Spinnaker Toastmasters Club, Porirua City, NZ #7868/72


This page has news about Spinnaker Toastmasters Club and the activities of our members. By Dale Hartle DTM.

Spinnaker 2019

Spinnaker will reopen its doors on Tuesday 5 February 2019. However we are sill taking enquiries so if you are interested in visiting our club, or if your New Year's resolution is learning public speaking, just contact us by email on spinnaker@toastmasters.org.nz and we'll get back to you. In the meantime you might like to look around our site, and visit the Toastmasters International and Toastmaster New Zealand websites for more information. We look forward to seeing everyone next year. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Annual Prizegiving 2018

Spinnaker held its annual prizegiving and Christmas Dinner on Tueday 11 December at the Plimmerton Boating Club.

President Albertus Viljoen made the awards by reading out a citation for each club member and our guest speaker presented the trophies or certificates.

Here are the top 4 awards. Attached is a photo gallery of the certificates received.

GEORGE NICHOLSON TROPHY (Contests) Angela Randall. This trophy is usually awarded to a first-time winner of a Prepared Speech Contest. She stepped up to the challenge, practiced her speech in front of her club and listened to and applied the various recommendations. Prior to the contest she was seen, dog in tow, pounding the pavements, fervently waving her arms about practicing her speech for the big night out - the Area J1 Humorous Speech Contest. On the night her entourage of fellow Spinnakerites forced a strong cup of tea (skim milk - no sugar) down her throat and she was all set. Cards were drawn to determine speaking positions - lucky last! We sat through all the speeches and when Angela took the stage it was clear to everyone present - there could only be one! Ladies and Gentlemen this year's George Nicholson Trophy goes to Angela Randall for winning her first ever Area J1 Humorous Speech Contest - Angela Randall!

Angela Randall.

MOST IMPROVED SPEAKER AWARD (Speaking) Karinna McDonald. This trophy is awarded to the person who has made the most noticeable improvement in their speaking during the year. From creative Table Topics where money (albeit not real but chocolate money) was handed out to Memory Mistress, she had us all enthralled with her creativity. She went on to drop the bomb that she's our very own inside agent to Her Majesty the Queen having freely roamed Windsor Castle for years and even met the Queen herself! She was awarded best evaluator, appeared as guest speaker at other clubs, chaired her first meeting and finally took the big step of starting off on her Pathways journey with her first Pathways Ice Breaker Speech. Ladies and Gentlemen this year's Most Improved Speaker Award goes to Karinna McDonald!

Karinna McDonald.

KNIGHT AWARD FOR MOTIVATION (Motivation) Katina Beauchamp. This trophy is awarded to the most motivated club member during the year. This person won a Best Speaker Award with a speech entitled "Patience is a virtue" by saying "I recoil in horror at patience, I am the doing kind" and this most certainly shines through. She was elected to the committee for the 2018/2019 year. To kick of a new membership drive she ran a fully booked Public Speaking Workshop to introduce the public to the wonderful world of Toastmasters and gain new members for the club. For this sterling effort she achieved her Speechcraft Coordinator's Certificate. In between presenting various speeches she also - organised the end of year function for the second time around - attended the Area Contest to support her fellow Spinnakerites, and acted in the roles of Grammarian, Table Topics Mistress and General Evaluator. Not only this but she also achieved her Competent Communicator Award and learned Te Reo. All these achievements most certainly are motivation to us all. Ladies and Gentlemen, the Knight Award for Motivation goes to Katina Beauchamp.

Katina Beauchamp.

SPINNAKER TOASTMASTER OF THE YEAR AWARD (Contribution) Darrell Phillips. This award goes to the Toastmaster who has made the most significant contribution and achievements for the club during the past 12 months. The list is long so I'll be brief. This person is always and active participant in speech contest, judges at Toastmasters contests, mentors at Public Speaking Workshops and Toastmasters in general, presents educational speeches so other Toastmasters can better themselves, is a valued and active member of the committee, enthusiastically steps into any role thrown at him, is the meticulous keeper of club records and to top it all is, as we learned from one of his many candid speeches, an ardent Defender of the Monarchy! Ladies and Gentlemen I present the Spinnaker Toastmaster of The Year Award to Darrell Phillips.

Darrell Phillips.

The full set of photos are in this 2018 Spinnaker Awards file (pdf), and the accompanying citations (pdf).

Christmas is upon us

Albertus chaired the last meeting of 2018 with a Christmas theme, decorating the table with a Christmas tree and red table cloth. Albertus also peppered the meeting with some little known Christmas facts.

Christmas tree.

Table Topics Master Ron used the Christmas theme for his topics, such as having an inclusive Christmas, my best present, my worst present, remembering Christmas, favourite holiday, and Christmas grinch. Evaluator Linda thought the topics were very apt for the theme and she enjoyed listening to everyone's story. Best table topics speaker was Megan.

Kathy introduced Katina who gave an advanced speech Speaking to Inform called "What is Brexit?" where she explained what the EU is all about and what the UK is proposing to exit from. Kathy thought Katina's speech was innovative, well organised and well researched.

Karinna introduced Jason who was doing Pathways Level 2 Innovative Planning on "Understanding my Leadership Styles". Jason explained various leadership styles and how they relate to himself and his work. Karinna thought Jason gave us good mental images of various leaders and his own style.

Paul introduced Dave who was doing an Advanced Storytelling project called "Three Goats Gruff". Dave told us a fascinating story about the 3 billy goats that held us spellbound. Paul thought Dave was an absolute pro a telling stories.

Finally Darrell, Albertus and Gary conspired to spring a surprise on Dale with the gift of a kowhai tree for her new house. Gary linked up the Club + Dale = Kowhai tree, and Grammarian Gerry was eager to learn more about how to put three disparate concepts together so seamlessly.

