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


This page has news about Spinnaker Toastmasters Club and the activities of our members.


The Toastmaster evening on Tuesday 20 October 2020 started with a warm welcome from Paul and apologies received from Johanna. The theme of the evening was HUGS, in which Paul stated several facts around the benefits of hugging, being hugged and tree hugging.

Paul then invited Jacqui who was the Grammarian for the evening. Jacqui stated the business of the Grammarian and what she would be listening out for. The word of the evening was "Flamboyant".

The first on the agenda was Kathy introducing Dale as speaker 1. Kathy's introduction was comprehensive and structured. Kathy stated the title (Pathways L5 Moderate a panel discussion). This was carried out via video link. Dale proceeded with a panel discussion of three members of Toastmasters Gary, Megan and Albertus, (pictured below) who have succeeded at various level of speaking contests. Dale asked many questions of the panel such as: how do you go about choosing a topic for your speech, what facts or examples do you use, what do you do if you lose the audience's attention, how do you ensure the audience gets your message, and many other questions. This was a very educational type discussion that had many tips.

Dale and the Panel Discussion.

Paul then invited our Table Topics Master Angela to open table topics. The theme of the table topics was: "You are the new Minister, and you are required to fix the different situations that was given".

Speech 2 was introduced by Megan and presented by Darrell, Presentation Mastery, with the title "The mentor who meant the most". The speech came from his soul and was spoken with honesty and integrity.

Speech 3 was introduced by Gary using a very flamboyant style in keeping with the evening's word. Speech 3 was presented by Katina, Presentation Mastery, "Jumping in at the deep end". The speech was also about mentoring and covered the many people whom had helped Katina along the way (Katina pictured below with Kathy online looking on).

Katina delivering her speech.

The evening finished with the evaluations from the three speeches and timekeepers report.

Thanks to all, General Evaluator Pete.

Mad Hatters Party

6th October 2020 was the first official "MAD HATTTERS PARTY" at Spinnakers Toastmasters

Ron Blackwell was this evenings Chairman and to get us all into the groove for the Mad Hatters Party he got us all to wear a hat.

Kathy joined us online to give us the word for today which was "Joy".

Jacqui Blackwell carried the theme of mad hatter over to Table Topics by asking us all to take on the persona of the hat that we were wearing. Everyone was keen to show off their acting skills as they took on their persona but it was Johanna who took home the prize of best table topic speaker for the evening.

The speeches were entertaining and kept us all on our toes. We learnt about making pasta and how to control or not to control the doers and the listeners within a working group. Tonight was a hard fought battle for the prize of best speaker but Dave took the prize home with a speech which gave us all a good old belly laugh.

The Evaluators were well executed using the CRC method. Gary had the job of evaluating Table topics and he showed his CRC skills for everyone - he won the best evaluators prize for the night.

All in all it was another spectacular night at the Spinnakers Toastmasters.

Te Reo and pithy quotes

Spinnaker's 15 September meeting was fun and refreshing.

Meeting chairperson Katina lined up three speakers to enhance our listening and evaluation skills. She also peppered the meeting with Te Reo, it being Maori Language Week, and the odd pithy quote for good measure.

Dale's word of the day was "bunkum" was unusually well used and added a bit of spice to the evening with speakers declaring - whole lot of bunkum, talking a lot of bunkum, be careful of the bunkum, brilliant load of bunkum and very much on this bunkum thing.

Word of the Day - bunkum.

Table Topics by Paul had us all "Row Row Row your boat" story-telling, and it ended up with a covid theme and a team of 5 million rowing the boat up or down the steam to a common goal. It was very entertaining with even some singing for good measure.

Speaker 1 was Albertus with a Pathways Managing a Project Successfully speech part one - describing the planning approach he is taking to organising a working bee for his local archery club. He will deliver part 2 at a later date outlining how the project went.

