Meeting No.770 'Caterpillars'

A very pleasing and notable aspect of last Wednesday’s meeting was that we welcomed SEVEN visitors.
Bruce did his best to be not seen by hiding in a corner of the room, however his plan was wrecked by his wearing a colourful Hawaiian shirt ……. effectively this ensured he was noticed, probably more than any other attendee!!!!
A quorum was not established and therefore no meeting minutes recorded.

Chih reminded everyone that membership fees are due, payment can be made by cash on the night, or preferably by electronic transfer. WTM bank details are:
BSB 633- 000.  Account number 127108116

Our theme of the night was CATERPILLARS and we were treated to some delightful Table Topic insights into these creepy crawlies and how their various stages of metamorphosis into butterflies can impress people.

Daniel I got us all thinking with his Word of the Day QUIXOTIC, meaning impractical, excessively romantic, impulsive, dreamy.

We were treated to three Prepared Speeches from Daniel B (referred to through the night as Daniel Junior, Daniel the Second and a number of adaptations around that theme), Ramaya and May W.

Daniel gave us Neural Linguistic Programming (NLP) tips and ideas on how to remember people’s names. As a firm believer in the value of NLP to personal advancement, I for one am looking forward to hearing more from Daniel the Second on this subject in his future speeches.

Ramaya gave a wonderfully confident Icebreaker, indicating that despite an outward appearance of shyness, she does in fact have nerves of steel. Her performance won her a well-deserved Best Speaker Award, especially against very tough opposition.

May, one of WTM’s longest serving members, spoke on the personal benefits she has gained from her Toastmasters journey.

Each of our speakers were evaluated by Evaluators Extraordinaire, Daniel Number One (Daniel I), Wendy Powell and Shridhar. Each gave masterful evaluations, reflecting each of their years of experience in Toastmasters.

In conclusion, another well attended eventful and enjoyable meeting.

May W made the point in her speech, that as well as gaining in confidence and speaking ability, she has gained enormously from helping others emerge from caterpillars to beautiful butterflies in their speaking ability and personal growth.

New, older and intending members alike, please remember that Toastmasters is a journey, not a destination and no matter how much we believe we know, attendance to T.M meetings is like life itself, full of learning experiences and the rewarding opportunity to give to others.

Good luck and good speaking

Paul von Harder 

Meeting No.773 'Compost'

The meeting was called to order by acting Sergeant at Arms Chih and commenced at 7.30pm.

Notified Apologies were Elena and Julie.

Current Secretary Paul was elected interim Sergeant at Arms (until full Board elections later this year). New Member Ramya was elected as Deputy Sergeant at Arms to cover Paul’s forthcoming holiday absence.

The meeting welcomed visitors Andi, Harini, Peter E and Nimesh. It was good to see the attendance also of Stephen.

Yours Truly (me that is) stumbled through the evening as Toastmaster ….. a role I feel I definitely need more practice at!!

Theme of the night was COMPOST, a theme that had everyone thinking deeply about. However it evoked some really well thought-out comment during the Round Robin session.

Word of the Day was RECYCLE. The idea behind W.O.D is for any person being asked to speak, in whatever capacity, to use the featured word.  Again I was winner of the W.O.D by using it 10 times. Come-on people give me some competition at the next meeting !!  LOL
I do recognise however that as Toastmaster I had a massive and unfair advantage over anyone else.

Table Topics Master was Jacqueline B, one of our newer Members. Jacqueline posed for questions which were not too difficult to speak on, but each required some mental agility from the respondees …. this challenge was well met by all four T.T. Speakers

Four Prepared Speech Speakers for the night, Ramya, Chih, Daniel The Second a.k.a. Daniel and Peter making his Icebreaker.
Chih delivered his speech (his tenth, taking him to the level of Competent Communicator) with a tale of personal challenges and achievements.
Daniel the Second treated us to aspects of N.L.P (Neural Linguistic Programming) and made the point that in personal communication words account for only 7% of our performance with Tonality and Language  accounting for the remaining 93%Peter Knight spoke with his usual confidence and his wearing Hawthorn scarf left us in no doubt about his AFL allegiance.
Ramya’s steely nerves and confident delivery won her Speaker of the Night award. Well done Ramya.

