Hybrid Meeting (Face 2 Face/ online) from New location

As from the 7th September Werribee club will be holding hybrid meetings from the excellent modern facility. 

Koomail Tardy Community Centre 

117 Alcock Road, 

Truganina 3029.

Meeting 853 - Music

Another online meeting (No. 853) is done and dusted. We had two ill members and two others having problems with their internet connection. Nevertheless, for those of us present last night, this was another rewarding meeting.

Congratulations to those members who had some “first-times” and who did such a fabulous job:
Rupa: First-time Meeting TM
Kumar: First-time Speech Evaluator
Pete: First-time Round Robin and first-time Timer.

Best Table Topic: Clare Miller
Best Evaluator: Stephen Cate
Best Speaker: not awarded

Meeting 852

Last night we held meeting 852, the fourth on these surreal times of Covid-19. One of the (many) things we learn in Toastmasters is to be flexible and resilient. A handy skill to have for our new way of holding meetings and the challenges technology throw at us — microphones not working, losing internet connection and suchlike.

Yesterday, we had 13 members connected, enough for a Quorum. This was handy because, as required in the first meeting of May, we elected a new committee to guide our club in 2020–2021.

The members responsible to guide us next Toastmaster year are:
President: Clare M
VP Education: Rajesh M
VP Membership: Sahi S
VP Public Relations: Stephen C
Treasurer: Patti K
Secretary: Daniel I
Sgt-at-Arms: Yaseen M

Congratulations to all those elected.
Word of the Day for the meeting was: Spontaneous. Hamed introduced it to us, with the exact definition and some examples of its use. Following on Hamed’s introduction of the WOD, he presented us with four wonderful Table Topics. The speakers all responded to the challenge, not only giving a definitive answer to the questions but also presenting an interesting point of view.

The topics were evaluated by Daniel I.

It was during the toilet break that we had the biggest challenge of the evening. Our Meeting Toastmaster Sahi S, who up until that moment had been doing a Stirling job, lost the connection to the meeting. She was able to connect later with her phone but only with voice and without visual.

As VPE and one of the most experienced members in the club, I usually give myself minor roles so, if needed, I can step in on any vacant role. Thus, I stepped in to get the meeting moving. Sahi will soon have a chance to do the role again.

The speakers for the night were Kumar B, Rajesh M, and Jacquelene B. The speech topics and the style and personality of the speakers were varied and different.

We often say in our meetings that Toastmasters is a lab where you can test different things and how they work for you. Such was the case with Kumar’s speech last night. He is doing project 2 of Level 1 and was reprising his first speech of the project. His evaluator had recommended him to use more pauses to give the audience time to absorb what he’s telling us. So, Kumar did. This time the recommendation was that the pauses were too long and that he had lost a bit of the energy present on his first delivery. Which also goes to show that no behaviour is the best at all times and all situations. It is incumbent on us, speakers, to find out what works for us, in what context and in what measure. The more we speak, the better we learn this.

The second speaker was Rajesh M. With this speech Rajesh finished Level 2 of his Path. He spoke about mentoring and how they can influence our lives for the better.

The third speaker was Jacquelene B. Jacquelene is working on the Competent Communicator award, part of our Legacy Program. Because of a combination of work commitments and health issues she had been delayed in finishing the award. Now, she is on a hurry to finish it before TMI’s deadline of 30 June 2020. She gave speech 8 of this program, “Using visual aids”. She gave a wonderful speech about her love of books, using books as visual aids.

The Watchdog reports were presented by Golsa (Harkmaster), Hamed (Word of the Day and Grammarian), Pete M (Grunt counter) and Yaseen (Timer). The reporters did their job with the usual efficiency and at times some humour. These roles may be “minor” in the sense they don’t take much time but they are vital information and an occasion to speak to inform.
Stephen Cate carried out the General Evaluation in his usual friendly and positive way, with a big smile on his face. Thanks, Stephen for your kind comments and positive recommendations.

The awards, as voted by those present, were:
Best Table Topic: Rupa
Best Speaker: Kumar
Best Evaluator: Patti

Meeting 853 will be held on 20 May and you can find the Agenda attached. Please, do look for what roles you have assigned, so there are no surprises on the day. Also, look at the forward program which shows tentative roles for the following three meetings.