Speaker 2 was Gary who was doing a Pathways project "Understanding your Speaking Style" in which he assessed his own speaking style and how he adjusts it for different environments - personal, work and community.

Speaker 3 was Peter who's "Your Choice" speech was a powerful reminder of the upcoming national referendum and the impact and implications the choice all voting New Zealanders must make shortly.

Ron's General Evaluation awarded the Best Table Topics to Jacqui and Best Evaluator to Darrell.

Spinnaker's best table topics and funniest speakers found

Tuesday 1 September was Spinnaker's Table Topics and Humorous contest night. The contests were chaired by Dale with the table topic being "Advice to my 21-year-old self".


Table Topics:

2020 Table Topics winners.

From left: Area Director Pauline Cook: Darrell, Dave, Peter


2020 Humorous winners.

From left: Area Director Pauline Cook: Albertus, Darrell, Dave

Spinnaker turns 30

September marks the month Spinnaker Toastmasters Club turns 30, and is the oldest club in Porirua. (See history of the club on our About Us page).

To celebrate this milestone, President Gary arranged for a special cake to be made by Megan for everyone to enjoy at supper.

President Gary with Spinnaker cake.

President Gary shows off Spinnaker's anniversary cake.

Spinnaker's cake.

Closeup of the cake.

18 August 2020 - Wouldn't it be loverly

Chairperson Jacqui's theme of "wouldn't it be loverly" struck a chord with everyone at our meeting, with lots of laughter and interaction.

Despite the covid restrictions, it was a warm friendly interesting meeting. Grammarian Peter's word of the day "gobbledegook" was used so many times he lost track and the winner Darrell received his prize for using it the most - a lemon.

Paul in Speech 1 used storytelling to explain the founding of Toastmasters by a boy named Ralph. Evaluator Johanna praised Paul's use of structure which allowed the connection with the characters in the story.

Speech 2 by Dave was a classic icebreaker. Dave used the theme of explaining what three words meant to him - travel - holidays - trips. Evaluator Ian said it was very thought provoking and he might use that idea in his next speech.

Ron followed up his previous speech with "Guarding your castle", opening with "We live in weird times! What are you going to do about it?" He then went on to explain what we needed to do to protect ourselves, our households and our community in times of crisis and emergency. Evaluator Darrell compared this speech to Ron's previous speech and went through each point explaining what had changed or improved.

Ron with is PERT gear.

Ron demonstrating his PERT gear.

Gary ran table topics with the theme "positive, optimistic, all things non-covid". He said it was time he got revenge on some speakers and duly provided topics they could work with. Evaluator Dale said it was a positive upbeat session. Best Table Topics - Johanna.

Our Area Director Pauline Cook introduced herself and explained her Toastmasters journey and role of area director. She also made some announcements and gave us the latest news.

General Evaluator Gary praised Jacqui for chairing a professional meeting considering all the changes that occurred. He complimented all the evaluators and awarded Johanna the Best Evaluator, and Paul the Best Speaker.

4 August 2020

As our Grammarian informed us tonight, "Massive doesn't cut it!" Therefore, our Spinnaker meeting was "hughsive" ... you may or may not find it in the dictionary. The theme was huge, too. Our Chair Megan provided us with information about 'World International Day' throughout the meeting - who knew there was an International Lefthanders Day?

Word of the day - hughsive.

At Spinnakers, Table Topics are always a fun time, with lots of challenges and laughter. Table Topics Master Gary had our butterflies flying in order and formation and proceeded posing questions with aplomb.

Angela showed us how she wields her $850 vacuum cleaner with grace and precision throughout her house but still hates vacuuming. It certainly doesn't help having to pick up numerous socks and sidestepping a grumbling husband, no wonder Angela thinks it's a thankless chore!

Dale's favourite family tradition is celebrating family birthdays - a bit of a challenge when there's a 1,500 km moat between family members! It may be difficult to get everyone around the same table right now but Dale has great recommendations for finger-licking, plate cleaning meals and an excellent lager, go ask her!

