Posted by on Sep 30, 2014 in Meetings

Toastmaster Claire Ruru’s theme today was one close to my own heart – “Start Today”. With the arrival of Spring and improved weather, now is the time to get outside and enjoy all that nature has to offer – and it costs nothing. Throughout the meeting Claire inspired and motivated us by telling us of some of her favourite places in and around Christchurch to get out to; the Port Hills, botanical gardens, the beach, the forests. With daylight saving having started today there is no excuse not to follow Claire’s suggestions.

Shock tactics to stop yourself from umming in your speeches! Alan’s idea of having a mental image of all your umms on a screen behind you projected to a 1000 people. Visualise having a blank screen, and the method could work. Try it.

First speech: for those of you who weren’t at the meeting, think Brent Ruru, a lime green mankini (a la Borat)! OK, now you’ve got that tantalising image in your mind, Brent’s speech was about always having hope, beginning and ending with a picture of an elderly couple walking on the beach (in their thongs). He told a heart-warming story of taking his elderly father on a tandem ride from Coast to Coast, touching the sea at the beginning and end of the trip. Beautiful message, have hope, start today. As to the mankini – you’ll have to ask Brent how much of that was revealed!

Next speaker was Garry with ‘It’s now or never’. A trip from Christchurch to the West Coast again, this time on a mate’s motorbike, was the defining moment in Garry’s decision to one day buy his own bike, which he has as he’s now the proud owner of a Ducati motorbike. His speech was an entertaining tale of setting the groundwork with his partner for this purchase and his subterfuge tactics in actually buying the bike. A message not dissimilar to Brent’s and Claire’s – just go and do it.

Danny’s speech was project 2 from the CC manual ‘Organise you speech’. Danny in a more serious mode this time with his captivating story of his road to recovery after his separation and ill health, and getting through the lonely days. Again a story some of us can well relate to and it’s wonderful to see Danny where he is now, with his great sense of humour, helping people to build positive and cherished, rather than toxic, relationships. His personal objective to think more about giving than receiving is inspirational.

There was much food for thought in this meeting (mankini images aside) but plenty of humour as well. That’s what life is all about – start today, try something new and have fun.

Sandra Smith

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