Dale and her kowhai tree.

Memory Master Peter asked us lots of questions and handed out chocolates for the right answers. Timekeeper Mazina gave us a report on speakers times. Gerry reported on the use of the word of the day "zonked".

General Evaluator Megan loved the Christmas theme and thought it was a fun well-run meeting. Best Speaker was Dave for his billy goat story.

In General Business, the club also voted Dave in as our new VP Education from 1 January 2019. Congratulations Dave!

Celebrations and champions

Megan chaired our meeting on 20 November with the theme of "Celebrations" and the word of the day was "champions".

The reason was both our Spinnaker entrants in the Area J1 speech contests were champions. See next article.

Table topics by Kathy was a series of quotes that each speaker had to discuss, a great way to begin the meeting.

Speech 1 by Mazina was Project 10 from her Competent Communicator manual called "Icebreaker" where she talked about her early life in Fiji, her education in Waikato and first job, and how she came to be in Porirua managing property and businesses and mentoring in the community. It was very inspirational proving girls can do anything. Evaluator Tomoyo said she felt Mazina's feelings about coming to another country for a new life.

Speech 2 by Peter used visual aids to discuss the road toll, and the improvements to vehicles over the years called "Christmas is coming, what's in your car". Evaluator Paul said Peter throws himself into the speech and had a good understanding of the topic.

Speech 3 by Linda using the Persuasion Pathway called "An ode to balsamic vinegar" told us all sorts of things about this special vinegar, how heathy it was, what it can be used for, and where it originates from. Evaluator Gerry said Linda had obviously done a lot of research and her pronunciation of the Italian words were lovely.

Speech 4 by Dave was an educational "Evaluate to Motivate". Dave gave us some excellent tips on how to prepare and deliver a champion evaluation and issued a template for us to use in the future. Evaluator Darrell said Dave was a born evaluator and he loves his honesty by giving away his trade secrets.

Another informative and interesting meeting at Spinnaker.

Spinnaker reigns supreme

Two Spinnaker club members are now area J1 speaking champions. Gary won the Area Table Topics contest speaking to the topic "School prizegiving: keep or ban". Angela won the Area Humorous contest beating out 4 other contestants.

Angela and Gary.

Well done to you both and you will now go forward to the Division Championships early in 2019. Plenty of time to practice in the meantime.

All at sea - a nautical theme

Chairman Ron's theme was enhanced with flags, model ships, captains' hats and a very historic block and tackle. Ron peppered the meeting with nautical sayings and word meanings which had us intrigued.

[Nautical theme.  Block and tackle.

Grammarian Jacqui's word of the day was "buoyant" which is French for "to float". Several speakers managed to use the word in their speeches which Jacqui commented on in her wrap-up.

Table Topics Master Albertus had story starters for his theme, giving everyone a starting line which they had to complete. Here they are and the responses:

Speech 1 from Megan - Your Body Speaks - was titled "Come drive with me!". Her opening line was, "I hate driving - not because I'm a bad driver, its the questions from the back seat that get me."

Speech 2 from Angela was a practice run for her humorous contest speech on 19 November. The audience helped by giving Angela a few pointers on how to improve and streamline her speech with judging and evaluations.

Speech 3 from Paul about "Foster Care" started off "Life was going great, and then my wife said - let's foster!". Paul went on to outline the different types of foster care, how you go about becoming a carer, and how big the problem is in New Zealand.

Another enjoyable meeting at Spinnaker!

Spinnaker Speechathon Success

Despite a fairly large earthquake earlier in the day, and a stormy evening, nine Spinnaker Toastmasters sped through their speeches in our annual Speechathon. The speeches are briefly outlined below.

Albertus opened the evening by talking about "How to evaluate an evaluation", stating that while there's plenty of information on how to do an evaluation, there's nothing on how to understand your evaluation. He said evaluations are "pots of gold" to learn from and gave three examples.

Angela's Icebreaker began by stating that "life is like a box of chocolates" as she talked about "Living with Celiac disease" and the over 200 symptoms a person may suffer.

Darrell's entertaining speech's opening line was "How many of you have been mistaken for somebody else?", to which several hands went up. In "The benefits of mistaken identity" Darrell outlined three examples of when he, his father, or being a Kiwi overseas has resulted in being mistaken for somebody else.

It was a dark and stormy night ... and Cyclone Bola - combined to get Dave started in the field of digital mapping and GIS in his icebreaker "Where did it start?"

Jason wowed us with lots of technical terms in "The basics of cryptocurrency" which will have us all heading for Google and Wikipedia for a more in depth explanation.

Karinna explained "Why I joined Toastmasters" in her icebreaker - because she loves people. She said she wanted to improve her impromptu speaking skills, to help her journey into leadership and to meet and engage with new people in the club.

German, Greek, English and Te Reo Maori - these are the languages that define Katina, as she explained how each language had an impact on various parts of her life, and she posed the question - have I reached a kiwiness yet? in "Who am I?".

"This is me, apparently" said Megan, as she displayed three objects from home which apparently defined her - a baking muffin tray, a handbag, and a natural deodorant.

Megan and baking tray Megan and her handbag.

Megan and deodorant.

Finally Tomoyo told that that "Recycling matters" and asked the question - where does your plastic recycling go? Malaysia and Indonesia according to the Porirua City Council website.

President Albertus made two very special presentations:

Katina with her Competent Communicator Award.

to Katina, her Competent Communicator Award

Megan with her Advanced Communicator Bronze award.

to Megan, her Advanced Communicator Bronze Award

Space travel, leadership skills and real estate

Where else would you hear such a variety of topics being talked about than at Spinnaker Toastmasters Club.