Peter has a superpower, it's true, even if it's only in his dreams. He flies, he soars, he glides. He is an unidentified flying object, quickly swishing off to the Sahara to see snow in the desert. He sure has fascinating dreams.

Did you know, Albertus' favourite sport is watching sport? At some point he decided he didn't want to do the running around on the field himself, plus he developed an aversion to touching slightly sweaty bodies. Fair enough, and archery is really quite gentle on other people's bodies, he does have a point there.

Ian confessed to a limited palate, having been trained on a variety of spuds certainly doesn't help. But he truly is a connoisseur when it comes to Guinness, he swears he is absolutely besotted with the brew. Give him a Guinness and you make his year!

And Kathy, you took the words out of our mouths: if we could wish one thing, we would all wish the dastardly virus out of this world and get back to normal life again.

And these were just the table topics! They had us sitting upright, joining in, laughing and commenting. From then on we were treated to first class speeches, one more interesting than the next.

Angela told us about unlikely heroes, the 8 people of the IQR who deal with the hugely complicated logistics of sourcing accommodation, transport and security for people arriving in New Zealand. It was a fascinating insight into the workings of crisis management at its finest.

Ron (pictured below) advised us sagely that we live in dangerous times and on the shaky isles and we had best be prepared. Do not wait for the dark and stormy night, be aware, have a plan and be prepared! The best thing would be to join him and Jacquie as volunteer members of PERT and learn about emergency management and civil defence preparedness in Porirua.

Ron with his PERT equipment.

And finally, Dale made us sit up and learn about a controversial subject - the rezoning of Plimmerton Farm from rural to urban and its development from rolling green hills to dense housing for thousands of people. The trick was that it was not only a hugely interesting speech, it was also a master class of how to handle a tricky audience that disrupts the speaker with interjections.

Altogether a very enjoyable night for everyone, with great conversations and everybody had a role to play. Club members are now keenly awaiting the upcoming contests. The first will be held on September 1: Table Topics and Evaluation. The contest for Humorous and International speeches will take place on November 3. Make sure you have these dates in your calendar.

President Gary also presented Albertus with his trophy for winning the Division Humorous Speech Contest.

Albertus with his trophy.

Full and busy meeting, Tuesday 21 July 2020

Darrell chaired our meeting but he was "derelict" in giving the meeting a theme, however our Grammarian Peter gave the word of the day as "derelict" which was used over 10 times by speakers.

Pictured below from the back of the room is Johanna giving her speech.

Johanna delivering her speech.

Megan's table topics session was themed "would you rather ..." where speakers had to choose between two points and then argue their choice.

Speaker 1 Gary talked about why he gets migraines, and how to curb them in his speech "I can see clearly now". Evaluator Dale said it was a masterclass in using notes when you're not using notes.

Speaker 2 Paul and Speaker 3 Johanna covered off Pathway projects.

Speaker 4 Dave covered an educational on the use of the Pathways website.

We welcomed two guests to the meeting and hope they come back to join our club.

Physical meetings resume - 7 July 2020

We were back to physical meetings. It was great to see everyone again, and enjoy the dynamics of applauses, interjections and supper.

Paul giving his speech.

6th Online Meeting - 20 June 2020

Spinnaker met online for its last virtual meeting before returning to our physical venue in July.

Online meeting 6.

Gary chaired the meeting and although we had a few technical hiccups with low bandwidth on occasions, everyone was able to participate without too many issues. We were joined by guests Adam from Canada and Dan from Whitby.

Johanna gave us the word of the day "peculiar" or the opposite "ordinary" and reported back at the end of the meeting how everyone had got on with it, including "peculiar times, peculiar question, verging on being peculiar, maybe it was peculiar, and peculiar - I think not!"

Kathy gave her part 3 of 3 speeches on the Art of Evaluation, outlining a written evaluation of a speech and indicating where the commendations and recommendations came in. She invited comment at the end before admitting it was had not to be a fan, but a coach evaluator.

