Spinnaker Toastmasters Club, Porirua City, NZ #7868/72


This page has news about Spinnaker Toastmasters Club and the activities of our members. By Dale Hartle DTM.

Cold outside but warm fuzzies inside

Spinnaker's 5 June meeting run by Mike was full of fun and warm fuzzies. Four great speeches and evaluations, plus a group of visitors from our newly-chartered sister club in Paekakariki meant we had a very full meeting.

First up was our table topics master Rob who picked up on the Chairman's theme of "road trips", challenging speakers to talk about their best, worst and favourite road trips.

Speech 1 by Frances was an inspirational speech about her Toastmasters journey and speechmaking, and the completion of her Competent Communication Award. Speech 2 by Gary talked about Asperger's Syndrome and Speech 3 by Kathy was about three things she has learnt, while in Speech 4 Karinna talked about the wonders of Windsor Castle and the time she met the Queen.

Grammarian Darrell's word of the day was "incarceration" which wasn't used much but there were lots of other things he reported on. Memory Mistress Dale asked the audience questions about what they had heard during the speeches - what a great class!

In General Business, Megan presented Katina with her speechcraft coordinator's certificate. The Paekakariki club also accepted our old datashow projector for their club use since we have recently purchased a new one.

Projector handover.

Above: Spinnaker President Megan (right) with members of the Paekakariki Earlybirds Toastmasters Club receiving their projector, a gift from Spinnaker.

Final night a ripper!

While storms had beseiged us earlier in the week, all was calm and peaceful at Spinnaker's final workshop on Wednesday 31 May. Outstanding graduation speeches were delivered by Linda, Felix, and Allie, as well as incredible table topics, especially by Julia. Ably and eagerly supported by seven Toastmasters, our workshop participants finished the 5 week programme having really mastered the art of public speaking, coming out of their shells with entertaining and informative topics. Congratulations to Katina for organising and running a hugely successful course, and for our participants for taking on the challenge and approaching the weekly speech tasks with fervour. We hope you have enjoyed the course as much as we Toastmasters have enjoyed supporting and listening to you, and we trust you will continue your public speaking career, never forgetting the great start provided by Spinnaker Toastmasters.

From social media to urban planning and a royal wedding

Session 4 of our Intro to Public Speaking Workshop series was a real treat. Table Topics was themed around the recent royal wedding, and then we had 4 prepared speeches. Felix talked about "Shared Economy", while Allie outlined "The negative effects of Social Media". Julia gave us "5 tips to winter wellness" and Linda told us about why she loves her job as an urban planner. Finally Darrell gave us an educational on body language. We look forward to the final speeches next week.

Prepared speeches varied and interesting

Session 3 of our Introduction to Public Speaking workshops was a great success. Table Topics by Gerry had each speaker talking about a small object he produced - a button, bandaid, bic biro, luggage label, safety pin. All speakers managed to talk for at least a minute saying what their object was, what it was used for and what might happen if it got lost.

Prepared speeches were next. Tomoyo talked about Life with Pushkin the cat. Evaluator Kathy loved the way Tomoyo described some of the antics Pushkin got up to.

Felix discussed some smart emerging technology we may come across, which left evaluator Dale reaching for google to learn more. Allie gave us 3 tips not to do on your first date, which took evaluator Gary back to his younger days.

Hineawe talked about kindness, and demonstrated the meaning of kindness by talking about her friend Gabrielle and how she uses kindness in all her interactions. Evaluator Kathy thought Hineawe's structure was especially clear and easy to follow.

Finally Julie delivered her icebreaker, outlining her early family life and how she came to be in Wellington. Evaluator Gary thought Julie was very articulate and interesting and gave lots of positive comments and encouragement.

Darrell gave us an educational on How to Say It which helps speakers with ideas for their next speech.

Meeting report by Darrell

What a fabulous turnout for our May 15 club night, 18 of our 24 members well done!

Of course having the AGM in the middle of the meeting, and the rumour that absentees might get elected to the new 2018/19 committee, may have helped?

Aside from the AGM (separately reported) we had our usual entertaining night of Table Topics, speeches and insightful evaluations.


Gerry challenged us with not one but two words, 'Situational Awareness'.

