Area Contest

Toastmasters International  Speech Competition – Area Level

On Saturday, Feb 23, toastmasters from all four clubs on the Sunshine Coast gathered for the Area contest. Winners from the contests at the club level participated in the Area Contest Level.

Two contests were held, the International Speech Contest, and the Evaluation Contest. The contest was ably chaired by Sandy Wrightman, president of Morningstars.

All speeches were timed by our two expert timers, Kate and Sue.

Here are our speech contest winners. First place Shawna (centre) will proceed to the Division Level Contest.

First place winner Shawna being congratulated by our Area Director, Debra Taylor.

Here are the evaluation contest winners. First place Andrew (centre) is eligible to advance to the Division contest. Eleanor Kroeger, District 96 Director, (right) was present and delivered the test speech for the contest.

Congratulations to the winners, and thanks to all the helpers who made the contest possible.


Racing Time… or Not!

Written by Johanna R, VP of PR

Good Evening Fellow Toastmasters and new participants! ( A change from our usual Good Morning Greeting!)

It’s the evening as I sit down to write my thoughts about this morning’s meeting. My day went by quickly with a few unexpected incidents. Luckily, I wasn’t in a hurry, contrary to our theme for today’s meeting, Racing Time.

I learned that lesson first thing at the meeting. As Chair, Katherine shared the idea of grounding ourselves with a deep breath whenever we feel we’re racing time. Remembering to take that moment before our presentations is an effective habit to cultivate.

PJ gave a clear and thought-provoking presentation on Mentoring and what the mentorship/mentee relationship is all about. The relationship helps both parties learn and develop individually, together, and with the Club.

A case in point, my mentee gave me feedback on my Table Topics evaluations while we were driving back to her place on the way to my work in Sechelt today. Her comment? Not perfect…but good recovery. I get that!

Evaluation delivered the Toastmaster‘s way promotes constructive and kind evolution. I am grateful for learning how to give and receive feedback, and communicate ideas with freedom and ease.

Xinju’s second speech from the Competent Communicator was well structured and engaging this morning. The possibility of some of us teaching in China was alive and well, especially as we can just call her for more practical information.

Our Morningstars TM Club is a respectful and entertaining mix of established and new members. The various roles that we sign up for each week do indeed develop our communication and leadership skills. And it’s all done in an atmosphere of energy and laughter – laughter that was very evident this morning when Andrea as Jokemaster smoothly delivered the punchline of her joke.

Congratulations to Sheila who received her Competent Communicator and Competent Leader pins this morning, and to Cathie, who is our incoming Area Director.

Next week’s theme is Fear, the Real Monster.

Lessons from Nature

Written by Johanna, VP of PR

Today is the morning after the most recent Morningstars Toastmaster’s meeting.

Many thanks to Judy Lynne for chairing the meeting so early in her Toastmaster’s journey. She received her Icebreaker pin today, and is well on her way for her next speeches.

Her Icebreaker speech a few weeks ago continues to resonate for many of us in the club. Her message about encouraging local youth to participate in Outward Bound opportunities is a result of her sharing her life’s work with others after the death of her son. Judy Lynne personifies authenticity as she crafts her speeches for clarity and purpose.

PJ’s evaluation of my fourth project in the Advanced Storytelling manual was encouraging, especially because I experienced difficulty staying in the emotions of empathy and concern which I had planned and prepared to deliver as a key part of the project.

Reflecting on how this unfolded at the meeting, I learned that telling the story in the third person rather than first has the potential effect of losing touch with my own inner direction or grounding (as Katherine referred to in her speech that followed mine).

Katherine shared the highlights of the workshop that she will be c0-presenting at the Chamber of Commerce event next week. Using a visual display and body gestures effectively, she captured our interest in signing up for the workshop. Katherine’s Toastmaster’s knowledge and voice coaching background shone through her presentation to us, and was a model of  “practice what you teach”.

Both speeches from Advanced Manuals prove that as we follow the guidance from the speech manuals and apply it to real life situations, much personal development is achieved over time.

As I look forward to the rest of the week, and our International Speech Contest at our next meeting, I once again recognize how supportive our club is and how, with each project or role we take on at each meeting, we grow in our speaking confidence and our ability to understand each others’ progress.

As Loretta declared in her toast to nature (our theme for the day was “Lessons from Nature”), we are all connected and we each have unique messages to contribute to a thriving Coastal Morningstars Club.