Steve started out on Pathways with the first of two speeches, this one on "In search of the best views" - all about a two-week trip around the South Island and the spectacular views he encountered. Evaluator Dale suggested use of some visual aids and embellishing the descriptive words with body language.

Albertus in his speech explained how he has changed recently. "Just do this". See below for an indepth analysis of his speech

Darrell ran table topics with a lockdown alert level 1 theme and all speakers had plenty to say about how things have or have not changed for them during the lockdown levels.

In General Business Kathy indicated that our next meeting would be at our physical venue in Plimmerton on 7 July, and she also unveiled a prototype of our proposed new website. Dave also unveiled his online forward programme calendar and asked everyone to fill in their requests for roles when it is released.

Analysis of a Speech - Just Do This!

Albertus explains process behind his speech on Innovative Planning, Focus on the Positive, Pathways Level 3. The manual stated: "The purpose of this project is to practice being aware of your thoughts and feelings, as well as the impact of your responses on others." It basically boiled down to Albertus having to keep a record of his thoughts for 2 weeks and actively replacing negative thoughts with positive thoughts.

Albertus made a journal with 6 columns:

Date - Positive Thoughts - Negative Thoughts - 3 Things Grateful - Change in Behaviour - Reflection

He then diligently recorded his feelings under each heading for 2 whole weeks before reporting his findings to the club.

Question: Did it work for him?

Answer: In his own words; 'Amazingly well'.

He reported the following:

What I can say is this exercise has been an absolute game-changer for me.

How is this possible in only 2 weeks?

Albertus says: The biggest change brought about by this exercise is the fact that now, as soon as something upsets me I do the following:

I'll conclude with 3 things

I've also attached the project Innovative Planning - focus on the positive (pdf) should you know anyone who can benefit from it.

Attending an international online meeting

Kathy and Dale attended the online meeting for Burlington Advanced Toastmasters from Burlington in Ontario, Canada on Tuesday 9 June 2020. They do things slightly differently over there with an evaluation panel for the speeches, and while some of the club members were absent, Toastmasters from Australia and New Zealand, and a couple of other countries joined in. The theme for the meeting was "A Global Village" and it sure felt like that with such a range of participants.

Burlington Advanced Toastmasters Agenda.

Burlington Online.

Fifth Online Meeting, Tuesday 2 June 2020

Our online meetings continue to be a successful way to meet during the lockdown. A bonus for the club is that we can have visitors from all over the world! Tonight, Adam joined us, all the way from his living room in Ontario, Canada!

Online Meeting 2 June 2020

Angela chaired a successful meeting, with the theme Netflix recommendations. Jacqui continued along a similar theme in table topics, with the theme of movies. David, Albertus, Angela and Adam took it in their stride and spoke of romance movies, international film festivals, movies from our teenage years and movies we would show our friends.

We were treated to three speeches tonight, two of which were educationals. The first was the second of a three part educational series by Kathy on evaluations. The club was asked to watch a speech by Sam Neill on youtube. Kathy then facilitated a club-wide evaluation, by asking us to provide commendations and recommendations.

Dale presented the second speech of the night. Dale entertained us with a detailed account of the night the s.s. Cheviot was shipwrecked off the coast of Port Melbourne in 1887. It was Victoria's worst shipping disaster.

SS Cheviot.

Ron then treated us to an educational on impromptu speaking - giving us some handy hints for our next table topics session!

For those that want to watch it, here is a link to Sam Neill's speech on YouTube. What would your commendations or recommendations be for Sam?

Albertus is 3rd funniest speaker

Albeertus Viljoen.

Congratulations Albertus in coming 3rd in the District 72 Humorous Contest with his speech called "The Kiss". This was the first contest held entirely online via Zoom during the COVID-2 lockdown period held on Saturday 23 May 2020.