Albertus shamelessly did an (absent) Gary trick and used it four times

But shameless Albertus was outshone by the Grammarian himself who best demonstrated 'Situational Awareness' when moving the screen back and forward to focus the data projector!

Table Topics

As it was club election night our TT master Mike had his three 'chosen ones' campaign for their 'cause'.

Felix - sought our support for the Fish Protection League. Felix felt a bit at sea about NZ's status so cleverly talked about protection of the seas in general and the need to prevent pollution which kills fish. It is as though Felix could see into the future knew what one of the set speeches would be about.

Interestingly Felix highlighted the success of the '100% pure' image NZ promotes in Asia.

Rob - promoted the Mana Island Society and their involvement in the betterment of the island itself. Rob enthused over the island "just across the road", the unique species "the little BIG weta" and endangered species of birds there.

If, and when, Mana Island goes commercial then Rob is their mouthpiece for sure!

Kirsty - spoke so enthusiastically about the Camborne Cat Club, the contests, "my beautiful Burmese which is both dog and cat like" that we all went "awwwwwwwww". Turns out Kirsty made it all up, Kirsty is not to be trusted!

Project Speeches

Ron (pictured below)- looked as though he is getting old because he sat down to do his speech! But it was all to a purpose as he was dressed like an old 'salt dog' (evaluator Frances' phrase) to deliver the poet John Masefield's poem 'Sea Fever', one of the Storytelling manual projects. Desire, mist, memories, faraway places it had it all, along with props of paintings, captain's hat and model ships. Prose presented perfectly!

Old salt Ron with his sailing images.

Anastasia - First Frances and now Anastasia have used club nights to practice speeches that will be delivered on the world stage, a brilliant idea! Anastasia will be giving a speech to a Fitness Clubs convention overseas on 'retaining club members and keeping them active'.

Aside from the 'Fair Go' method ("keeping charging them") Anastasia listed the many interesting and innovative ways she employs at her own club to keep her customers active and happy in her fitness 'family'.

The speech is sure to be well received especially when polished with Kathy's sage evaluation advice. Although Anastasia's speech was only her second at the club Kathy favoured her with more recommendations than a newbie might normally receive which was appreciated.

Mazina - hit us with 'Plastic Pollution' literally! She threw A4 paper on the floor to represent plastic polluting the sea. She had wanted to use real plastic but eco-warrior Gerry had made her recycle it before the meeting. However Mazina did ably tell us the origins of plastic, the seven forms, the very real issues (especially the sea!) and the innovative solutions occurring worldwide.

We all loved that Mazina is converting the world into eco-warriors one eco-warrior at a time starting with Shane her milk boy customer.

We especially loved that three scientists have almost made plastic edible so that not only will we eat our shopping but the bag it came in!

Just think one day at the McDonald's counter you will be asked "do you want plastic with that?"

Katina - yet another take-it-to-the-world Spinnaker speaker! Katina gave an absorbing analytical speech on 'Early Literacy' for children supported by a clever simple Powerpoint presentation.

Unfortunately not aided by an equally clever Powerpoint assistant, rather a sadly simple Powerpoint assistant (moi) who required prodding into action by the Katina-Anastasia connection!

Katina gave us some thought provoking numbers on how many words a child should know at age five and how many are available in the English language set, along with the importance of parental participation in giving our children the joy of reading.

Yet another speech that will be well received by the wider world.

Memory Mistress

What's her name tested us on what we heard during the evening, but I can't recall all the questions or the answers! Just kidding Karinna, I can recall and so can those that were there.

This club account is the recollections of Darrell Phillips. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental and will be rectified, if necessary, on advice from the absentees.

Club elects new committee for 2018-19

Although the AGM part of the club night is reported separately for those away last night your new 2018-19 committee is:

  1. President - Albertus Viljoen
  2. Vice President Education - Dale Hartle
  3. Vice President Membership - Katina Beauchamp
  4. Vice President Public Relations - Mike Brooker
  5. Secretary - Darrell Phillips
  6. Treasurer - Anastasia Bennett
  7. Sergeant at Arms - Tomoyo Gibson

2018-19 Committee

From Left: Albertus, Tomoyo, Katina, Anastasia, Mike, Darrell (inset Dale)

An icebreaker treat

A small group of participants and Toastmasters were at the second workshop session, but oh! what a session it was!

