There was excitement in the air tonight, in particular for those who have been participating in our 4-week speechcraft workshop.  Today is the day our participants will graduate!

First though, they each had to present their final speech.  In addition, they would be introducing a fellow speechcrafter’s presentation and providing feedback about it later in the meeting.

To warm everyone up for the speeches ahead, club member Ron ran the impromptu speaking session.  As always, this session provided fun and entertainment.

We discovered that Sarah’s favourite childhood memory was getting new kittens from the SPCA;  Katina’s favourite sound is the flight attendant closing the door on the plane because “now our holiday begins”;  and Jackie likes the fact that commuting to work on an e-bike provides an opportunity to co-ordinate one’s look with the bike!

Fenli’s mystery weekend away was to her homeland of China;  Juan packed a swimsuit and money for her week in Hawaii, in addition to upping the limit on her credit card;  and Kathy decided the new flavour for Tip Top ice-cream would be chocolate pavlova with minted whipped cream!

Paul energetically questioned why anyone would like salmon sandwiches;  and Dieter’s nickname in school was “Dad” because he was the source of wisdom and knowledge to his peers!

The main event of the evening, being the workshop participants’ formal speeches, was informative and engaging.  Simon talked about cyber security and we learnt that cyber security theft is the world’s third largest economy.  Jackie talked about improving one’s life outcomes through thought.

Fenli believes everyone has at least one quality that is unique to them and that her own strength is that she is a very hard worker.  Juan shared with us the story of her family deciding whether or not to move to Australia.  We were pleased to hear that they had decided to stay in New Zealand!

Sarah learnt during Covid to slow down.  Dieter talked about the differences between his birth place of South Africa and his home of New Zealand.

To start off the evaluations part of the meeting, club member Jacqui gave her thoughts on the table topics.  She was particularly listening for how the speaker answered the topic, the structure used, and whether the table topic was brought around to a conclusion.  In her view, each table topic speaker had their own unique strengths, with everyone using a different approach to answer the topic.

We had two VIPs join us tonight – guests Mike and Dave!  They each bravely stood in front of us all and introduced themselves.  They each find themselves in new business roles and would like to brush up on their speaking skills.  They have come to exactly the right place!

Club member Darrell, a long-standing and very experienced Toastmaster, delivered an educational presentation on using body language as a tool to help get the message across.  He talked about the three simple aspects of body language – facial expressions, gestures, and “whole of body”.

Each of the speechcrafters delivered excellent feedback on another’s presentation, noting the strengths the speaker already has and providing tips to enhance their speaking further.

Finally, the moment the speechcrafters had been waiting for – graduation!  Club President Katina presented a certificate to each of them.  She noted how they have all impressed club members with their hard work and commitment to the four-week workshop.  Spinnaker Club has loved having the speechcrafters onboard and has loved showing them the potential in themselves.

Workshop participants from left to right: Simon, Juan, Jackie, Fenli, Sarah and Dieter, absent Monika.

If you would like to discover your potential to stand up and deliver great presentations, come along to Spinnaker Toastmasters!  We would love to have you on board, too!