Fourth Online meeting, Tue 19 May 2020

We had such a good meeting on Tuesday night. Everyone at Spinnaker Toastmasters is really nailing these new online meetings. I'm sure most of you are loving sitting beside the fire all nice and warm and cosy or in your office all ergonomically correct and efficient (yeah right!) - but the best thing of all is not having to go outside into the dark and drive home afterwards!

Dale ran the meeting on Tuesday so of course it went without a hitch. The word of the day was CRYPTIC and some brave souls used it well.

Gary's Table Topics were all about the post-Covid-19 world. If you could Zoom anyone in the world, who would it be? If you could choose anywhere, where would you spend lockdown next time? Should working from home two days a week be compulsory? If you could go anywhere, where would you like to go for a trip outside New Zealand? Ron knew how to impress his better half and said that he would Zoom Jacqui any day of the week. Darrell would go straight back to Disneyland for his post-Covid holiday and I said working from home should be compulsory, as long as you had the house to yourself! There were some other excellent table topics but unfortunately your slacker of a general evaluator didn't note them all down.

Albertus didn't hold back as Table Topics evaluator. He gave us all a good rark-up about having a beginning, middle and end to the speech. It was good to have that reminder, especially as when you are talking to a screen and your entire audience is on mute, it can be easy to ramble on a bit (noted from experience).

Kathy gave us a seminar on Evaluations which was really rather superb. The big message was that there are four types of evaluator - the Fan, the Reporter, the Captain and the Coach. We all need to aspire to be the Coach - exciting and motivating with good commendations on what worked in a speech and also insightful recommendations so that the speechmaker can learn and improve for next time. Kathy's opening line - "if you want to improve your club, improve the quality of the evaluations" really hit home with me and I felt that she was bang on.

Ian had me roaring with laughter although he couldn't hear it. His speech was "The Irish Empire" and he let us know exactly how Ireland has taken over the world without the rest of us noticing.

And then Megan came through with one of her wonderful stories - this one called "Food Glorious Food" all about eating the biggest and best schnitzel in the world on a forbidden mountain in Switzerland. Looks like enough for four people to me!

World's largest schnitzel.

Our evaluators did a great job with Darrell mentioning something that I wish everyone at my work could hear - what can the other participants see of you? Make sure it's not your forehead and a screen full of ceiling!

We missed Johanna and Paul and Pete but other than that it was a really good online meeting. I am missing our normal meetings and the rush of being in front of a room picking up on the audience reactions and really being able to perform but we are making the most of a difficult situation and learning how to project ourselves through a screen so we're doing well!

Looking forward to seeing you all on 2 June.

Third Online meeting, Tue 5 May 2020

From the comfort of our own lounges/bedrooms/studies, on a "cold and stormy night" (Dave Cook TT master), we enjoyed yet another club night via Webanaire.

Online meeting 3.

It was clear members are more practiced, and comfortable, in the process as evidenced by the camera placement improvements, lighting, backdrops, and libations (tea, coffee, cocoa, water, did I see a carafe?!) Ron was the most laid back of us all, I half expected him to start reading us 'The hungry caterpillar'!

The writer was late joining so cannot confirm if Timekeeper Gary invoked his doppelganger self successfully, by getting the Chair to start the meeting on time.

Late or not, and despite the red light runners (we all know who we you are), Paul chaired the meeting to its timely end with poise, polish, good linkage, and only one mike mismanagement.

As this meeting included the annual Committee elections (covered in a separate report) that was no mean feat.

Sadly the formal speeches for the night needed to be cut by one so we will need to wait until another night to hear Megan's musings - a treat to look forward to.

Just as well we had two equally as good quality speakers to entertain us, both with different takes on the COVID-19.

Johanna - gave us an interesting look at surviving the COVID-19 lockdown with her significant other and Straybie her cohabiting cat. In a flat "you couldn't swing Straybie in!", each learnt the others points-of-difference, and compatibilities, in a pressure cooker cauldron! Happily (for Straybie - whew) they came through stronger and more (Covid) united.