We were treated to four fascinating icebreakers from our speakers Felix, Allie, Hineawe and Tomoyo. We went around the globe and back again, learning how and where the speakers grew up and went to school, and how they ended up in New Zealand. All the speakers showed great composure and confidence and delivered their icebreakers without notes - a wonderful display of preparation and practice on a topic they knew only too well.

Megan gave us an educational on how to organise your speech in preparation for next week's session.

Introduction to Public Speaking workshops off to a great start

On Wednesday 2 May six participants began our winter workshop series. Following introductions, Ron gave an Icebreaker Educational, showing how to prepare and deliver the first speech. Table Topics run by Gary was entertaining and had everyone up for a topic. Following the tea break, Dale gave an educational on Evaluations, explaining what they were, why they are important, and a sample evaluation. The night ended with presentation of the Competent Communication manuals for everyone to use during the programme, and instructions to start thinking about their Icebreaker speech next week. Although it was icy outside, a warm and friendly atmosphere created by Katina got the programme off to a great start.

Mayhem in May

Our May Day meeting's word of the day "mayhem" had all the speakers trying to bring it into their speeches, and this was managed 8 times.

Table Topics run by Megan had a May theme, and Rob, who has just come back to the club after a break, deftly pulled out a string of butterflies from his shirt and they fluttered down to the floor - he sure was nervous, but soon had them flying in formation.

Rob's butterflies.

Albertus launched into his first Pathways speech - an "Icebreaker" where he told us about his school life in South Africa, working life in South Africa, and then coming to New Zealand. His evaluator Gary said that even though he had known Albertus for a number of years, he still learnt something new about him.

Dave's speech on an abstract concept "Metaphors" started with a quite by Albert Einstein and then told us about some IT terms that people had to use metaphors to understand, such as "viruses" and "phishing". Evaluator Gerry thought it was a clear, concise and relatable topic.

Angela's speech was inspired by one of our new members who has a Russian background, so she told us a story which she called "The bumbling tourists". She told us about her experience attending the Russian ballet, being in a cafe with the Russian mafia, and going sightseeing to a secret Russian military base - all by accident! She had the audience in stitches and certainly had created mayhem in Russia.

Finally Darrell's "Magic Moments" told us of three recent magic moments on ANZAC Day, certainly no mayhem here.

Timekeeper Mike in his report announced that "time flies when you're having fun".

My Thoughts on Division J Conference 2018

by Albertus Viljoen CC

I recently had the privilege of attending the Division J Conference held at Upper Hutt Baptist Church.

Why was I privileged?

For a mere NZ$15.00 I was able to listen to 8 of the best speakers as well as 8 of the best evaluators from all 8 Areas in Division J battling it out for top honours! It's been reiterated time and again that if you want to improve/advance your speaking skills, this is one of the most important events to attend. I whole-heartedly agree with this!

Why is that?

This is the place to be if you want to:

From a speaker's perspective, especially one who's come second twice in a row at Area level, it is an invaluable opportunity to gauge whether you would have been able to advance to the next level. How would your speech have stood up to the competitors? You may think you've ticked all the boxes until you hear some of the contestants, and believe me, are they good!

Where does this leave you?

It shows you where your strengths and weaknesses are, what you need to work on and what to aim for, all condensed into a single morning's 8 speeches back to back. I can hardly think of a better opportunity than this.

This is just as applicable to anyone wanting to enter the evaluation contest.

While listening to the speeches, you can judge each speaker on the form (supplied on the day) as if you were a judge and compare your scores with the official results.

It not only focuses your attention, but you also learn how you are judged in a competition, thus which criteria to focus on in your own speeches

Of the many things I took away from the conference, two deserves special mention:

  1. If I want to compete at this level, I need to work harder to improve my own speaking style and messages.
  2. I listened to the most fantastic evaluation given by a contestant, absolutely outstanding until it all came crashing down right at the end simply because the speaker didn't give a summary which is worth 15 marks.

What you get, what you learn and what you take away from attending the Division conference is immeasurable. I hope I will see more of my fellow Spinnaker Toastmasters at the next one.

