Meeting #906 – Theme: Enjoy the Journey

Posted by on Feb 19, 2018 in Meetings

Our Sergeant at Arms, Terrelle Hegarty warmly welcomed our Toastmaster of the day, Brett Snow, with a song. A take on the KFC Hugo ad, what a great way to start the morning.

Our Toastmaster for the meeting, Brett introduced the theme for the meeting, “Enjoy the Journey” with a wonderful quote “A journey of 1000 miles starts with one step”.

He also noted changes to the agenda and got the meeting up and running by introducing the grammarian of the day, Vivien Cowey. Vivien picked up the words of the theme enjoy and journey for her words of the day. She would also look out for creative language and bad grammar.

David Clarkson introduced our first speaker of the day – Alannah Vickery, Alannah’s speech “The Cell Effect” discussed the issue of cell phone/social media use. She very effectively used a “baby” as a prop along with a great slideshow to illustrate how parents can come distracted from their children by the constant checking of cell phones and other devices. Her speech focused on how this can cause attachment issues for the child and how it will then affect teenage years and into adulthood. She also gave some very concerning statistics such as child drownings of under-five year olds has increased – a cause could be distraction of parents by cell phones. There are also mental health concerns, five or more hours a day on social media increases suicide rates. Positive feeling increased with less us. The message from this speech is for us all to reduce our device use so we are not detached from those around us.

Alana Bogart introduced our second speaker, Biddy Clements. Biddy’s speech was her icebreaker and was titled “Turangawaewae”. Biddy she had the quintennial upbringing in rural New Zealand coming from Timaru. She has great memories of spending time at her Grandparents and their love of sport. Her tertiary education focused on Environmental Science and Sociology. This lead her to her first job where she represented New Zealand at the United Nations. As many kiwis Biddy did her OE and experienced the strong bonds which unite kiwis aboard. She now works for Ngai Tahu and strongly believes in protecting indigenous rights.  Biddy’s turangawaewae – stood and called home, has influenced her past and present journeys.

Grant Beattie introduced our third speaker, Rodney Ford. Rodney’s speech was titled “Pelham Blue Crazy”. This speech is project 10 of the Communication and Leadership manual. After a bit of a problem with the lectern Rodney explained his speech title. He explained to us the  pelham blue and then proceeded to bring out his guitar. This guitar was a Gibson, only 200 where made in the world; it even had a birth certificate! Turning the guitar over to show it back and the colour – this was Pelham Blue and one of the reasons he brought the guitar! Rodney than plugged his guitar into his amp and played the song “I’m Crazy”. We were having quite a musical morning!

Terrelle brought us back after a short morning tea for table topics.

The table topics master Royden Gibbs did things a little different. He had 9 dice that had pictures on them and asked that each speaker take the dice (after they were shaken) and weave a story from the pictures – starting with “Once upon a time..”.

Sabine Parry was up first; she went to a circus with magical potions!

Jenny found a treasure chest that was full of snakes and elephants.

Anton McMulkin speech was three boys in a park on a journey

Eve, our guest, spoke of trips to the beach and scaring her younger brother.

A great bunch of table topics speeches!

Evaluations were next Mark Glanville evaluated Vivien; Louise Green – Alannah; Steve Kennelly – Biddy. All were great positive evaluations.

Our Toastmaster Brett had many great quotes for the morning one being “Good company in a journey makes it seem shorter”.

Kevin Cusack was our table topics evaluator. Vivien came back to congratulate the speakers and evaluators on their great grammar and excellent descriptive words. Caleb Vercoe did the time keepers report.

Helen McLeod was the General Evaluator for the day; she gave a great overall evaluation with lots of positive comments. Another great Boaters meeting was had; lots of humour, positive comments and inspiring speeches.

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Meeting: 902 – 26/01/18 – Theme: Survival

Posted by on Feb 9, 2018 in Meetings

Our Sargant at arms Natalie Perzylo got the meeting started on time ran through the housekeeping rules (phones off or on silent) etc and did a great job of warming up the audience for the toastmaster of the day!

Our Toastmaster for the meeting, Deb McAlpine introduced the theme for the meeting, “Survival” Deb mentioned that she had read an article in the “M2 magazine” whilst on an airplane flight on Richard Branson’s, 75 close shaves with death!

Deb, went on to say how the rebel billionaire does a lot of adventurous things like hot air ballooning, skiing surfing, to name but a few, so it’s not surprizing that you would have some close shaves with death but some of the stories are quite quirky, for example at the age of 3 he decided it would be a good idea to go sledging on a “tin tray” and hitting something on his way down, resulting in him going “backside over turkey” and ending up face down in the “lounge” and his mother said, “that’s why he looks like he does today!” Deb, shared many more stories of Richard’s close shaves with death on the “transitions” between roles, helping to make it a great & very enjoyable meeting!