On this meeting, we will be reintroducing the Round Robin, which we had left aside while we settled on our online meetings. Pete M will be the Round Robin Master. On the following meeting (854) we’ll reintroduce the Thought of the Day.

Meeting 851

Last night we held our third online meeting. I am one of those who think that “in-person” meetings are far superior to online meetings and, nonetheless, I must admit I am glad we have continued our activity online. In these times of social isolation and fear of the invisible enemy (Covid-19), having seen and heard 16 fellow toastmasters and guests has been like a caress to my soul. Thank you all for being there.
We had present 12 members, two guests Venkat and Ganesh, two visitors from other clubs Moenika (Aeerospeakers) and Craig (City of Greater Geelong), for a total of 16 people online.

Clare M was the Meeting Toastmaster and she discovered two advantages to online meetings. First, she could not have attended an “in-person” meeting as her partner was not home and she had to mind the children. Second, when her toddler refused to sleep she managed to quickly look after her needs and return pronto to the meeting. An unsuspected silver lining to online meetings!

Most important of all, Clare directed the meeting with her usual affability and efficiency.

Golsa A presented us with four Table Topics. Not only were the topics interesting and challenging, but they also left enough room for the speakers to shine while answering them.

The Topics were ably evaluated by Sahi, who did the job for the first time and went on to win the award for Best Evaluator. Congratulations, Sahi.

After the toilet/stretching break, we resumed with three riveting speeches. Yaseen was first with “Pandemics — Destroyer of Humankind”. A meticulously researched and prepared speech about the history of pandemics and their effect on humanity. Kumar was second with “Can an illiterate person be a mentor?” This was really close and personal; a very touching personal story of the influence his illiterate mother had on Kumar’s life. Third and the last speaker was Nirupama (aka Rupa to friends and fellow TM). My memory fails me and I can’t remember the title of Rupa’s speech. To make matters worse my nbn modem failed during her speech and I was without an internet connection for 2-3 minutes, so I can’t tell you much more about her speech. But, what I can indeed tell you is that with this speech Rupa has now completed Level 1 of her Path. A round of applause, please, for Rupa on her achievement!

The speeches were evaluated by Daniel (that’s me!), Stephen, and Elena. They offered the speakers encouragement for all the things they did well and appropriate suggestions for improvements and challenges.

The watchdog reports were done by Patti (Harkmaster, Word of the Day, and Grammarian) Hamed (grunt counter), and Elena (timer). Well done to you all!

Rajesh conducted the General Evaluation, with feedback to all those who haven’t had some. It is important we all reflect on what we are doing and how we are doing it and make a balance sheet of what are our strong points, what and how we can do better. Rajesh did just that; he gave us his opinion on the meeting and what we can learn from it.

After the General Evaluation and because we had some time, we did a Round Robin with the subject “what is the last book you have read”. We wanted to experiment how to do it online as we’ll soon reintroduce this segment.

Before closing the meeting, Venkat, Ganesh, Moenika and Greg (our guests and visitors) talked briefly about their thoughts on the meeting.
Awards for the meeting, as voted by those present:
Best Table Topic: Stephen
Best Speech: Kumar
Best Evaluation: Sahi

Next meeting is next week, as yesterday was the fifth Wednesday of the month, and it will be a special meeting as we’ll have a Business Session in which we’ll elect club officers for the new TM year 2020-2021 commencing on 1 July. Why do we elect club officers in May when they will only assume office in July? Because if we elect them in May they can be trained in June and take office fully trained in July.

Any member in good standing (i.e., financial) can stand for election. The vacant positions are:
President: Leads the club and represents it at District events.
VP Education: in charge of the educational program and of providing members opportunities for their development; also represents the club at District events
VP Membership: Looks after membership issues, mainly providing info to guests on how to join the club and cost involved
VP Public Relations: Looks after the club website and Facebook page
Treasurer: Takes care of club finances, collects membership fees from members, pays memberships to TMI
Secretary: Takes minutes of meetings, assist VPE as Base Camp Manager
Sgt-at-Arms: In our “in-person” meetings sets up the room, greets members and guests, counts the votes to elect Best TT, Best Evaluator, and Best Speaker.

Meeting 850

Hello, Fellow Werribeans,

Last night we held meeting 850; a nice round number product of 31 years when our club has been helping women and men from the southwestern side of town to develop into a better version of themselves.

