Posted by on Mar 21, 2017 in Meetings

Sandra Chatterton, Sergeant of Arms summoned  us to our seat with the ring of a bell. She thanked everyone for coming and reminded us to turn off our cellphones. Sandra introduced the first Toastmaster of the day, Rodney Ford; telling us he loved sailing boats and has a goal this year to build himself a yacht.

This meeting was a Speech Marathon with six fantastic speeches.

Rodney welcomed the boaters and guest Christine. The theme for the morning is Fluid; an interesting word which can represent liquid and movement.

The first speech of the marathon was Anton McMulkin, this speak is Anton’s Ice Breaker titled “My morning routine”.

Anton shared his morning routine S.A.V.E.R.S and why it is important to him and which part was non-negotiable.  The acronym stands for six habits or rituals that can improve our morning routines. S = silence, A = affirmations, V=visualization, E = exercise, R = reading and S = scribing. Anton starts his routine a 5 pm and spends six minutes on each routine, except for exercise which can vary depending on what exercise he does. The non-negotiable ritual is scribing which he finds gives him focus and clarity. Anton gave us all a challenge to give this routine a go for 30 days.

The second speech of the marathon was Louise Green with “What’s in a Name?”.  Louise’s speech is from the Competent Communication Manual, Project 3 Get to the Point.  The very interesting speech telling the audience about the naming conventions of ancient Rome. The names of Ancient Romans showed their owners importance and status; much could be told from a person’s name. Women took the female form of the family name which reflected public status as property. Men of note had a three-part name for example the Roman statesman, scholar and writer Marcus Tullius Cicero. The first part of the name was much like our christian name but only 15-20 were in common use, the middle name is the family name and the third distinguishes between the different family branches meaning they were passed down through generations; Cicero means chickpea!

The third speech by Steven Mydlowshi “Made in New Zealand” was about the Canterbury legend John Britten. Steven speech is from the Competent Communication Manual, Project 8 Get Comfortable with Visual Aids. Steven used a powerpoint presentation as his visual aid along with books and media display. John Britten was born on the 1st of August 1950 he suffered from dyslexia but did well in maths and art. He had an aptitude for mechanics and gained the NZ Certificate in Engineering.  John Britten is best known for the motorbike he built from the wheels up (he studied birds in flight to get an understanding of aerodynamics). Critics raved about the bike, it was light years ahead of anything else breaking 4 world speed records. Only 10 bikes were built one is on display at Te Papa. John Britten died on the 9th of September 1995 from cancer, he is still one of our lesser recognized heroes.

The fourth speech of the marathon was by Alannah Vickery and was titled “Yes I am”. Alannah’s goal was to entertain and have fun. Her speech started with her stating yes she was short and she was blonde and was reminded of this every day! She was used to being called shorty or midget but big surprises can come in small packages. Alannah gave us some advantages and disadvantages of being blond and short. On a plane advantages are having plenty of leg room, disadvantage having to stand on the seat to put luggage in overhead lockers! Shopping, only problem there was getting shoes to fit. Concerts, advantages lower than security guards so can sneak past without them seeing; disadvantages everyone carrying alcohol high and tipping it on her! Alannah had the whole group laughing with her story about being stuck in a wetsuit. She gave us a few tips on what not to say to blondes; try not to say that they are having a blonde moment and don’t hassle short people! Alannah truly meet her goals for the speech it was both entertaining and very funny.

Our fifth speech was Kevin Cusack with “The Mirror”.  Kevin’s goals where to entertain and use pause and voice to make his speech powerful. He had a great start to his speech when he asked “How do you feel about the sight that greets you in the morning?” Most of us rate a perfect 10!  He wondered why we are so concerned about our image and that we were brainwashed to believe how you looked was everything. Of concern to Kevin was the fact that men were also getting into the act. He gave a couple of examples of our rugby players having dreadlocks and wearing eyeliner. All our time is devoted to us; $60 haircuts are a must, having to dress the part when going to the gym. Our humiliation is not complete; we are convinced to change our diets to celery stalks, pumpkin seeds and stewed prunes with junket for pudding. Kevin speech was entertaining and funny but also very thoughtful as he made point that we are become so self-absorbed with our own image we are not noticing what is going on around us.

The last speech of the marathon was Royden Gibbs with “Just one more time”. Royden held up a light bulb which he said was a symbol of success. Thomas Edison turned the lightbulb into an everyday object. Edison’s advice was that failing relies on giving up, the road to success is to always try just that one more time. Is this always true? Royden gave us another example, this time he held up a paintbrush representing great artists. What advice would they give? All great artists stop five minutes before they are finished. Great art requires restraint. For Edison stopping was the greatest weakness for Monet stopping was the greatest strength. Who do we believe? It has to be both; maybe to be truly successful is knowing when to keep on trying or knowing when to stop.

All in all it was a fantastic morning of speeches.

After refreshments we were returned to our seats by the bell. Toastmaster 2, Dave Clarkson had the role of introducing the speech evaluators. The Timer was Alan Calder and Manual Evaluator Deb McApline.

Issac Tanner-Dempsey presented the Toastie award to Royden Gibbs for his competition winning speech.


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