Greg McGeorge was our grammarian of the day tied in to the theme of the day nicely, using Sir Richard Branson’s favourite saying, “screw it, let’s do it!” That saying reflects his can-do attitude, even when people are telling him that it can’t be done!

Getting back to word of the day, Greg thought the obvious choice for the word of the day which tied in to Sir Richard’s business empire was “Virgin” causing some laughter from the audience…. Quickly followed up by “I knew that would happen” and that’s why it won’t be the word of the day! Greg, went on to share the word of the day “Entrepreneur” and along with the official definition of the word, Greg said he preferred Sir Richard’s definition when he is describing himself, “An Entrepreneur is a person that wants to make a difference to people’s lives”

The people with a speaking role today where encouraged to use a few of Sir Richard’s popular sayings, from “Fantabulous” (combination of Fantastic & Fabulous) to Entrepreneur or maybe for our guests within “Table topics” to use “screw it, let’s do it”!

Gary Musson did a great job of introducing our first speaker of the day Mark Smith.

Mark Smith’s icebreaker speech titled “Hey, Derice are you dead, no man I’m not dead yet!”

Mark, combined his speech with a near death experience, or at least that’s what it felt like to him at the time, with the classic 1993 film, “Cool running” a story of the Jamaican Bob sleigh team at the 1988 Calgary winter Olympics crashed just meters from the finish line and “Derice” asked by his team mate, “Hey Derice are you dead?” and he replied “no man I’m not dead but I have to finish the race!” They picked up the bob sleigh and finished the race! They chose not to give up but to finish the race, so remember when you’re feeling “dead” remember what Derice said “I’m not dead I have to finish the race!”

Louise Landess, introduced our second speaker of the day Claire Ruru with her Icebreaker speech on the new pathways program under the leadership & Development programme.

Claire’s speech, titled “Father’s Day surprize goes rouge” was full of humour around her child hood up brining.

Claire shared some great insights from her child hood upbringing, from the time she had finished primary school and had become a petty thief, the lesson I learnt from that was never be a dairy owner. Claire blamed her brother for some anger management issues because he was teasing her and locked her out, resulting in her kicking the door in! Earning herself, a bit of a reputation in her dad’s eyes!

Claire also shared with the audience, how she eventually discovered the joy of backpacking & cycling around a weird & wonderful world! The good news is, Claire is no longer known as the family rouge!

David Pottinger gave Steve Kennelly a humorous introduction on his Ice breaker speech on the new pathways programme, titled “Steve From Accounts”

Steve, reflected back on his original “Icebreaker speech” – “Steve From Accounts” back in 2014, three and a half years ago in a very humorous way!

He mentioned for the most part, nothing has changed. I am still known at work as “Steve from accounts”, I am still an accountant, I am still treasurer, I still do not have a hobby as I spend the majority of my time ferrying my kids around to their hobbies!

Our Table topics master Mark Granville did a great job of keeping on theme!

Our table topics contestants were, Kevin Cusack, Sabine Parry, Louise Green and Michael, a guest visitor at our meeting.

All contestants did a great job!

Speech evaluations:

Roydon Gibbs gave a great evaluation of Mark Smith’s Ice Breaker speech.


Mo Yakubu, did a great job of evaluating Clair Ruru’s Ice Breaker speech.


Grant Beattie also did a great job of evaluating Steve Kennelly’s Ice breaker speech

Table topic evaluator, Courtney Tibbotts did a great job at evaluating the table topic contestants, giving some great feedback & recommendations were necessary.

Our Time keeper Alana Bogart gave some great advice on the importance of the “time” being given by the introducer to the “time keeper” and the difficulty with the “new timer app” of not being able to alter the time after the timer has been started. Also, on the new pathways program some of the times have changed and if this is not accurately communicated to the time keeper, it makes the role very difficult.

Our general evaluator for the day was Terrelle Hegarty who really did excel in this role by giving great evaluations on the remaining roles that hadn’t been evaluated already. Terrelle really takes pride in this role and strives to deliver great feedback!

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Meeting # 901. Theme: Be present

Posted by on Jan 25, 2018 in Meetings

With the holidays over, Rodney Ford our first Toastmaster for 2018 was feeling philosophical. Given the time of year, as a way to help us stop worrying about the past, or what might be in the future, he gave us ‘Be Present’ as the meeting’s theme.

