme, chosen by the Toastmaster for the meeting.
Over the years we have had a huge variety and range of themes or topics and sometimes (but not very often,) like today, the themes repeat.
What can make the theme more unique is the intro question that each member gets to answer based on the theme. I will come to that shortly.

Christine was our Toastmaster (TM) for the day. She set the scene for today’s theme (Halloween)  by placing lots of spiders and bloody severed fingers on each table. Yuck!  Various people came along dressed in black with some orange thrown in to get in to the ‘spirit’ of the occasion.

Ian, our newest tribal elder brought along this rather sinister lookingtreat dispenser’ which contained jelly beans. If you tried to take a treat, this mean witchy creatures came to life, scaring the bejebers out of you as it  talked and went to bite your finger off!! Good one Ian. That is bound to cure any kid from coming to your door on Halloween! (hmm… Maybe some of us could borrow it…what do you think *Mary?)  

Nick, the Sargent at arms started the meeting at 7 am sharp with some thoughts on the theme and a couple of jokes to get us started or warmed up. Mind you, with all those spiders, chopped off fingers and a witch that bites your fingers off, most of us were already warmed up! BTW,  Christine, is that how you got all of those loose bloody fingers?  From those that persisted in getting a jelly bean out of Ian’s mean witchy dispenser. 

Julie Anne presented the word of the day: “Pumpkin” with her beautiful artistic touch.

She gave us an interesting and informative spiel on pumpkin and its association with Halloween.
I always learn something new at every TM meeting and get entertained in the process.
  Julie Anne encouraged each of us to use the word during the meeting and she reported on the use of this word, other interesting words and grammar, plus use of filler words such as umh’s and ah’s in her grammarian report. (Presented towards the end of the meeting). Eliminating unnecessary filler words from our speech is something most of us try to achieve, but it can be a hard habit to break.

TM Christine chose the intro question: What would you have as trick or treat?” which each person (guests and members) in the audience answered. I think everyone  had a good laugh with many of the responses. Some of the tricks were hilarious and one member, who I shall call Mary* (not her real name) really made me laugh when she told us she didn’t like Halloween much, and preferred to pretend she wasn’t home, leaving the lights off to deter those pesky “trick or treaters”.   I’m sure many of us could relate to that!

Next on the agenda was Ian with his ice breaker speech. A 4-6 min speech about his life. Although he is a “veteran” toastmaster, he is new to our club, so it was good to hear his “lucky me” story. Thank's Ian, I think we are lucky to have you in our club.  

Which Witches hat?

I led the Table topics or impromptu speaking section. A little bit different this time. Each participant  (Julie Anne, Nick, Paul and Nicole), got to choose a piece of paper which contained 1 or two words relating to the theme of the day. The participants then had to give a 1 min speech on the topic selected. Again, the responses were interesting and entertaining. Well done guys!

Evaluations are a key factor in all Toastmasters meetings, Paul evaluated Ian’s speech and Zach, evaluated the table topics participants. Well done to both and Zach in particular, as I think that was your first evaluation?

Next on the agenda was a forum led by Hannah (a student nurse and one of our youngest members). Hannah dragged her younger sister Laura out of bed to assist as her scribe and both did a wonderful job. I love the Castellijn sisters (there are 5 of them), as they remind me of growing up with my own 4 sisters (plus a few brothers) back in Ireland.    

The topic for the forum was:  Increasing jobs for young people on the Gold coast.” There was a very lively discussion with some very interesting and useful points or suggestions raised by various members of the audience, many whom are involved in small business and/or management. This section was both inspiring and informative. Inspiring to see what a good job Hannah did leading this forum with such a relevant topic. Plus, Laura did a great job as “scribe” with her neat legible handwriting on the flip chart.   Informative with the thought provoking points raised by the audience.

It was nice to hear feedback via Hannah afterwards, that Laura was so impressed with her first TM meeting at our club, she said “She has to join Toastmasters.” Which she plans to do when she turns 18.  

Thanks to everyone who participated in today’s meeting and to the TM of the day and president Christine who did a great job.  All in all – a wonderful, inspiring, informative and highly entertaining meeting. A reminder to all that Helensvale daybreak is truly a dynamic and fun way to start the day.

By Ursula Beatty  ACG. ALB ;  VPPR    

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Club speech contest September 3rd 2016 - report by Ursula Beatty

The club's annual speech contest was held on Saturday September 3rd, at the Helensvale Community Centre (large hall).  I was particularly pleased to  see newer members taking part and doing so well in this years competition.
For those new to toastmasters, entering a speech contest may be the last thing on your mind, especially if your aim is to  overcome any fears or discomfort in public speaking. 