Mazina chaired her first Toastmasters meeting, and did a fine job of keeping things on track. We welcomed two guests as well.

Speech 1 by Dale was called "First Man", the life of US Astronaut Neil Armstrong. Evaluator Dave thought Dale did a wonderful job of exaggerating the "first step".

Speech 2 by Albertus "What makes a good leader" outlined the different types of leaders (beaucratic, innovative, military etc) and how the type of leadership impacts on the group. Evaluator Darrell thought Albertus used some cleverly rounded concepts to give us some thoughts on how leaders operate.

Ron's Interpretive Reading project "The Zimmerman Letter" was delivered with great oratory skills, and little bit of German accent thrown in for good measure, along with lecturn banging and vocal variety. Evaluator Kathy thought Ron brought the speech to life with emotion and meaning, with added drama.

Speech 4 by Gary "Welcome to my world" described the world of real estate and how it's all about building relationships. At the end he gave us all a packet of tomato seeds. Evaluator Karinna thought Gary was a natural entertainer.

Tomato seeds.

Speech 5 by Kirsty was a Pathways presentation called "A whistlestop tour of strike action in New Zealand" - perfect for the upcoming Labour Day holiday. Kirsty outlined a number of famous strikes in New Zealand, including the 1951 watersiders strike, in which my father who was in the Army at the time, was called in by the Government to work the docks. Evaluator Angela thought it was a lovely smooth speech with lots of great information.

Table Topics by Tomoyo was a two-part situation - choose a mode of transport and a timeframe for a holiday. All the speakers did an amazing job of linking the two together to imagine going on holiday.

Darrell's word of the day was "slam" - a word he hears a lot on the news apparently. General Evaluator Katina ended by saying it was a "slam dunk" meeting.

Love is in the air

"Love" was the theme of our 2 October meeting chaired by Albertus. We had one guest Zohar who got up to speak in table topics - well done!

Five speeches filled the evening: Mazina persuaded us to use salon-bought shampoo, Karinna told us why change management was important, Paul explained what "man flu" was all about, Linda told us how her sister was her inspiration and Dave outlined the reasons why we need to prepare for disasters. You can view Dave's presentation with links to download files and templates.

Megan's table topics session focussed on the theme of "food", with speakers having to talk about their favourite food, worst meal, most memorable place to eat, who to have dinner with, and a meal back in time.

Area Director visits club

Our Area J1 Director Macha Miller visited Spinnaker on 18 September and complimented the club on a well-run and enjoyable meeting.

Kathy was our chairperson and she was completing an assignment in the Advanced Manual Specialty Speech - Introduce the Speaker, so it was her job to introduce each of the main speakers and set up the intrigue for what was to come.

Darrell's table topics was a pros and cons debate, with evaluator Karinna deciding who won the debate.

Jason gave a Pathways level 1 speech entitled "For love of beer or money", a humorous take on the cost of beer, where to get it, the best flavours, and a proposed beer tour ending up back in Plimmerton.

Gerry's speech entitled "Fibonacci" kept us all spellbound by his explanation of the fibonacci numbering sequences, using pine cones and pineapples to demonstrate his points.

Pinecone and pineapple

This was followed by Mazina describing "Fragile X" syndrome and how it affected her son.

Memory Master Paul gave Picnic bars to those who correctly answered his memory questions.

Biltong, Te Reo, Apologies and Introverts rule

Chaired by Frances, our 4 September meeting was full of spring fever as we ploughed through 4 speeches on a wide variety of topics.

In Speech 1 by Albertus explained what the South African delicacy Biltong was and even had samples for us to try at tea break.

This was followed up by Megan with "My Pepeha", an introduction of herself in Te Reo and English. Perfect for Maori Language week.

In "The art of the apology" Angela set out a long and rambling explanation of what had happened and why, and eventually apologised to Dale for losing her badge! This created an uproar of epic proportions.

Tomoyo in a Pathways speech gave us an expert description of an Introvert and the power they hold.

Grammarian for the night Kirsty gave us the word "opportunity" and table topics master Gerry had us all going to "our happy place".

General Evaluator Darrell gave chocolate kisses to those who could answer his memory questions, and awarded the Best Speaker to Tomoyo.

Peace, train, MGs and bureaucracy

What a night! Karinna chaired her first Toastmasters meeting and did a sterling job, organising five speeches plus the usual table topics and evaluations.

Grammarian Mazina's word of the day "train" and Karinna's theme "peace" joined to make some memorable quotes and moments during the meeting.

Mike presented Speech 10 from the Competent Communicator manual entitled "A song, a job and a friend", an inspirational speech discussing the concept of inspiration and how it is a human feeling. Evaluator Albertus liked how Mike used the title of the speech in the speech itself.

Speech 2 from Kathy was a little different - a reading called "Claude Saves Christmas". Kathy's story held us spellbound and with "Ho Ho Ho" ringing in our ears, evaluator Jason thought Kathy had great use of vocal variety to play out the three characters.

Katina in Speech 9 from the Competent Communicator manual "In defence of bureaucracy" persuaded us that bureaucrats are necessary if you are in business in early childhood education, and evaluator Kirsty said "who knew bureaucracy was such a good thing".

"The MG marque" from Jacqui was a technical presentation using a slideshow about the MG motor vehicle and her passion for these little vehicles showed through at every stage. Evaluator Ron said Jacqui had great use of humour.

Speech 5 by Felix talked about how people don't plan using their money well and the difference between being poor and poverty. Evaluator Paul thought Felix did a great job using pictures of explaining the differences.