2 Icebreakers

Well fellow Toastmasters perhaps we need a name change for our club, perhaps 'Inebriated Toastmasters'?

Given the Grammarians word of the day 'Red' there was much reference to wine of that colour and hints of other instances of the need for fortifying spirits in our myriad of entertaining speeches.

We started the night with Table Topics master Gary feeding a 'lucky' selection topic in the following startling revelations:

Table Topics was followed by 5 speeches -

We will look forward to our two new newbies' coming projects with great anticipation.

A great night presided over by the quotable Kathy.

Of course this is just how this recorder heard it. Those who were there might know better while those who weren't will never know. (by Darrell Phillips)

2 new club officers

We welcomed two new club officers to fill vacant roles: Darrell (right) takes over the role of Secretary until 30 June, and Anastasia (left) has volunteered to be our Treasurer. They were welcomed by club president Megan (centre) following the vote.

Two new committee members.

Easter Grrrrrrr!

That was Chairperson Darrell's theme for the 3 April meeting, along with the word of the day "recoil" from Grammarian Mike.

Mazina's table topics session also followed the Easter theme with speakers being asked about their best and worst Easter, whether Easter should be abolished, and should shops be alowed to open.

Our first speaker Jacqui gave us a technical talk about how to "Take a cutting Trev" with a practical demonstration following her talk with some live plants to show us.

Jacqui demonstrating how to do a cutting.

Jacqui demonstrating how to do a cutting.

Katina opened her vocal variety speech entitled "Patience is a virtue" by saying "I recoil in horror at patience, I am the doing kind" which raised a huge laugh with the audience.

Mercy our Area Director gave us an outline of her year as Area Director and how she had enjoyed her time so far in the role, along with a list of things she had learnt.

Memory Mistress Angela challenged us with questions about what people had said, and our Timekeeper Ron reported that we had all done pretty well with timing.

In General Business Megan congratulated our club contestants for coming 2nd in the Area International and Evaluation contests, and reminded us of a special general meeting coming up to elect two new club officers for vacant positions.

Best Speaker was Katina, Best Evaluator Kathy, and Best Table Topics Speaker guest Felix.

Spinnaker Contest Success

A highlight of the Spinnaker Toastmasters year is the Evaluation and International Prepared Speech contests, and this year was no exception.

Evaluation contestants Darrel, Albertus and Dave were challenged by Kath's superb speech, with Dave coming out on top!

Evaluation contestants.

Evaluation Contestants - from left: Darrell, Albertus Dave

Evaluation winner.

Evaluation Winner - Dave Cook (with Contest Chair Megan Kloppenburg)

Four International contestants - Albertus, Darrell, Angela and Megan held us spellbound and laughing with their incredible speeches, with Albertus placing 1st, and Darrell runner-up.

International Contestants.

International Contestants - from left: Albertus, Darrell, Angela, Megan

International winners.

International winners: 1st - Albertus, 2nd - Dave (with Contest Chair Dale Hartle DTM)

Thank you to all our guest judges and test speaker, club members and contestants, guests and visitors for helping to make this annual event such a success.

A cyclone, a queen and a flight

It truly was a dark and stormy night as ex-tropical Cyclone Gita arrived as scheduled at 8.30 pm, right in the middle of our meeting. The wind got up and the rain came down.

But that did not deter our chairperson Jacqui or our speakers and evaluators, who had plenty to do. Grammarian Ron's word of the day was "inundate" which is what we were all hoping wasn't going to happen considering we were on a beachfront.

Karinna's creative table topics followed the Chinese New Year theme, and with a brand new guest, Felix, who is Chinese, in the audience, it was the perfect theme. Here;s Karinna's exact introduction:
"In celebration of the Chinese New Year, I invite you to pick your fortune - with a fortune cookie table topic! I hope to give you an incentive to speak - The (hóngbao) Red Envelope you will receive is traditionally given at times of celebration and symbolises good wishes and luck for the upcoming year and contains cash! (Well, chocolate money in this instance). The importance of the hóngbao isn't the money, though. The envelope itself is the focus. The colour signifies good luck and prosperity. I will ask you to come up, pick your red envelope, and speak to your fortune." Best table topic speaker was Frances.