This meeting was also our second online, adjusting ourselves to these new strange days of COVID-19 and all its consequences. In my opinion, online meetings are not nearly as interesting nor do have the personal impact of in-person meetings. Nevertheless, they are still interesting and have value for those of us participating. They show our collective resilience and our will to remain connected.

The meeting was attended by 13 members, a guest, Val, a friend of Elena M, and a visitor, Greg B, Area Director N31.Meeting Toastmaster was Rajesh M, who with his usual affability guided us through the evening. Kumar B, one of our newest members and recently appointed to the vacant VP Membership seat, conducted the Table Topics. His questions were challenging but fun. By the way, how I wish I had received the first question: What would you do if you were a butterfly!

Area Director Greg B, then ably evaluated the topics. He was encouraging, supporting and offered positive points of improvement. After a short toilet/stretching break, we resumed proceedings with two excellent speeches. Elena M. spoke from and advances manuals of the Legacy program about the challenges and benefits of delegating. Clare M spoke about leadership styles, which ones she preferred, and how important is to respect the other person when you communicate.

The speech evaluators were Cynthia D and Daniel I. Both offered valuable insights, warm support, and suggestions for improvement.

Yaseen M challenged our listening skills with an interesting set of questions. Sahi S reported on our use of those ungrammatical sounds we often utter when we speak. Hamed K, our timekeeper for the day, reported on the time used by our Table Topics, prepared speeches and evaluators.

Finally, Patti K did the General Evaluation giving feedback on general items and then she followed on her role as President to close the meeting.

Meeting awards, as voted by those present, were:
Best Table Topic — Golsa A
Best Evaluator — Greg B

Our next meeting (852) is on the fifth Wednesday of the month. This means that a week later we’ll hold meeting 853. Meeting 853 on 6 May will see our members electing the club executive for 2020–2021. Elections are held in May so the new club officers can be trained in June or early July and be ready to take the reins on 1 July.

All members in good standing can nominate or be nominated for the seven executive positions, in order of seniority: President, VP Education, VP Membership, VP Public Relations, Treasurer, Secretary, Sgt-at-Arms. If you wish to nominate yourself or someone else for any position (including the ones with nominations), please send the nomination to Club Secretary, Clare M.

Daniel, VPE

Werribee Toastmaster club is now online

Werribee Toastmaster club continue to meet online until social distancing measures change and allow in-person meetings to recommence. We had an excellent first online meeting.
It was Golsa’s and Hamed’s first speeches and I look forward to handing them their ribbons when we can finally meet in person again. Yaseen won best Table Topic, Sahi best Speaker and Clare best Evaluator. Special mention to Rupa who did an excellent job with her first evaluation.
I would love more members next meeting and some have indicated they may join. Even if you are not listed on the program then we need Table Topic speakers, last minute changes and as General Evaluator/President I will call on any member/guest who has not yet spoken to ensure that we have full participation.
Patti, President

Meetings 848 and 849

Hello Werribeeans,
Coronavirus has changed our lives in ways we never suspected. This was reflected in our meeting last night when only nine members and two guests were present.

We had a long business session with a robust discussion which Paul will report on separately.

Sahi conducted her first session of Table Topics in an efficient, calm manner. Well done Sahi! The topics were ably evaluated by Paul and Nirupama (Rupa).
There were only two speakers. Kumar gave a powerful “icebreaker” speech about the power of self-belief. Rupa gave a speech about Covid-19 with a lot of important, well-researched facts. These speeches were evaluated by Daniel and Peter respectively.
The “watchdog” reports were presented by Sahi (Harkmaster), Daniel (Grammarian and Word of the Day), Paul (Gruntmaster) and Krishna (Timekeeper) while Jacquelene ably conducted the general evaluation.

Best Table Topic Award went to Krishna, Best Evaluator Award was shared by Rupa and Peter.

On this night we also farewelled Krishna and Ramon from the club. Both have informed us that because of a change in personal circumstances they can no longer attend our meetings.
Krishna and Ramon, we wish you all the best in your future endeavours and give you both a big THANK YOU for your tremendous contributions to the club.