Grammarian Mazina's wrap-up comments included picking up on her 3 favourite sayings of the night: mindfulness, inner peace, and luxuriate!

General Evaluator Gerry complimented Karinna on a well organised and researched meeting, and Karinna herself said she had enjoyed her first Toastmaster of the evening assignment.

In general business, President Albertus welcomed Linda to the club as a new member and presented her with some flowers.

Time rulz

Gary chaired our 7 August meeting with a theme of "time". He had a few time-related quotes up his sleeve between various segments of the meeting to keep us on our toes.

Table Topics Mistress Katina used "time" as her theme as well, challenging the ten speakers with a time-related topic, including our 3 guests.

Darrell gave the first speech entitled "A toast to Toastmasters", and in this speech he talked about how he began in Toastmasters and how it has benefitted him over the years, including four eulogies. At the end, we all got up and toasted Toastmasters! This was Darrell's first Icebreaker on Pathways.

Ron's speech was the reading of a play "The wedding story", something a little different for most people and quite a treat. Ron had to play the part and voices of the three characters in the play, and this kept him on his toes as he moved about to indicate which character was speaking.

Gerry's inspirational "Make a mistake" speech described the most common types of reactions when you realise you have made a mistake - lie, blame, justify, deny, quit; but in the end he said it's what you learn from your mistakes that's important, and how you handle that learning.

Kirsty used her Pathways 2nd speech to talk about "Advice I would give to my younger self", with three pieces of advice: don't sweat the small stuff, you don't need to have all the answers, and be kind and believe in yourself.

Timekeeper Mike said that at various stages the meeting lost time, was ahead of time, and then was back on time, and that he was impressed with all of the 10 table topic speakers getting a 24 second evaluation each from Albertus.

Memory Mistress Megan had lots of questions to ask to check we had been listening.

General Evaluator Karinna said the chairman Gary was very professional and welcoming, and she had enjoyed the meeting immensely.

Best Evaluator and Table Topics speaker was Dale, and Best Speaker was Kirsty.

And guess what - we finished on time!

Liars, champions, ghouls

Spinnakers Toastmasters has them all. Liars, champions, ghouls, and that is just some of the Table Topic talkers!

Yes, for those many that missed it, we had a night of variety, fantasy, fact and new beginnings.

Table Topics Gary had his chosen talkers pick a number from 1-365 and then talk to the number's topic.

Prepared speeches

Ron - entertained us with a storytelling reading. He recounted the ups and downs (literally!) of the 'Bricklayers Lament' a famously entertaining letter from a bricklayer to his boss explaining why he would not be going into work. Ron told us about the origins of the piece and gave us not one but two variations on the letter itself.

Anastasia - recounted the saga of her recent journey to a Chicago conference where she delivered a revised version of a presentation which she had previously tried out at Spinnakers. To paraphrase Julius Caesar 'she went, she presented, she wowed, she is going back!' However on the way she had to rewrite her presentation, endure a long flight, and then the loss of her luggage! A great example of taking what we learn in Toastmasters and 'using it in anger'.

Paul (pictured below) - broke the ice with his very first club speech. Gary his evaluator was so impressed he waxed lyrical about Paul being like a master chef "all the right ingredients well mixed and sure to rise to any occasion - a pavlova of a presentation". Paul's "red button of public speaking" struck a chord with us all remembering our early trepidations. Well done Paul!

First time speaker Paul Briggs.

Tomoyo - played the role of a Mythbuster, in this case three myths about introverts. Just because introverts don't leap into conversations doesn't mean they don't have anything to say, just because introverts don't join the groups at parties doesn't mean they dislike people, introverts aren't pushy but nor are they pushovers. An interesting introspective.

Jason - delivered a timely, if seat squirming uncomfortable, health alert about bowel cancer. He had some very grim statistics (55% survivable, runs in families). He also had good news as screening in people up to 74 will be free in all DHBs by 2021. Unfortunately for this writer the Wgtn DHB does not come onstream until 2021 by which time I will be 75! Thanks to Jason for publicising a difficult subject.

So Spinnakers to misuse a quote from Winston Churchill "never have so many absentees (school holidays, illness) missed out on so many entertaining Table Topics. and prepared speeches. for so long".

Don't take the chance of missing out again, be there next club night!

(by Darrell Phillips - you can tell eh!)

Outstanding Club Leadership Training

Dale, the club's VP Education, attended the Club Leadership Training session held at Paraparaumu on Saturday 14 July along with about 30 others and District Officers from the region.

There were lots of small group sessions where people could focus on short tasks related to their club activities, or club leadership roles.

Following the group sessions, feedback was given outlining the key messages or themes of their discussions.

Here are some photos from the day:

Division J banner.  Area Directors with Division Director.

Left: Division J banner. Right: Area Directors with Division Director.

Division J map.  Lineup of attendees by length of service.

Left: Division J map. Right: Lineup of attendees by length of service.

Group discussion.  Group discussion.

Above: group discussions.

VP PR board.  VP Membership board.

Left: VP Public Relations board. Right: VP Membership board.

Discussion group.  Discussion boards.

Above: Discussion boards and groups.

Spinnaker member speaks at Business Communications

Karinna took the opportunity to speak at the Business Communications Club at Newlands on 12 July.

Her speech was about her experiences a few years ago back in England when the Football World Cup was on. It was a timely speech as England was bundled out of the finals by Croatia that very day!

The meeting also had two online participants, Rob and Margaret from Auckland, so while Karinna was speaking to a physical audience, the onliners also listened in to her speech. This was a new experience for everyone and it worked a treat.

Well done Karinna for taking the time and challenge to speak to another club with your very humorous speech.

Below: Karinna speaking to the physical audience.

Karina speaking to physical audience.