Helen McLeod, Sgt at Arms calmly and effectively called us to order just as the post-holiday chatter was beginning to build, and gave a special welcome to Matt, our first guest of the year. She then asked us all to close our eyes and practice mindfulness for a nano-second, setting the ‘Be Present’ scene before inviting Rodney up to formally get the meeting underway.

In keeping with his theme, Rodney had selected a few quotes from a favourite book, Don’t Forget to Sing in the Lifeboats, and he peppered these throughout the meeting. After sharing how he uses this book to cheer up his daughter, and how he’d spent the Christmas holidays teaching his grandchildren how to lose, Rodney invited Grant Beattie up to introduce the first speaker, Mark Glanville.

Grant painted such a vivid picture of Mark riding around on his new lawnmower that I got distracted and neglected to note which Manual speech he was covering, but Mark chose an appropriate topic to kick off the New Year, reminding us how precious time is, and urging us not to waste it. Using a 4-quadrant time management matrix model, he demonstrated how easy it can be to plan out our priorities and decide what’s important. He also kindly provided us each with our own matrix, so that we could take advantage of his suggestion.

John MacVicar then introduced Louise Green who was tackling the Persuade with Power speech from the Competent Communicator manual. John had managed to ascertain that Louise is up for a busy 2018. She is actively involved in getting the new central library up and running, has six papers to study towards her Masters degree and will also complete a field trip to Vietnam this year. Even with all that on, she still managed to put together a powerful speech, ‘The Only Card You’ll Ever Need’ about why we should all use a library  She gave us many memorable lines throughout, including “You don’t even have to put your clothes on to use the library”, and “The mark of a good library is that there is enough variety to offend everyone”, but the overall message that stuck with me is that libraries play an important part in ensuring that we have a vibrant democracy and safeguard our freedom of information.

“Google can bring you back 100,000 answers. A librarian can bring you the right one.” – Neil Gaiman.

Our third speaker, Sandra Chatterton was introduced by Vijay Vellaisamy. Giving us a little personal background including that Sandra’s a marriage celebrant, Vijay told us that she was jumping into the Pathways programme and that her speech “When your time is not up”, would be her Icebreaker. Sandra shared a true story of a time when she had a close call with disaster while travelling with friends to Russell from Paihia to have lunch at the Duke of Marlborough. Despite a great big pine tree landing on top of the car she was in, thankfully it was a tale that ended well, with Sandra and her cohorts making it to the pub, and enjoying two bottles of bubbly before leaving their wrecked vehicle behind, and returning to Paihia on the ferry.

Thankfully, after all that high drama, it was time for a cup of tea.

Following a welcome cuppa, Table Topics master David Pottinger asked a few questions with a twisted nod to the topic of being present. The list of questions and answers went like this:

What’s the best present you’ve ever received and why?

Mo Yakubu – A Kindle from his wife. Mo was never into books growing up, and he’s now discovered that he likes reading fiction for pleasure, and finds it easy with a Kindle.

What’s the best presentation you’ve ever given and why?

Claire Ruru – A joint speech with her husband Brent about their trip across Canada. She was concerned how it might go as he’s a winger and she’s a preparer, but regardless, it turned out well.

What have you learnt about how to be present from today’s meeting?

Courtney Tibbotts – It’s something she’s been trying to do more of, so the meeting has given her something to think about in terms of giving greater consideration to the practice.

Was there a time when you were presented with a present, and it was present?

(Unsure if I got this question down correctly, because I was too busy thinking about what it meant)

Natalie Perzylo  – Took us into the future and described her house being on fire so the present was that she no longer had to clean it, but I must admit, while this sounded like a super clever approach to a tricky question, it lost me somewhere along the way.

David then asked our visitor, Matt to tell us about the best present he’s ever given anyone. Despite being an unexpected opportunity, Matt was game enough to tackle the challenge and told us about a JB hi-fi voucher he gave to his daughter with the best intentions. Unfortunately it completely missed the ‘amazing’ mark as it was a JB Hi-fi NZ voucher and she lives in Australia!

Speech evaluations

After a bit of fun, it was back into the more serious side of things as Rodney called on the evaluators to give their take on the three speeches. David Clarkson evaluated Mark’s speech, commending him for choosing a timely, universal theme and recommending that he end with more enthusiasm to drive home the message and help the audience remember the key points.

Commending Louise for giving us powerful messages all the way through her speech, Terrelle Heggarty recommended that she makes more intentional eye contact when speaking, “hanging” a bit and – again along the lines of our theme – “Being with people in that moment”.