Angela - was so over Covid-19 lockdown she took to the internet to find out about countries we could escape to that did not have the COVID virus. She found Lesotho, Turkmenistan, and North Korea. Angela told us the good points, and also the not so good points, of each country.

Angela convinced us we are better off here, COVID-19 and all!

As well as the most excellent speeches we did have a few TT speeches.

Darrell - talked about his most 'memorable holiday' easy for him Disneyland after a 60 year waiting and dreaming about. To be taken on a surprise trip with his daughter and grandkids literally stripped the zero off his age. Unfortunately Darrell breached El Duce's time limit so Darrell might just be a past member.

Megan - asked 'why do you travel' told us how she walked barefoot 12 miles to a small country school shared with 10 others. There in those humble rooms she dreamed BIG dreams of BIG cities, BIG adventures BIG BIG BIG I tell you! But she didn't just dream, she DID DID DID I tell you. I'm paraphrasing slightly but you get the gist.

Steve - asked his 'favourite holiday destination' gave us a very clever multi-option reply "anywhere there is a Toastmaster International convention". With Steve's extensive Leadership CV this amounted to many points on the globe. Worryingly most of his choices were, or are, COVID-19 hotspots so just as well he was on a screen and not in the room (Angela would have lost it!)

So this is one Toastmasters take on the night.

Despite only seeing you all as small tiles on a tablet it was still a joy as always.

Darrell Phillips ACG

Spinnaker success at Division Online Contests

Congratulations to Albertus and Gary for competing in the Division J Online speech contests on 26 April via Zoom.

Albertus will now go on to compete virtually in the District 72 contests on Saturday 23 May 2020.

Here's a screenshot of the participants towards the end of the session:

Division J Online Contests.

A huge amount of work went into organising these virtual contests, including several practice runs by the contestants and contest officials during the previous few weeks. And it showed! It all went off without a hitch and was a pleasure to watch. Thanks Division J team for putting on a great show.

Second Online meeting, Tue 21 April 2020

Screenshot - Online meeting 21 April 2020.

Report by Jacqui Blackwell. Dave chaired our meeting Video conferencing makes for a very different meeting and we spent time organising ourselves on the conference platform WebEx.

Steve gave us the topical word for the day which of course was "Kind". It was a great word and well used throughout the session.

We were treated to table topics, organised by Dale Hartle, with Gary Nicholson practicing for the Division Table topic competition this coming Sunday. Gary, Paul, Kathy, Dave, Johanna, and Gary again were all talking about their Covid experiences. Quite enlightening for us all.

Albertus gets better and better with his Humorous Speech competition entry for Sunday "The Kiss". The round-table style evaluation that followed acknowledged the difficulties of a video presentation and provided our two competition entrants with some useful feedback about room background, placement of microphone, ability to see gestures and positioning of camera.

Johanna introduced Katina who is moving through the old manual of special occasion speeches, Mastering the Toast fitted in with her future role as Mother of the Bride.

We the had presentations on the club officer roles for the election of officers for next meeting. Gary talked about his vision for the spinnaker club which focussed on being a small club with top quality educational producing top calibre speakers. He wanted to double the current social calendar.

Paul spoke about the role of VP education as helping the club to be friendly and inclusive, while Albertus spoke about making sure the club helped people to grow in skills and confidence through support.

Darryl evaluated the Table Topics and gave us some very good pointers through drawings of how we looked in our cameras. He gave advice to check on our distance from the webcam and where we focussed our gaze. Gestures could be lost on the screen if we were too close to the camera.

Johanna evaluated Katina's speech, loving the three-theme structure of what united the wedded couple, their enthusiasm for rescuing animals, their support for each other's dreams and their totally positive sunny outlook in all situations.