Below: Karinna with the online audience listening in on screen.

Karinna speaking to virtual audience.

Happy New Toastmaster Year!

That was the theme for our 3 July meeting at Spinnaker Toastmasters - as we welcomed in the new Toastmasters year in our reformed District 72. Darrell was our Toastmaster for the evening with four speeches and table topics. Although he started 3 minutes late, we made up time and finished bang on time. It was a fun, informative and warm-hearted meeting from "the best little Toastmasters club in the area".

Grammarian Katina's word of the day was "pardon", and in her report at the end of the meeting she said some speakers had "pardoned away left right and centre". But there were also 19 ums and 4 ahs!

Kathy's table topics used the "Who am I?" theme with speakers having to guess who they were going to talk about from a bio read out. Evaluator Ron said he had never seen this method before and congratulated Kathy for something new and innovative.

Speech 1 by Kirsty was her first Icebreaker in Pathways. She described her parents and her Scottish heritage, living in London, and revisiting the UK with her parents. She also said that joining Toastmasters was taking her out of her comfort zone and she was relishing the challenge.

Speech 2 by Dave, Speaking to Inform project 3, a demonstration speech, used powerpoint to show us how the GIS mapping system on the Porirua City website works, using Property Reports, Tsunami Zone maps and 3D data works. Evaluator Karinna said she found it interesting and useful since she is looking at buying a property at the moment.

Speech 3 by Albertus, entitled "The Dark Hole" had us all intrigued. He told us 3 tips on how to avoid or verify fake news, which was not what we were expecting. Evaluator Gerry said he loved the title.

Speech 4 by Dale was a tutorial on Level 1 in Pathways. Evaluator Darrell said that if Dale says Pathways is good, then it must be.

Here's a shot of the 3 powerpoint presentations:

Powerpoint screenshots.

Timekeeper Jason said it was a successful meeting with 3 out of 4 speeches within their allocated time.

General Evaluator Angela combined her role as Memory Mistress asking us a whole bunch of questions to check we had been listening properly, and Gerry handing out the Moro bars (courtesy of Mazina who couldn't make it tonight). Best Speaker was Kirsty and Best Evaluator Jacqui.


Isn't it fascinating how five people can completely independently prepare their speeches, and yet they relate to each other in some way. That was the trend on our Spinnaker meeting this week.

We had a packed meeting chaired by Angela with her theme "Embrace your style". Table Topics Master Dave embraced the theme for his table topics speakers.

Dale's speech was about "Changes to recycling in Porirua", and using powerpoint, she demonstrated what the new wheelie bins were all about. Evaluator Rob was impressed that Dale could make a rubbish topic so interesting.

Gerry asked "Have you been there?", Mana Island that is. We had a fascinating talk about the history of Mana Island, its history, how to get there, and what's there to see. He even challenged Spinnaker to have a Toastmasters meeting over there one day!

Mana Island.

Outgoing President Megan (POSTM) gave us an entertaining and informative after dinner speech and revisited her theme for the year, outlining the club's achievements during the year, and her eye-catching S P I N N A K E R word poem. She described Spinnaker as the "best little Toastmasters club in the Wellington region". Below: Chairperson Angela thanking Megan for her speech.

Meeting 19 June 2018.

Mike's speech "Love Trump" (POTUS) explained to us what motivated more than 63 million Americans to vote for Trump, and how American culture is changing. He quoted three books he had recently read to help explain what's going on in Trump's America today.

Finally our guest Kath from Business Communication Club proved to us that "Having a mentor can be fantastic!" as she described her Toastmasters journey and her mentor/mentee relationship. Her evaluator Nina said "I wish I could give a speech like that".

Our Memory Master Jason gave out chocolates for every correct answer to his "listening" quiz.

General Evaluator Kathy awarded the Best Evaluator to Karinna, Best Table Topics to our guest Rachel, and Best Speaker to Gerry. Congratulations everyone.

Cold outside but warm fuzzies inside

Spinnaker's 5 June meeting run by Mike was full of fun and warm fuzzies. Four great speeches and evaluations, plus a group of visitors from our newly-chartered sister club in Paekakariki meant we had a very full meeting.

First up was our table topics master Rob who picked up on the Chairman's theme of "road trips", challenging speakers to talk about their best, worst and favourite road trips.

Speech 1 by Frances was an inspirational speech about her Toastmasters journey and speechmaking, and the completion of her Competent Communication Award. Speech 2 by Gary talked about Asperger's Syndrome and Speech 3 by Kathy was about three things she has learnt, while in Speech 4 Karinna talked about the wonders of Windsor Castle and the time she met the Queen.

Grammarian Darrell's word of the day was "incarceration" which wasn't used much but there were lots of other things he reported on. Memory Mistress Dale asked the audience questions about what they had heard during the speeches - what a great class!

In General Business, Megan presented Katina with her speechcraft coordinator's certificate. The Paekakariki club also accepted our old datashow projector for their club use since we have recently purchased a new one.

Projector handover.

Above: Spinnaker President Megan (right) with members of the Paekakariki Earlybirds Toastmasters Club receiving their projector, a gift from Spinnaker.

Final night a ripper!

While storms had beseiged us earlier in the week, all was calm and peaceful at Spinnaker's final workshop on Wednesday 31 May. Outstanding graduation speeches were delivered by Linda, Felix, and Allie, as well as incredible table topics, especially by Julia. Ably and eagerly supported by seven Toastmasters, our workshop participants finished the 5 week programme having really mastered the art of public speaking, coming out of their shells with entertaining and informative topics. Congratulations to Katina for organising and running a hugely successful course, and for our participants for taking on the challenge and approaching the weekly speech tasks with fervour. We hope you have enjoyed the course as much as we Toastmasters have enjoyed supporting and listening to you, and we trust you will continue your public speaking career, never forgetting the great start provided by Spinnaker Toastmasters.

