Club Meeting on August 14th

It is always a bright moment when the room fills up, camaraderie begins, and something new is in the air. As the theme was “Charlie Chaplin”, (very old) and someone was dressed as the much loved comic, it became the question: will his famous antics permeate the meeting in 2018?

Table Topics

And so, in the one minute impromptu section, the Table Topics Master stood up with her cane, bowler and in white face, to introduce the questions. All were centred around inventions being used at the time of Charlie’s booming film career. Some were obscure, never heard of, and strangely phrased! But at least it got people into the mindset of the 1920’s. A black and white photo of Charlie in repose presided over the meeting, his sleeping form surrounded by a bevy of beautiful girls, decked out in evening flapper dress.


Then the Toastmaster of Speeches, Hannah Le, introduced the speakers.

First up to speak was Faye Tang. She always manages to keep peoples’ attention because of her stance, words and message. Her subject was education, and how fortunate she feels to have come to Australia where the whole thrust in instruction is for children to enjoy learning, rather than the pressure-cooker methods used back where she grew up, in China. Deep was her feeling for this topic, and this came across strongly.

Photo during Faye Tang’s speeech

The second speaker was Mel Colgar, who had everyone straightening up in their seats as she spoke about posture. Being a passionate physiotherapist, this message is a pressing one, as we sit for much longer than our parents and grandparents did, with resulting bad posture, lots of backaches, and risks to our health. Being well reminded, we became pinned to an imaginary board strapped to our backs (a visual image of a room full of Toastmasters in strait-jackets is a comic one, ha ha!).

Christopher Tso addressed us, with his customary dry wit, on the subject of running a business, and the pitfalls that crop up in communication. As always there was plenty of content that was interesting, even for people not in the business world, and it set the scene for how commerce is conducted in a hi-tec world.

Then Johnny Manolelis spoke, on a subject he too was passionate about. He startled us with a surprise “hook” to get our attention, a feigned negative, then switched it to talk about the need for kindness in the world. The mantra: “change the way you look at things and the things you look at change” was what we went away with, and this is an arresting message, to keep ringing in one’s head. Best to write it on the ‘fridge’ where it can be seen when taking out the milk (of human kindness, if you’ll forgive the pun).


One of the attentive visitors that night joined the others in agreeing it was an enjoyable and very educational night. And this person with the “pen” would rather be learning at Toastmasters than sitting in front of the “box” on a Tuesday night!

Discord – Online Group Chat for Toastmasters


WPH Toastmasters has a private Facebook Group where members, ex-members and visitors can share ideas, guidance, tips and strategies, ask for help, and keep updated on events available to Toastmasters members. However, we soon came across on limitations with the Facebook group. While it served us well for announcements and one-off discussions, it was not effective for collaborative and ongoing discussions.

We’ve reviewed a number of apps, such as WhatsApp and Slack, and eventually decided that Discord was the best platform to use for facilitating discussions outside of club meetings. Discord was originally designed for the gaming community, but it has rapidly become popular with other communities as well.

It’s very easy to get started on Discord. It’s only a 3-step process.

You simply click on the invite link (emailed to you separately). If you’re on Android, you’ll see the Google Play Store. If you’re on iOS, Web or Desktop, the steps should be similar.

Click on “Install”.

After the install, you should see a “Welcome to Discord” screen.

Enter your username, email address and password that you want to use, then click Register.

Congratulations for making this far! You should now have access to the WPHTM Discord Chat Server. The rooms you have access to depends on whether you’re a visitor, a member or an executive. If you’re an executive, you will have access to all rooms.

So please, jump right into the conversation. This group will only be as great as our members, ex-members and future members make it.

A Toastmaster’s Experience – 31 July 2018

The Toastmasters experience could be likened to a big smorgasbord, with many different
tastes to sample and savour.  The Big Fulfilling dinner, the one that deeply satisfies, and
raises levels of awareness and self esteem, is available to everyone, no exceptions!

In a talk given by Mark Paton, he looked back at himself – April 2014 – when signing up
as a brand-new member, and marvels at the changes in himself.  He had a less than wonderful workplace experience when giving a presentation, one day, and came away from it desperate to improve himself.

Fast forward to 2018, and a different Mark.  He delivers speeches with confidence and
professionalism these days, as well as leadership roles, in a manner that others would
admire and wish to emulate.  This is a “before and after” transformation that reminds
us we can all walk those steps of the thousand mile journey, as taught so long ago by the
Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu.  One step at a time, mindfully, with intention.

Mark challenged us all to act NOW, and not sit back, wishing and wondering the HOW?
This is sound advice.  Don’t let fear steal your personal power.  The second of his three
points for success is: choosing friends wisely will determine what you become.  Be careful
who you let into your close circle.

And thirdly, “the art of communication is the language of leadership”; this tool opens many,
many doors, beyond your wildest imaginings (unquote).  To paraphrase Mark: “put in the
effort, learn from others (people, after all, are like books) while changing yourself from
within.  Our human potential, simply put, is deep like a bottomless lake!