Denise Ford commended Sandra on captivating us with her engaging personal, true story. Encouraging her to stop clasping her hands and make sure she addresses both sides of the room, Denise congratulated Sandra on being the first Boaters speaker to complete a Pathways speech.

Brent Ruru put his hand up at short notice to evaluate the Table Topics and before getting into it, , explained the theory behind evaluations for the benefit of our guest. After that, in the interest of keeping things to time, he gave one evaluation – or one recommendation – relating to all the speakers, which was that everyone’s talk could have been improved with better voice projection.

Reports and other bits

Presenting the Timer’s report, Lloyd Manson noted that while some people had gone slightly over time, several of the table topics speakers went under, which, however unintentional, got us back on track.

Using humour to deliver a strong message, General Evaluator Vivien Cowey wondered if we were simply having a gentle start back after the holidays, and encouraged us to rev things up a bit to show more enthusiasm overall. She also reminded us that it’s a good idea to adjust the lectern so that if we’re using notes, we can read them easily.

Brent then came back up with his President’s hat on to point out that now Pathways has begun, even if choosing to stick with the manual format, we all still need to know our way around the new system for introductions and evaluations. All of the information is on the Toastmasters International website, so hop on and get familiar with it.

He also gave notice that the next competition is 14 March, before handing back to Rodney (so put it in your diary!)

Before closing the meeting Rodney selected Sandra as the Toastie award recipient, which he gave for bravely sharing her story and bravely plunging into Pathways; a good motivational step for us all, as individuals and as a club!

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Meeting #899 – Theme: Christmas Tree – 8 December 2017

Posted by on Dec 9, 2017 in Meetings

Our Toastmaster for the day was David Cooper and the theme for the meeting was ‘Christmas Trees’, Anton McMulkin was the Sergeant at Arms and Lloyd was the Grammarian – with a brief information about the Pohutukawa tree (New Zealand Christmas tree).

Our first speaker Kristy Lawler was introduced by Sabine Parry, and the title of her speech was “Hope”. In her speech, she talked about the top three places she adores in New Zealand, Lake Tekapo, East Coast road and Victoria park track. It was her last speech at Boaters before her relocation to Australia. She ended by encouraging us to experience something new in New Zealand this summer.

Our second speaker was Natalie Perzylo, she was introduced by Claire Ruru, Natalie’s speech was titled “Viva la Vida (Live the life)“, which was a speech about the experience she had during her recent trip to Mexico. From her experience of the dead festival, buskers to her encounter with the Mayan history. She finished by encouraging us to show interest in the stories people have next time we see someone that came back from a holiday because you never know what stories they will bring back.

The third speech was from Louise Green introduced by Hayden Coote. The speech title was “Artificial Super Intelligence”. Louise’s speech was a continuation of a previous speech about Artificial Intelligence (AI). Louise started by giving a brief overview of artificial intelligence, how the current implementation of AI is narrow and only good at solving specific problems. She then talked about how Artificial superintelligence will be the most dramatic thing on earth that will be incredibly powerful. She left us with a pondering thought; who will be in control of the Artificial Super Intelligence, considering that it will be far ahead of humans and given its power, it could be the last thing humanity will ever build.

Then, we had a bulletin from the President of the club, Brent Ruru. He reminded those that haven’t paid the $5 for the upcoming breakfast to do so at the end of the meeting if they can. He encouraged us to put on a Christmas cap and be ready to talk about what made you a better person this year at the breakfast meeting. He finished by encouraging members to get started with the new Pathway via the Toastmasters website.
Table topics were run by Courtney Tibbotts with a Jingle bells theme. She had great topics such as Ideal Christmas getaway, Christmas feast, favorite Christmas memory and so on. It was a great session.

Overall, the meeting was filled with good vibes and closed by David Cooper presenting the Toastie award to Kristy Lawler. He then played “We wish you a Merry Christmas” song and wished us all a Merry Christmas.

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Meeting #894 – 27 October 2017

Posted by on Oct 30, 2017 in Meetings

Gidday follow Boaters, here is the run down for meeting 894 – 27 October 2017.

By Lloyd Manson

Our Toastmaster for the day was David Clarkson and he chose the topic of ‘the Environment’ to be the main forces of the days meeting, Brett Snow was the Sergeant at Arms and David Cooper was the Grammarian – it was a great trip into the outback of Australia with a poem titled ‘The Man from Iron Back’, setting the scene with his hat, then running away at the end  we never saw him for the rest of the meeting.

Our first speaker was Dion Ebrahim and the title of his speech was “Being comfortable with being uncomfortable” we all know this every time we stand up the front at Boaters.