From social media to urban planning and a royal wedding

Session 4 of our Intro to Public Speaking Workshop series was a real treat. Table Topics was themed around the recent royal wedding, and then we had 4 prepared speeches. Felix talked about "Shared Economy", while Allie outlined "The negative effects of Social Media". Julia gave us "5 tips to winter wellness" and Linda told us about why she loves her job as an urban planner. Finally Darrell gave us an educational on body language. We look forward to the final speeches next week.

Prepared speeches varied and interesting

Session 3 of our Introduction to Public Speaking workshops was a great success. Table Topics by Gerry had each speaker talking about a small object he produced - a button, bandaid, bic biro, luggage label, safety pin. All speakers managed to talk for at least a minute saying what their object was, what it was used for and what might happen if it got lost.

Prepared speeches were next. Tomoyo talked about Life with Pushkin the cat. Evaluator Kathy loved the way Tomoyo described some of the antics Pushkin got up to.

Felix discussed some smart emerging technology we may come across, which left evaluator Dale reaching for google to learn more. Allie gave us 3 tips not to do on your first date, which took evaluator Gary back to his younger days.

Hineawe talked about kindness, and demonstrated the meaning of kindness by talking about her friend Gabrielle and how she uses kindness in all her interactions. Evaluator Kathy thought Hineawe's structure was especially clear and easy to follow.

Finally Julie delivered her icebreaker, outlining her early family life and how she came to be in Wellington. Evaluator Gary thought Julie was very articulate and interesting and gave lots of positive comments and encouragement.

Darrell gave us an educational on How to Say It which helps speakers with ideas for their next speech.

Meeting report by Darrell

What a fabulous turnout for our May 15 club night, 18 of our 24 members well done!

Of course having the AGM in the middle of the meeting, and the rumour that absentees might get elected to the new 2018/19 committee, may have helped?

Aside from the AGM (separately reported) we had our usual entertaining night of Table Topics, speeches and insightful evaluations.


Gerry challenged us with not one but two words, 'Situational Awareness'.

Albertus shamelessly did an (absent) Gary trick and used it four times

But shameless Albertus was outshone by the Grammarian himself who best demonstrated 'Situational Awareness' when moving the screen back and forward to focus the data projector!

Table Topics

As it was club election night our TT master Mike had his three 'chosen ones' campaign for their 'cause'.

Felix - sought our support for the Fish Protection League. Felix felt a bit at sea about NZ's status so cleverly talked about protection of the seas in general and the need to prevent pollution which kills fish. It is as though Felix could see into the future knew what one of the set speeches would be about.

Interestingly Felix highlighted the success of the '100% pure' image NZ promotes in Asia.

Rob - promoted the Mana Island Society and their involvement in the betterment of the island itself. Rob enthused over the island "just across the road", the unique species "the little BIG weta" and endangered species of birds there.

If, and when, Mana Island goes commercial then Rob is their mouthpiece for sure!

Kirsty - spoke so enthusiastically about the Camborne Cat Club, the contests, "my beautiful Burmese which is both dog and cat like" that we all went "awwwwwwwww". Turns out Kirsty made it all up, Kirsty is not to be trusted!

Project Speeches

Ron (pictured below)- looked as though he is getting old because he sat down to do his speech! But it was all to a purpose as he was dressed like an old 'salt dog' (evaluator Frances' phrase) to deliver the poet John Masefield's poem 'Sea Fever', one of the Storytelling manual projects. Desire, mist, memories, faraway places it had it all, along with props of paintings, captain's hat and model ships. Prose presented perfectly!

Old salt Ron with his sailing images.

Anastasia - First Frances and now Anastasia have used club nights to practice speeches that will be delivered on the world stage, a brilliant idea! Anastasia will be giving a speech to a Fitness Clubs convention overseas on 'retaining club members and keeping them active'.

Aside from the 'Fair Go' method ("keeping charging them") Anastasia listed the many interesting and innovative ways she employs at her own club to keep her customers active and happy in her fitness 'family'.

The speech is sure to be well received especially when polished with Kathy's sage evaluation advice. Although Anastasia's speech was only her second at the club Kathy favoured her with more recommendations than a newbie might normally receive which was appreciated.

Mazina - hit us with 'Plastic Pollution' literally! She threw A4 paper on the floor to represent plastic polluting the sea. She had wanted to use real plastic but eco-warrior Gerry had made her recycle it before the meeting. However Mazina did ably tell us the origins of plastic, the seven forms, the very real issues (especially the sea!) and the innovative solutions occurring worldwide.

We all loved that Mazina is converting the world into eco-warriors one eco-warrior at a time starting with Shane her milk boy customer.

We especially loved that three scientists have almost made plastic edible so that not only will we eat our shopping but the bag it came in!

Just think one day at the McDonald's counter you will be asked "do you want plastic with that?"

Katina - yet another take-it-to-the-world Spinnaker speaker! Katina gave an absorbing analytical speech on 'Early Literacy' for children supported by a clever simple Powerpoint presentation.

Unfortunately not aided by an equally clever Powerpoint assistant, rather a sadly simple Powerpoint assistant (moi) who required prodding into action by the Katina-Anastasia connection!

Katina gave us some thought provoking numbers on how many words a child should know at age five and how many are available in the English language set, along with the importance of parental participation in giving our children the joy of reading.

Yet another speech that will be well received by the wider world.

Memory Mistress

What's her name tested us on what we heard during the evening, but I can't recall all the questions or the answers! Just kidding Karinna, I can recall and so can those that were there.