Steve, as grammarian, talked about his word of the day, and gave some insightful evaluation on our use of pauses contrasting pauses to think (fillers) with pauses for effect which he said should feel long enough to be embarrassing sometimes. When we are speaking our brain is working much faster than the listener and we need to remember to pause to aid understanding.

Kathy gave notice of the ABM on May 5th (Online), club elections and gave her recommendation that we continue the ability for members to attend meetings online under level 3 and even level 2.

Dave thanked all the members for their patience in this new format and closed the meeting.

Online meeting success

Spinnaker Toastmasters Club ran its first online Toastmasters club on Tuesday 7 April, and it was a great success. Eleven members joined the meeting and you can see how it looked in the image below.

Online Meeting - screenshot.

Grammarian Dale's Word of the Day was "hunker" (see image below).

Word of the Day - hunker.

Table Topics by Albertus had a lockdown theme, and this was followed by a short presentation by each member of the committee about their role. This was in preparation for the annual club committee elections coming up in May.

Our next online meeting will be on Tuesday 21 April at 7.30 pm.

Spinnaker moves to online meetings

Spinnaker Toastmasters Club's physical meetings will cease during the COVID-19 lockdown period - until further notice. We will be conducting online meetings with our members only during this period. It will be interesting to learn how to use video conferencing and to reorganise how our meetings are conducted. We'll keep you posted on our news page on how we get on.

Saint Patrick's Day

Johanna did an amazing job as chairing the meeting on Tuesday 17 April, with a Saint Patrick's Day theme. It was an intimate group, so we used a boardroom style for a cosy setting. Johanna provided us many fun interludes about the history of Saint Patrick's Day!

Albertus took the meeting through a fun table topics session, with the theme of "what I would change about ... and why." Everyone rose to the occasion and it was a fun and well run table topics session. Kathy provided an in-depth table topics evaluation.

Tonight there were three formal speeches:

1. Darrell provided an thought-provoking speech on this experience judging at the Rotary special adults speech competition over the last three years, in a way to inspire members to volunteer to judge this year. Darrell used amazing imagery expressions - which Gary, as evaluator, pointed out.

2. If Darrell's speech was thought-provoking, Peter's was somber but impactful. He had the audience in stunned silence as he read a letter to the shooter of the Christchurch mosque shootings. With the one year anniversary just passed, this was a timely reminder to us.

3. Spinnaker members were treated to an educational speech on Evaluations by Dave. Newer members, as well as experienced all picked up something new from Dave's detailed speech on Educationals.

Peter was awarded Best Speaker and Gary awarded Best Evaluation after using the information from Dave's evaluation presentation.

Dark and Stormy!

Peter chaired our meeting on Tuesday 3 March with the theme "dark and stormy". He said it could mean someone's feelings, Wellington's weather, or maybe a rum and ginger beer!

Grammatian Ian used the word "complex" for everyone to try and use in their speeches.

Speech 1 from Steve was an icebreaker entitled "A little bit about me". He told us where he grew up, how he came to join Toastmasters and his journey in the organisation, and how it helped his working life. Evaluator Darrell compared Steve's speech to an onion - peeling away the layers to reveal what's underneath.

Speaker 2 was Paul doing Level 3 Pathways with his thought-provoking speech "A bad season". In this speech Paul explained that he thought he was going to have a great Christmas seasun when it all fell apart. He implored us to treasure the good seasons because they will come to an end or change at some point. Evaluator Ron said it was a complex speech, formal in style, but complimented by lots of anecdotes.

Johanna's Research and Presenting theme was entitled "From Chaos", an ancient Greek fireside story, accompanied by a fire projected onto the TV screen and a darkened room. Evaluator Kathy said Johanna has clearly researched the story, used great gestures and body language, and to have a video of a crackling fire on screen held us spellbound and straining for more.

Johanna's fireside.

Johanna's fire on screen - it was a dark and stormy night!