However, in toastmasters, many people say that speech contest are the best way to rapidly improve as a speaker, as the competition pushes you to do your best. Whether you are a newbie to public speaking or an old hand, Speech contests are an excellent way of  improving your speech delivery and performance, as well as honing your speech craft skills.   
"Feel the fear and do it anyway." There is a wonderful feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day knowing that you gave it your best shot, you survived and even enjoyed the experience! If you win a prize that is an even bigger bonus.

"What a wonderful experience to put into 'contest style', everything I have been doing on Wednesday mornings. There was still the same friendly, encouraging faces and comments from all the other contestants, judges and spectators. Glad I gave it a shot!" Julie Anne Cantwell (contestant)

Well done and thank you to everyone that participated and helped with the organising and running of this successful event, and to those that came along as a spectator.
Thank you also to the panel of experienced judges (see photo below) who gave up their time to judge for us.
Congratulations to the winners and runners up for each contest (Hanna Casteliijn - Evaluations contest, Beverley Bradbery - Table Topics and International Contests ; Julie Anne Cantwell - Humorous contest) who will now go forward to represent the club at the next round of the contests: Area 24 Speech contest on Oct 30th, 2016. I wish them all the very best.
Ursula Beatty (VPPR ,  Contest organiser and MC for the event.)

Evaluation Contest toastmaster Sarafina Zubovic congratulates Evaluation contest test speaker,
Rod Dixon (From Southport TM club). Thanks Rod for your lively speech

Contest Toastmaster Sarafina,  Interviews Evaluation contestants:
Julie Anne Cantwell and Hannah Castellijn

Sarafina congratulates Evaluation contest winner Hannah Castellijn (right)
and  2nd place Julie Anne Cantwell

Table Topics contest Toastmaster Ron Steffan interviews contestant Beverley Bradbery (far right)
with other contestants Julie Anne Cantwell, Hannah Castellijn and Rivella Lewis looking on

Ron Steffan , Table topics toastmaster congratulates winner Beverley Bradbery (Right)
and 2nd place Rivella Lewis

Ron Steffan , Table topics toastmaster congratulates winner Beverley Bradbery (on Right)
and 2nd place Rivella Lewis

International contest Toastmaster Ursula Beatty (on right) interviews contestant :
Hanna Casteliijn (Centre) and Beverley Bradbery

L to R: International speech Contest TM Ursula Beatty (Right) congratulates
runner up Hanna Casteliijn (left) and winner Beverley Bradbery (right)

Humorous Speech contest:  L to R
Rivella Lewis (3d Place), Beverley Bradbery (2nd Place) and Julie Anne Cantwell (1st Place).

Humorous speech contest TM Jutta Clough (right) congratulates:
Rivella Lewis (3d Place), Beverley Bradbery (2nd Place) and Julie Anne Cantwell (1st Place).

What a blooming lovely bunch of judges!  L to R
Francesca Thorne, Bob Simpson, Ann Yates,  Marianne Gevers,
,Nerelle Pemberthy
and Valerie Sutton

Monday, August 22, 2016

Committee changeover dinner June 2016 by Ursula Beatty

This is my first post as the newly elected Vice President Public Relations (VPPR) for 2016-2017.
The committee changeover dinner was held in June 2016 at the Arundel Tavern. It was well attended by members and guests including special guest : Incoming area 24 director, Thomas Krafft who did an excellent job of facilitating the changeover ceremony. Well done Thomas!
A good night was had by all including yours truly, Ursula, the MC for the evening.
2016-2017 incoming committee members: L to R
Hannah Castellijn - VPM;  Tom O'Sullivan - President; Nicole Kelly- Secretary;
Nick O' Donnell- SAA; Julie Anne Cantwell- Treasurer; Ursula Beatty- VPPR;
Sarafina Zubovic - VPE
Thomas Krafft - Incoming Area 24 Director 2016-2017
Incoming Vice president Membership (VPM) Hannah Castellijn and
outgoing VPM - Beverley Bradbery
Outgoing Committee 2015-2016 L to R
Tom O'Sullivan VPE, Ursula Beatty SAA, Sarafina Zubovic IPP, Joan Small President,
Beverley Bradbery VPM, Nicole Kelly Secretary, Janet Raynor  VPPR, Ron Steffan Treasurer 

Incoming President Tom O'Sullivan thanks outgoing President Joan Small for her outstanding contribution to the club over the past year. Well done and thanks Joan!

Julie Anne, Muriel, Barbie and partner
Nick and Becki with baby William