This club account is the recollections of Darrell Phillips. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental and will be rectified, if necessary, on advice from the absentees.

Club elects new committee for 2018-19

Although the AGM part of the club night is reported separately for those away last night your new 2018-19 committee is:

  1. President - Albertus Viljoen
  2. Vice President Education - Dale Hartle
  3. Vice President Membership - Katina Beauchamp
  4. Vice President Public Relations - Mike Brooker
  5. Secretary - Darrell Phillips
  6. Treasurer - Anastasia Bennett
  7. Sergeant at Arms - Tomoyo Gibson

2018-19 Committee

From Left: Albertus, Tomoyo, Katina, Anastasia, Mike, Darrell (inset Dale)

An icebreaker treat

A small group of participants and Toastmasters were at the second workshop session, but oh! what a session it was!

We were treated to four fascinating icebreakers from our speakers Felix, Allie, Hineawe and Tomoyo. We went around the globe and back again, learning how and where the speakers grew up and went to school, and how they ended up in New Zealand. All the speakers showed great composure and confidence and delivered their icebreakers without notes - a wonderful display of preparation and practice on a topic they knew only too well.

Megan gave us an educational on how to organise your speech in preparation for next week's session.

Introduction to Public Speaking workshops off to a great start

On Wednesday 2 May six participants began our winter workshop series. Following introductions, Ron gave an Icebreaker Educational, showing how to prepare and deliver the first speech. Table Topics run by Gary was entertaining and had everyone up for a topic. Following the tea break, Dale gave an educational on Evaluations, explaining what they were, why they are important, and a sample evaluation. The night ended with presentation of the Competent Communication manuals for everyone to use during the programme, and instructions to start thinking about their Icebreaker speech next week. Although it was icy outside, a warm and friendly atmosphere created by Katina got the programme off to a great start.

Mayhem in May

Our May Day meeting's word of the day "mayhem" had all the speakers trying to bring it into their speeches, and this was managed 8 times.

Table Topics run by Megan had a May theme, and Rob, who has just come back to the club after a break, deftly pulled out a string of butterflies from his shirt and they fluttered down to the floor - he sure was nervous, but soon had them flying in formation.

Rob's butterflies.

Albertus launched into his first Pathways speech - an "Icebreaker" where he told us about his school life in South Africa, working life in South Africa, and then coming to New Zealand. His evaluator Gary said that even though he had known Albertus for a number of years, he still learnt something new about him.

Dave's speech on an abstract concept "Metaphors" started with a quite by Albert Einstein and then told us about some IT terms that people had to use metaphors to understand, such as "viruses" and "phishing". Evaluator Gerry thought it was a clear, concise and relatable topic.

Angela's speech was inspired by one of our new members who has a Russian background, so she told us a story which she called "The bumbling tourists". She told us about her experience attending the Russian ballet, being in a cafe with the Russian mafia, and going sightseeing to a secret Russian military base - all by accident! She had the audience in stitches and certainly had created mayhem in Russia.

Finally Darrell's "Magic Moments" told us of three recent magic moments on ANZAC Day, certainly no mayhem here.

Timekeeper Mike in his report announced that "time flies when you're having fun".

My Thoughts on Division J Conference 2018

by Albertus Viljoen CC

I recently had the privilege of attending the Division J Conference held at Upper Hutt Baptist Church.

Why was I privileged?

For a mere NZ$15.00 I was able to listen to 8 of the best speakers as well as 8 of the best evaluators from all 8 Areas in Division J battling it out for top honours! It's been reiterated time and again that if you want to improve/advance your speaking skills, this is one of the most important events to attend. I whole-heartedly agree with this!

Why is that?

This is the place to be if you want to:

From a speaker's perspective, especially one who's come second twice in a row at Area level, it is an invaluable opportunity to gauge whether you would have been able to advance to the next level. How would your speech have stood up to the competitors? You may think you've ticked all the boxes until you hear some of the contestants, and believe me, are they good!

Where does this leave you?

It shows you where your strengths and weaknesses are, what you need to work on and what to aim for, all condensed into a single morning's 8 speeches back to back. I can hardly think of a better opportunity than this.

This is just as applicable to anyone wanting to enter the evaluation contest.

While listening to the speeches, you can judge each speaker on the form (supplied on the day) as if you were a judge and compare your scores with the official results.

It not only focuses your attention, but you also learn how you are judged in a competition, thus which criteria to focus on in your own speeches

Of the many things I took away from the conference, two deserves special mention:

  1. If I want to compete at this level, I need to work harder to improve my own speaking style and messages.
  2. I listened to the most fantastic evaluation given by a contestant, absolutely outstanding until it all came crashing down right at the end simply because the speaker didn't give a summary which is worth 15 marks.

What you get, what you learn and what you take away from attending the Division conference is immeasurable. I hope I will see more of my fellow Spinnaker Toastmasters at the next one.

2 Icebreakers

Well fellow Toastmasters perhaps we need a name change for our club, perhaps 'Inebriated Toastmasters'?

Given the Grammarians word of the day 'Red' there was much reference to wine of that colour and hints of other instances of the need for fortifying spirits in our myriad of entertaining speeches.

We started the night with Table Topics master Gary feeding a 'lucky' selection topic in the following startling revelations:

Table Topics was followed by 5 speeches -

We will look forward to our two new newbies' coming projects with great anticipation.

A great night presided over by the quotable Kathy.

Of course this is just how this recorder heard it. Those who were there might know better while those who weren't will never know. (by Darrell Phillips)

2 new club officers

We welcomed two new club officers to fill vacant roles: Darrell (right) takes over the role of Secretary until 30 June, and Anastasia (left) has volunteered to be our Treasurer. They were welcomed by club president Megan (centre) following the vote.