Chinese New Year's hangbou.

Mazina's speech entitled "Come fly with me" took us through the pre-flight, take off and inflight procedure for a light aircraft. She's training for her private pilot's licence. Evaluator Frances said she definitely had "wheels up and take off".

Darrell's speech "In defence of the realm" outlined the 3 main reasons to keep the monarchy - it was stable, cheap and un-political!

Dale gave an educational on how to enter an Evaluation Speech Contest, which was timely considering this contest is being held at our next meeting.

Gary used his trademark opening "it was a dark and stormy night" which it was by then, and proceeded to give us his first ever Icebreaker!

Albertus talked about the recent loss of his mother to dementia, and how we need to learn about dementia in order to deal with it in "A knock at the door".

Our 4 guests enjoyed our meeting, and by the end of the evening, with the wind howling and the rain lashing the windows, we high-tailed it out of there smartly because the eye of the storm was not far off the coast!

Another interesting and successful Spinnaker Toastmasters Club meeting.


It was destined to be the hottest day of the summer, and with a major car crash and a train breakdown, Tuesday 30 January sure lived up to its reputation. 21 people turned out at Spinnaker's first meeting of the 2018 year, including 3 guests. Our "Summer" theme and the grammarian's word of the day "fresh" had everyone in fine form.

Table Topics Master Ron used the "summer" theme for his topics, with speakers talking about learning how to cope with summer in the southern hemisphere at Christmas, reading a favourite book, making a financial plan during the holidays, going on hoiday with a new baby and a toddler, rain on tents, and a "staycation" with 3 teenage boys. Best Table Topics speaker was Angela.

Table Topics in a hat.

Speech 1 by Katina opened with "Have you ever been scared?" as the described a childhood holiday experience. Speech 2 by Dale, introduced by Albertus, was an educational on the international speech contest.

Contest resources.

Angela gave a humorous speech 3 about her dream of being a magazine editor for 3 weeks using her own topics. Speech 4 by Mike entitled "Churchill or Churchillian" gave a quick movie review of the Darkest Hour, then challenged the audience to guess whether a quote was by Churchill, or was it "churchillian".

Grammarian Gary counted 111 ums, with 3 people not saying any ums at all.

Best Evaluator was Dave for Table Topics, and Dale for her educational.

Spinnaker's 2017 Prizegiving and Dinner

Mayor of Porirua Mike Tana was our special guest on Tuesday 5 December for our 2017 Prizegiving and Dinner held at the Plimmerton Boating Club. It couldn't have been a nicer evening with the sun setting over the South Island in the background.

The Mayor gave us a talk about his first year in office and the challenges he had faced. Following that he presented all the club members with Participation Certificates and the official prizes.

Toastmaster of the Year,

Toastmaster of the Year - Albertus Viljoen (absent on the night)

Knight Award for Motivation.

Knight Award for Motivation - Jacqui Blackwell

2017 George Nicholson Award.

George Nicholson Award - Gary Nicholson

Most Improved Speaker Award.

Most Improved Speaker Award - Mike Booker

You can see all the photos in our Prizegiving presentation (pdf).

Thank you to the Plimmerton Boating Club for hosting our club for the evening, and to the Mayor for being our awards presenter.

Christmas Table Topics and Pathways

Our final formal meeting of the year was dedicated to a presentation by our Pathways Guide Josh on the Pathways Learning Experience due to roll out shortly.

Josh outlined what Pathways was all about and how it will affect our current and new members. We were really excited to hear Josh's explanations of how Pathways works, and the potential for completing the Toastmasters educational programme in the new format. Thanks Josh for a really simple effective session. You can learn more about Pathways by clicking on the logo below.


Gerry was our Table Topics Master tonight and he used the Christmas theme to great effect. Everyone had a Christmasy question to answer including carols, dinner, songs and Boxing Day sales. Evaluator Albertus awarded the Best Table Topics Speaker to Susan, and the Most Interesting Speaker to Katina.

Grammarian Megan's word of the day was "transfigure", which means to transform. Some of the speakers managed to use it in their speeches, as well as other terms such as little klingons, a crush of people, doggie au pair, larricking around, and straight from the funeral parlour to Trade Me.

