Club Meeting on 16-Jun-2020

Tonight we had our seventh virtual meeting via Zoom with the theme being “International Day of YogaJune 21. The word Yoga means to join or to unite in Sanskrit. This is a good way to spread awareness of how yoga and other exercises can improve our health, especially during COVID-19. We had an attendance of 12 people including two visitors – Rachael Jordan and Lee Buckley. 


Johnny made a thought-provoking toast to the notion of ‘forgiveness’. He enlightened us to forgive when someone close hurt us or things aren’t going well by sharing his own life experience.

Word of the night

Rachael picked the word “proficient” to reflect on her decision to join Toastmasters to become a proficient speaker. 


Johnny announced that he would reward anyone $1000 who can squeeze juice out of already squeezed lemon. He role played different people who tried unsucessfully to get any juice out. Then finally, someone was able to squeeze 6 drops. When Johnny asked what that person does for work, she answered “the tax office”. His expression made us laugh throughout his act, and the ending made us laugh even harder.

Evaluation workshop

The guest speaker, Lee Buckley, was the director in Division 70 and still members in several clubs. She gave a much-needed educational segment on ‘how to evaluate’, with online presentation advice. For example, gestures should fit in camera frame, and do not move too fast otherwise it becomes blurry.

Prepared Speeches

In the second half of the meeting, we had three speakers, Shirley, Mark and Jonathan. Their speeches are all related to communication.

Shirley’s “Smashed Avocado on Toast” reminded us that holding back one’s tongue can be more powerful than words. She introduced three different realities: the first one is the facts itself, the second is the perception on the same fact and the third is different expert views on reality. Understanding that your perception of reality is different from others will help to hold your tongue before making any judgement. 

Mark’s “The Secret Communication” covers advantages and disadvantages of two communication styles. The first is direct communicator style. The direct communicator style usually occurs in a deadline-driven work environment, but it can be demanding on others rather than supportive. The second is initiating style. The initiating style is relationship-based and more welcomed, but it can lack of analysis which can cause deadlines to be delayed. To achieve the most effective outcome, he enlightened us to listen more than talk. 

Jonathan talked about “My Communication Style” noting how his communication style has evolved over the years. Initially he was good at communicating with people like himself. Gradually he expanded to be able to speak to anyone. To achieve this, he said that we should view communication as connection with others with full of empathy and curiosity.  


Thank you to all evaluators who provided valuable constructive feedback and also Lee Buckley’s educational speech. Also, we have Chris who created an online timer for club meetings. To conclude, it was an enjoyable meeting with full of proficient tips to become a better communicator. 

Club Meeting on 2-Jun-2020

Tonight we had our sixth virtual meeting via Zoom with the theme being “The winter solstice” which celebrates the longest hours of darkness. Yes, this is winter! We had an attendance of 14  people including one external visitor – Dylan who was from the Western Lecturn Toastmasters club.


Vicky made a toast to getting back to normal during the colder months. She reminded us not to get too complacent too quickly.

Word of the night

André reflected on the word “time”, something we all want more and how 6,000 years ago the moon was used to reckon time. The Egyptians replaced this lunar calendar with the accurate solar calendar. Having precise time reminds us that “time waits for no one”.


Johnny made us all laugh about another time-related matter, comparing marriage to getting time in jail.

Table Topics

Johnny stepped in as the unplanned Table Topics master with questions around keeping track of time, such as:

  • Which activities make you lose track of time?
  • Which is worst, failing, or never trying?
  • What is the most defining moment of your life so far?
  • What would you do different if no one will judge you?

In response Shirley emphasised the importance of trying and placing lesser focus on failing. Clare’s defining moment was when born and taking the first steps with new projects. Chris shared his new starts, such as getting married and starting a business and career. Mel answered a similar question, and shared her new ways of doing things.

Prepared Speeches

In the second half of the meeting, we had three speakers, Mel, Aanchal and Mark. 

Mel’s “How to place an ad to get ready for City to Surf” was an actual example of an adertisement she would place in the local newspaper to get clients to consult with her physiotherapy clinic. The ad outlined the content such as a pre-assessment and a preparation program to set one up for a successful run/walk. Per Jonathan’s evaluation, Mel was well focussed, met speech purposes, had the right tone, good humour, and, engaged the audients. Areas of learning were eye contact, fewer filler words to replace with pausing.

Aanchal’s “Three changes to education” covered real-life experiences and the lack of essential life skills, much needed for the kids of the future. Per Chris’s evaluation, the speech was practical, well delivered, us to hearing every word, ending with a strong conclusion. Further improvements could be to place a greater emphasis on the key points, causing more outrage on the statements, repeating things, adding more humour and more questions.

Mark talked about “My Leadership Styles” noting the different styles depending on the team, projects involved. A great opening with Canadian philosopher Matshona’s quote: “The real power of a leader is in the number of minds he can reach, hearts he can touch, souls he can move, and lives he can change.” Mel’s evaluation noted the great start, having a right tone, good examples, and conclusion. Adding more fun to the speech was one of the recommendations.


Shirley’s summary complimented Vicky’s Timer’s Report which covered only the time exceptions and Clare’s excellent review following each speaker. Shirley flagged that it is best for evaluators to have a conclusion that summarises the key points, rather than to abruptly end on a specific point such as the speaker was looking away and reading notes. This is where one loses points in a contest.

Like speakers, evaluators were reminded to have an intro and a conclusion to round off evaluations.

Our visitor’s (Dylan) observation was re-affirming our club’s strong point – that everyone cares for each other.