Our second speaker was Danny de Hek, Danny was introduced by Alannah Vickery, Danny’s speech was a ‘on the spot 5-7 mins speech’ (impromptu) on what his youth was like compared to the youth of today.

The third speech was from Alanna Bogart, “Winter Joy’s” Alanna started by taking us along a trip with the whitest snow, then tangled us up with the way to dress for the -25 Deg. cold day from a parents view with dressing their kid.

Then for the ones that turned up, we had muffins and as only half the club turned up we all had 2 each.

Table topics was run by Denise Ford and Denise carried on the topic of the environment

All in all the meeting was filled with good vibes (well feed with muffins) and closed by David Clarkson and Brent Ruru wishing us all a safe week and to see as all again next week.


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Meeting #893- Theme: Labour Day-20 October 2017

Posted by on Oct 25, 2017 in Meetings

Posted by Jenne Robb on 23 October 2017

The theme of today’s meeting was Labour Day. We were enthusiastically welcomed by our Sergeant at Arms, Anton McMulkin. Anton set the stage for a fun and informative meeting.

Mo Yakubu was Toastmaster of the day. Mo ran a smooth, well-prepared and enjoyable meeting. He introduced the theme, Labour Day, and treated us with fun facts about the history of Labour Day in New Zealand. Throughout the meeting Mo provided fascinating information such as “New Zealand was the first country to adopt the eight hour work day”.  Mo continued to incorporate well-researched facts about Labour Day between speakers with a relaxed and polished style.

Grammarian for the meeting was Grant Beattie. Grant chose the word relaxation as word of the day.  He suggested that we incorporate the word relaxation into our speeches and to experience relaxation over the holiday weekend. Grant also carefully counted the ums and ahs that we used during our speeches.

John MacVicar introduced Speaker #1, Brad Lewis Lake. Brad’s Icebreaker Speech was entitled, “Our Revolution.” Brad talked about his “quintessential Kiwi upbringing”, university adventures, and his passion for revolutionizing New Zealand’s reputation.   Brad suggested that New Zealand farmers  move away from dairy farming and become a world leader in growing hemp. He explained the value and variety of hemp products and sustainability of hemp farming.  He also mentioned that hemp is cost effective to grow. Brad is involved in developing a machine that processes 50 tons of hemp per day and he appears committed to introducing it to the world. Brad reminded us that hemp is not associated with its intoxicating cousin! Brad presented an engaging and inspiring Icebreaker Speech.

Vijay Vellaisamy introduced Speaker #2, Alan Calder. Alan’s speech, “ Closing in 30 Seconds”, described six vital tips when selling an item on Trade Me. Alan shared his wisdom in six steps:

  1. Spend money to make money- prepare your items for sale to excellent standard.
  2. Check out competition – view similar items and ask for fair market price.
  3. Provide great full visibility photos-“cosmetic” scratches included.
  4. Get attention by offering a bargain price.
  5. Closing time 7pm- people buy after eating dinner.
  6. Maintain integrity as a seller – 100% trust from the audience.

Alan reminded us that it is all about the audience! Alan’s tips and ideas on how to get the most value from Trade Me were clear and practical.

Louise Green introduced Speaker #3, Roydon Gibbs. Roydon’s speech, “Just Another Day at Work”, was a vivid description of what it is like to work in a fish factory. He guided us through a typical day at work in a cold, wet and smelly environment. We dress in rubber boots and aprons, wash our hands and don a cap.  The job entailed sorting fish on a conveyor belt. Sorting good filets and tossing them to the right, scrappy bits and tossing them to the left.  We are doing this task all day long. Roydon observed workers in this environment and noticed that some workers were having a positive experience with a spring in their step while some were have a negative experience and feeling bored. To explain how two people can have totally different experiences in the same circumstances Roydon related this to a story about stone masons. Roydon ‘s story suggested that it is our attitude and approach to our work that makes the difference.  Roydon’s creative speech evoked emotion and inspiration.

Table Topics Master was Hayden Coote. Hayden reflected the meeting’s theme with imaginative questions about work.  The topics were within the theme of the day, Labour Day and the five speakers were brilliant.

Effective evaluations were provided by Deb McAlpine, David Pottinger, Helen McLeod, and Greg McGeorge.

Time keeper was Caleb Vercoe. Caleb accurately reported the under time, on time and over time speakers.

Grant, the Grammarian, gave feedback with our number of ahs and ums .

Kristy Lawler summarised the entire meeting with an organized, energetic and positive general evaluation. Her work so extraordinary that it was acknowledged with the Toastie Award!

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