3 speeches and an educational

Katina managed her first Toastmasters meeting tonight with a full programme of speeches and evaluations. Her theme for the meeting was "Fame" and this was used for table topics by Mazina. Best Table Topics Speaker was Susan.

Grammarian Gerry had "fewer versus less" as his word of the day and encouraged us to try out the words in correct context.

Speech 1 by Gary was entitled "It was a dark and stormy night, part II", a story about his recent trip to Europe and how he lost his luggage for the first 9 days of his cruise.

Speech 2 by Clinton about "popcorn ceilings" had everyone enthralled as they listened to his story of how he used a rare day off work to complete a home DIY project.

Speech 3 by Kathy was an educational "Evaluate to Motivate", an unusual and different approach to teaching us the best way to evaluate speeches. We might get Kathy to do this again early next year before our contests.

Finally Speech 4 by Albertus was a sales pitch "Have I got a deal for you" as he tried to sell us an expensive bow or a much cheaper one. See a photo of Albertus with the two impressive items below. Which one would you go for?

Albertus with his bows.

Timekeeper Mike said we got off to a rip-roaring start at one minute early, and then it was a mixed bag of overs and unders with the times.

General Evaluator Suresh gave a comprehensive roundup of the meeting, awarding best Speaker to Albertus and Best Evaluator to Peter.

Inspirational and Informative

Three speeches filled our meeting on 17 October - an inspirational talk by Dale about her great-uncle and the sacrifice he made with his life during the Great War, Jacqui telling us what we should do when an earthquake hits, and Mercy about her role as Area Director.

Our 4 guests took part in table topics along with the 4 Toastmasters. Grammarian Megan challenged us with her word of the day "inaugural" and Memory Master Peter checked out our listening skills by asking us who said what?

In General Business, Megan (pictured below) proudly presented Ron with his Advanced Communicator - Bronze award.

Ron receiving his Advanced Communicator Bronze award.

It was a very enjoyable meeting and our guests promised to return!

5 speeches and lots of laughter

Spinnaker's meeting on Tuesday 3 October was chaired by Peter, with Grammarian Frances picking on the theme of Unity to make her word of the day "Harmony". In her summing up at the end of the meeting, she said that most people had managed to use the two words in some form and she congratulated herself on such an inspired choice.

Table Topics by Albertus also covered the Unity theme with each speaker being asked to talk on some aspect of unity.

Speech 1 by Katina titled "The Adventure of a Lifetime" was the story of her grandmother deciding to visit New Zealand from Germany, when she didn't even have a passport! Evaluator Mike thought Katina excelled in delivery and choice of words.

Speech 2 by Megan was a crack-up. "False Advertising" she pronounced, and then displayed her little garden compliments of a well-known supermarket chain that was causing a great deal of fuss in her household. Megan is pictured below with her garden. Evaluator Ron loved the use of self-deprecating humour with sincerity.

Megan's little garden.

Speech 3 was an icebreaker by Angela called "The Dinner Party" where she said don't clean up your home if you invite her to dinner, so she feels right at home! Just bring out the wine and you'll be good to go! Evaluator Gary thought the speech was very funny.

Speech 4 by Darrell was also a humorous speech, where he gave us the 4 rules of wearing a fancy dress to an event. Gerry, a first-time evaluator said Darrell needed a longer joke at the beginning to get things started.

Speech 5 by Mazina talked about "Buckminsterfullerene" (or bucky-ball) is a spherical fullerene molecule with the formula C60. It has a cage-like fused-ring structure (truncated icosahedron) which resembles a soccer ball (football), made of twenty hexagons and twelve pentagons, with a carbon atom at each vertex of each polygon and a bond along each polygon edge - (quote from Wikipedia). Evaluator Kathy thought that the title was at odds with the aims of the speech to use short words.

Best Speaker - Angela. Best Evaluator - Gary. Best Table Topics - our guest Ian.

Another great Spinnaker meeting where we were entertained, informed and inspired!

A retro meeting with a difference

From the retro designed colourful agenda, to the retro clothing on display from our Grammarian Dale, and Darrell calling us all "retrobates", it sure was an enjoyable and interesting meeting ably organised and chaired by Gary, even though he only allowed us 8 minutes for our tea break.