Daniel, VPE

Meeting 846

Hello Fellow Werribeeans,
We had another packed and eventful meeting last night.Peter chaired a short but dynamic Business Session and promptly handed over to Krishna as Toastmaster.

This was the first time Krishna fulfilling this role and he did it magnificently. He introduced and explained all segments, had positive and friendly transitions a constant smile on his face.

Ramon conducted the Round Robin around the theme of the meeting —compassion– and many interesting thoughts we heard on this matter.

Awais was the Table Topics Master, doing the role also for the first time. He had four interesting questions that gave ample room to the respondents to present their thoughts. Stephen took the honour of being voted as Best Table Topic Speaker for the night.

Brand new member, Sahi gave her Icebreaker speech titled “Giving up is not an option”. She had us all mesmerised for almost five minutes and by the end of the meeting, she was voted as Best Speaker for the evening. Congratulations Sahi, what a way to start your Toastmasters journey!

Rajesh was the second speaker and he presented us with some interesting and useful facts about the different leadership styles.

Fresh from coming Second at the Northern Division International Speech Contest, Stephen closed the rota of speakers with another fantastic speech where he experimented with vocal variety.

Evaluators were Patti, Daniel, and Ramon. The members and guests voted Ramon as Best Evaluator of the meeting.

We must be doing something right as another three new members were inducted. Welcome to the Werribee Toastmasters Club Golsa, Hamed, and Kumar ! May your membership of our club a great journey of development and contributions. In addition, we had four guests.

Daniel VPE

Meeting 845

Fellow Werribeans,

We had another dynamic meeting last night.
As usual, we had a few “first time” at the meeting. It was the first time we approved minutes posted on line, rather than printing them for the meeting. Thanks to our Secretary Clare for this initiative. Members will need to check the accuracy of the minutes on the club Google Drive once Clare sends us a notice.

The Business Session was well handled by club Pres, Patti and we promptly moved to the Educational Session and a second “first time” with our Club Treasurer, Cynthia taking up the role of Meeting Toastmaster.

Congratulations Cynthia on a job well done. Having the Agenda on the whiteboard didn’t help her because she had to keep looking over her shoulder. Yet, she kept cool, calm and collected and connected the segments with a smile on her face, explaining the segments.

Yassen was responsible for not one but two “first times”: First time in charge of the Round Robin and First time as Table Topics Evaluator.

After the break, our newest member (so far), Sahi was not only welcomed to our club, she was also in charge of Ah-counting for the “first time”.

Congratulations to all our “first timers”! Toastmasters is a “learning by doing” program and just like you cannot learn to play the guitar without “playing the guitar” you cannot learn the skills of public speaking and communications without speaking in public and communicating.

We had three marvellous speakers on the night. First off the rank was Patti with her Pathways Icebreaker speech. Although she is an experienced speaker, she was also speaking for the “first time” in her Path. This was an emotional speech where she told as about growing up as an adoptee and finally, only a few short years ago, finding and reconnecting with her birth mother and her blood sister and brother.

Nirupama (Rupa to her friends) spoke about the Fury of Fire, something close to all Australians right now.

Clare closed the roster of speakers with her “first speech” on level 2 of her path. She explained how all leadership styles are needed depending on the time and stage of a project and she gave us the example of the 2021 Census.

We had 8 or 9 guests and at least 3 have expressed their desire to join us within my hearing distance. I can say with confidence that exciting times are ahead for the club.

The voting by members and guests produced these results:

Best Table Topic: Stephen
Best Evaluator: Paul
Best Speaker: Patti

Congratulations to Stephen, Paul, and Patti!

Daniel, VPE

Meeting 844

Fellow Werribeeans,

Last night’s meeting 844 was unusual as we were almost outnumbered. Almost but not quite! Eleven members were present and also 10 guests and a former member visited us. This gave the meeting an unusual flavour.

Nevertheless, we keep going forward.
Last week we farewelled a member who is moving out of the area, Gavin, but today we welcome our newest addition to Werribee Toastmasters gang (I was going to say brotherhood, but why not sisterhood? thus I settled on gang), Sahi.

Sahi will be formally inducted to our club at our next meeting when she will also do the grunt counting. At the break or whenever you can, please say g’day and welcome her to the club.
The award for Best Evaluator went to Patti(again!) and Paul as best Speaker.

Daniel, VPE