Finally Jacqui gave us an educational "Using Body Language" where she used powerpoint and her own innovative comments and demonstrations to tell us how to use body language in our speeches. This speech was a requirement for her Advanced Communicator Silver. Evaluator Albertus said that Jacqui had excelled at "walking the walk and talking the talk" and he thought she was highly effective in showing us what she meant.

Jacqui demonstrating body language.

Jacqui demonstrating body language.

In table topics, Gary led us through the process of having to sell something, from a one way ticket to Wuhan, to a hamburger, a house, a pair of shoes, a photo album and a cellphone. Evaluator Dale thought they were simple but effective topics that were humorous and interesting, giving the speakers plenty of opportunity to use animated open gestures. Best Table Topics speaker was Angela.

Thank you!

Spinnakerites were treated to four speeches, including a social speech and an icebreaker, and an educational on impromptu speaking at their meeting on Tuesday 18 February.

The meeting was chaired by Kathy whose theme was "thank you", an apt theme considering it was Academy Award week.

Speech 1 by Dave was a story about James McKenzie and his sheepdog Friday and the rewards offered for capturing him. Evaluator Jacqui wants Dave to keep telling stories like this.

Speech 2 was an icebreaker by Ian. He told us he had to stand up and sell a new project to a conference gathering, right after Sir Colin Meads had spoken - a pretty tall order. This has led to him being here tonight!

Speech 3 by Megan called "The Emerald Island" informed us of the refugee problem currently plaguing the Greek island of Lesbos near Turkey and the 20,000 people in the Moria refugee camp - a very sobering issue for us here in New Zealand.

Speech 4 was a social speech by Dale presenting an award to a past student who had won a scholarship called "River's Going Places".

Speech 5 was an educational by Dave on Impromptu Speaking, outlining the key points to creating a great table topic or impromptu speech in any situation (see photo below).

Dave giving an educational.

Above: Dave giving his educational, using powerpoint on the TV.

Gary as Grammarian gave us "social" as the word of the day.

General Evaluator Johanna praised a very relaxed meeting, excellent theme and she gave all evaluators useful tips from her newbie point of view.

Timekeeper Peter said we got gold stars all round except for Megan and Ian who were a little over time.

Spinnaker contest success

Congratulations and well done to Gary, Albertus and Darrell who represented our club admirably at the Area J1 speech contests on 15 February.

Albertus and Gary now progress to the Division contest to be held on Saturday 21 March 2020 at Upper Hutt!

Darrell 2nd place International contest.

Darrell (centre) with International Contest winners, from left: 3rd Nick Barnett, 1st Sue Hurst with contest chair Ryan.

Albertus and Gary.

Albertus (left), Winner Humorous, and Gary (right), Winner Table Topics.

What did you do during the holidays?

Two practice contest speeches and an educational featured in the first Spinnaker meeting of 2020 chaired by Dave on 4 February.

We also welcomed a past Toastmaster Steve who was checking out Spinnaker with a view to join - Welcome Steve! We know you'll love our club.

Everyone agreed it was great to be back, and admitted how rusty we all were after a two month break. But it won't take long to get back into the swing of things. Three members are aiming to complete Advanced Toastmaster awards before they cease in June 2020 so there'll be a few educationals for us to enjoy in the next few weeks.

Table Topics Master Megan picked up on the theme of the meeting and asked all the speakers about their holiday activities: Dave learnt how to scuba-dive, Dale visited Hamilton with her husband and miniature loco for a convention, Kathy dreamt of pavlova and whipped cream, Angela was surprised by a Santa sack for her and her husband from her kids, Ian found out nobody wants to talk about work, and Steve spent his summer holidays figuring out how to plant his garden on the side of a windy hill in his new home in Whitby.

Jacqui's word of the day was "sumptuous" or "sumptuary" - that proved a challenge!

Best speaker was Ron, Best evaluator was Johanna and Best Table Topics was Dale.

If you like the idea of joining Toastmasters, why not give it a go, come on down to Spinnaker and check out what we do. You'll be surprised and have a great time.


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