All four Speakers were evaluated by WTM’s longest serving Members, Daniel I, Wendy P, May W and Bruce B. Each delivered pearls of speaking wisdom, as we’ve become accustomed to.
Bruce almost never made it to the lectern because I totally overlooked him (and that’s not easy to do).  Sorry Bruce, my grey hair sometimes provides moments of forgetfulness.

During the Evaluations I mentally calculated our Evaluators combined years of  Toastmaster service and arrived at a conservative total of 101 years. WOW.!

Wendy was voted Best Evaluator, but I’d guess it would’ve been a close finish.
Wendy also shared her win with her birthday, thankfully no-one broke into singing Happy Birthday, but she did receive a warm round of applause.

Another long standing Member of Werribee Toastmasters, Shridhar, gave us a concise and masterful General Evaluation, on which the meeting concluded, but about 20 minutes over our target time of 9.30 pm.

Finally, congratulations to our Guests for having the ‘intestinal fortitude’, (guts in everyday English), to overcome your nerves when called upon to say a few words. It’s important that Guests realise that ALL of us have experienced that nervous first step. But it is more important to know that you will improve and that improvement will happen WITH regular WTM meeting attendance.

Good luck and good speaking

Paul von Harder

“Werribee Toastmasters is not a destination, it is a journey to be enjoyed”

Meeting No.769 'Camping'

Another fun and well-attended meeting at which we welcomed two visitors
(Amber and Leanne) and two returning members. Shridar and Sashi

However, a quorum was not attained so no meeting minutes were recorded.

As usual, apologies necessitated a raft of changes to the published Agenda, but all those who stepped-up on short notice to fill required positions acquitted themselves admirably.

Chih assumed the role of Sergeant at Arms and kept the meeting to its key time frames.

Word of the Day was ‘persuade’, the art of convincing others.

May W. provided the Thought of the Day ………. ‘If I could think as slow as a tortoise walks, I could run as fast as a cheetah’.  I’ve paraphrased May’s words but I’m sure my memory is pretty close to the actual.

Elena was kept busy changing various hats by taking on the roles of Toastmaster, Round Robin Master as well as her role of President.
As President she inducted new members Hiren and Nilesh.

Five speeches were scheduled but absences reduced the number to three, Chih, Hiren and yours truly. Hiren spoke on Passive Income opportunities, Chih on the basics of fitness regimens and me on awareness of Local Government.

Chih’s speech was his eighth, which required the use of audio visual aids. We all felt for him in his attempts to set-up the projector …. none more than me when I recalled my same struggles on the occasion of my eighth speech (a total disaster!!!!)

This weeks speech was my tenth, taking me to Competent Communicator level, and I felt a huge and rewarding sense of achievement and I heartily recommend to all new members to set their sights on getting to Competent Communicator level, and beyond. It’s well worth the effort.

The demanding and critical roles of Evaluators were carried-out by those master Evaluators, Wendy, Julie and Daniel, who as usual made the job look easy …… we all no it is not! So well done youse blokes!! (Please excuse my jocular departure from good grammar).
 Sridhar was the Meeting Evaluator and showed that despite an absence, he has not forgotten his skills. Well done Sridhar and welcome back, it was great to see you.
Sashi took-on the role of Timekeeper and provided an excellent report on the individual time elements of the meeting.

One point or tip, or observation, that I feel is worth passing on: My speeches number eight and nine missed my objectives by a mile and were efforts I’d rather forget. But I’m sure those personal disasters spurred me on this week to a speech which I believe was my best to date. Maybe my inbuilt competitive spirit helped, but to me the most important part was that I gave myself a competitive advantage by ‘Power Dressing’.  I love dressing-up (I try to avoid skirts, high heels and tights of course!!) and when I’m in a business suit I FEEL good and my confidence improves.
I’m sure those aspects assisted me to bounce back this week. Can I suggest to our male members to experiment, by wearing a suit when the occasion demands and see if what I’m saying holds true.

Finally, just a reminder;  Werribee Toastmasters is a journey, not a destination, none of us will ‘arrive’, but each meeting missed is a lost opportunity to improve in so many ways.

Good luck and good speaking.

Paul von Harder