Two new committee members.

Easter Grrrrrrr!

That was Chairperson Darrell's theme for the 3 April meeting, along with the word of the day "recoil" from Grammarian Mike.

Mazina's table topics session also followed the Easter theme with speakers being asked about their best and worst Easter, whether Easter should be abolished, and should shops be alowed to open.

Our first speaker Jacqui gave us a technical talk about how to "Take a cutting Trev" with a practical demonstration following her talk with some live plants to show us.

Jacqui demonstrating how to do a cutting.

Jacqui demonstrating how to do a cutting.

Katina opened her vocal variety speech entitled "Patience is a virtue" by saying "I recoil in horror at patience, I am the doing kind" which raised a huge laugh with the audience.

Mercy our Area Director gave us an outline of her year as Area Director and how she had enjoyed her time so far in the role, along with a list of things she had learnt.

Memory Mistress Angela challenged us with questions about what people had said, and our Timekeeper Ron reported that we had all done pretty well with timing.

In General Business Megan congratulated our club contestants for coming 2nd in the Area International and Evaluation contests, and reminded us of a special general meeting coming up to elect two new club officers for vacant positions.

Best Speaker was Katina, Best Evaluator Kathy, and Best Table Topics Speaker guest Felix.

Spinnaker Contest Success

A highlight of the Spinnaker Toastmasters year is the Evaluation and International Prepared Speech contests, and this year was no exception.

Evaluation contestants Darrel, Albertus and Dave were challenged by Kath's superb speech, with Dave coming out on top!

Evaluation contestants.

Evaluation Contestants - from left: Darrell, Albertus Dave

Evaluation winner.

Evaluation Winner - Dave Cook (with Contest Chair Megan Kloppenburg)

Four International contestants - Albertus, Darrell, Angela and Megan held us spellbound and laughing with their incredible speeches, with Albertus placing 1st, and Darrell runner-up.

International Contestants.

International Contestants - from left: Albertus, Darrell, Angela, Megan

International winners.

International winners: 1st - Albertus, 2nd - Dave (with Contest Chair Dale Hartle DTM)

Thank you to all our guest judges and test speaker, club members and contestants, guests and visitors for helping to make this annual event such a success.

A cyclone, a queen and a flight

It truly was a dark and stormy night as ex-tropical Cyclone Gita arrived as scheduled at 8.30 pm, right in the middle of our meeting. The wind got up and the rain came down.

But that did not deter our chairperson Jacqui or our speakers and evaluators, who had plenty to do. Grammarian Ron's word of the day was "inundate" which is what we were all hoping wasn't going to happen considering we were on a beachfront.

Karinna's creative table topics followed the Chinese New Year theme, and with a brand new guest, Felix, who is Chinese, in the audience, it was the perfect theme. Here;s Karinna's exact introduction:
"In celebration of the Chinese New Year, I invite you to pick your fortune - with a fortune cookie table topic! I hope to give you an incentive to speak - The (hóngbao) Red Envelope you will receive is traditionally given at times of celebration and symbolises good wishes and luck for the upcoming year and contains cash! (Well, chocolate money in this instance). The importance of the hóngbao isn't the money, though. The envelope itself is the focus. The colour signifies good luck and prosperity. I will ask you to come up, pick your red envelope, and speak to your fortune." Best table topic speaker was Frances.

Chinese New Year's hangbou.

Mazina's speech entitled "Come fly with me" took us through the pre-flight, take off and inflight procedure for a light aircraft. She's training for her private pilot's licence. Evaluator Frances said she definitely had "wheels up and take off".

Darrell's speech "In defence of the realm" outlined the 3 main reasons to keep the monarchy - it was stable, cheap and un-political!

Dale gave an educational on how to enter an Evaluation Speech Contest, which was timely considering this contest is being held at our next meeting.

Gary used his trademark opening "it was a dark and stormy night" which it was by then, and proceeded to give us his first ever Icebreaker!

Albertus talked about the recent loss of his mother to dementia, and how we need to learn about dementia in order to deal with it in "A knock at the door".

Our 4 guests enjoyed our meeting, and by the end of the evening, with the wind howling and the rain lashing the windows, we high-tailed it out of there smartly because the eye of the storm was not far off the coast!

Another interesting and successful Spinnaker Toastmasters Club meeting.


It was destined to be the hottest day of the summer, and with a major car crash and a train breakdown, Tuesday 30 January sure lived up to its reputation. 21 people turned out at Spinnaker's first meeting of the 2018 year, including 3 guests. Our "Summer" theme and the grammarian's word of the day "fresh" had everyone in fine form.

Table Topics Master Ron used the "summer" theme for his topics, with speakers talking about learning how to cope with summer in the southern hemisphere at Christmas, reading a favourite book, making a financial plan during the holidays, going on hoiday with a new baby and a toddler, rain on tents, and a "staycation" with 3 teenage boys. Best Table Topics speaker was Angela.

Table Topics in a hat.

Speech 1 by Katina opened with "Have you ever been scared?" as the described a childhood holiday experience. Speech 2 by Dale, introduced by Albertus, was an educational on the international speech contest.

Contest resources.

Angela gave a humorous speech 3 about her dream of being a magazine editor for 3 weeks using her own topics. Speech 4 by Mike entitled "Churchill or Churchillian" gave a quick movie review of the Darkest Hour, then challenged the audience to guess whether a quote was by Churchill, or was it "churchillian".

Grammarian Gary counted 111 ums, with 3 people not saying any ums at all.

Best Evaluator was Dave for Table Topics, and Dale for her educational.


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