Our retro agenda.

We went around the world and back again, from the volcanic landscape and white sandy beaches of the "no-stress isles" of the Cape Verde Islands, to a sunny day and then the darkness of the Pike River coal mine. In between we heard how foot and mouth disease would be a catastrophic disaster for New Zealand, and what happens when you put your head in an alligator's mouth.

Jacqui and Megan with the ACB.

President Megan presented Jacqui with her Advanced Communicator - Bronze award (above), and Darrell with the club's Select Distinguished ribbon for our banner (below).

Megan with Darrell.

Along with five guests and potential members, we had a ripper of a night and we hope all those who attended had fun too. I especially loved Daniel's carrot cake - we want the recipe it was so yum!

Meeting awards: Best Table Topics - Angela; Best Speaker - Frances; Best Evaluator - Suresh.

Two icebreakers, a melodrama and some Kiwi vocal variety

Even though it was a dark and stormy night, Spinnaker members enjoyed a full meeting with four interesting speeches, table topics and evaluations.

Chairperson Darrell had organised an interesting lineup of speeches using the theme of "Spring", including welcoming Daniel and Clinton with their icebreakers. Kathy's entertaining speech had us on the edge of our seats, and Mike gave us some kiwi speaking, or "God speak" as he called it!

All the evaluators got the big tick from our general evaluator Megan for giving thoughtful and entertaining evaluations, and from the timekeeper for keeping to time! Maybe we were all scared to get the bell!

Once again Spinnakerites went home having been entertained, informed, enthused and entralled.

Spinnaker contests a hilarious success

What a brilliant night of humorous speeches and thoughtful table topics on the 15th of August.

With four contestants in each contest, it made for a tight race to become Spinnaker's champion.

Thanks to our club members, contestants and judges for making the evening so successful.

And the winners are:

Humorous Contest

Winners - Humorous Contest 2017.

Above: from left, Megan Kloppenburg (Contest Chair), Albertus Viljoen (1st), Darrell Phillips (2nd)

Table Topics Contest

Winners - Table Topics Contest 2017.

Above: from left, Kathy Murphy (Contest Chair), Gary Nicholson (1st), Darrell Phillips (2nd)

The winners will now compete in the Area contests to be held at the end of September.

All trained up!

Five Spinnaker committee members attended club leadership training on Saturday 12 August in Linden.

Group listing to a speaker.

Group listing to a speaker.

The training session covered the executive committee roles, Moments of Truth, Toastmasters outside your club, the Distinguished Club Programme, Mentoring and developing a club success plan.

District Public Relations Manager Steve Preston talking about District public relations initiatives.

District Public Relations Manager Steve Preston talking about District public relations initiatives.

Everyone found the training interesting and useful, and we all learnt something new to bring back to our club.

Mercy and a helper with the results of a group discussion.

Mercy and a helper with the results of a group discussion.

A "pot luck" surprise!

Spinnaker's mid winter "pot luck" surprise meeting required everyone to pick a role out of the ice cream bowl (shown below) as they arrived, and role-trading was allowed.

The pot of luck!

We ended up with three speeches - Albertus with an interpretive reading from 101 Kruger Tales, Megan with an icebreaker, and Gary with a humorous speech. Best speaker was Albertus and best evaluator was Ron.

The book of Kruger stories used by Albertus.

The book of 101 Kruger Tales used by Albertus.

Darrell got the table topics master role and had the 7 speakers having to vote for or against the topic, then speak for the opposite side. If you wanted to say no, then you voted yes, and got to speak on the negatives! This proved challenging for some speakers to say the least.

President Megan presented Kathy with her Advanced Leader - Bronze award - a wonderful achievement, even though some activities had been completed at her previous club. Thanks Kathy for letting us claim the award for our Distinguished Club programme.

Kathy Murphy with President Megan Kloppenburg receiving her Advanced Leader - Bronze award.

Kathy Murphy (left) with President Megan Kloppenburg receiving her Advanced Leader - Bronze award.

Spinnaker members check out Porirua Central club

Dale and Katina visited the Porirua Central Toastmasters Club on Monday 31 July, and took up two roles. Dale was General Evaluator, and Katina did the Grammarian's role.

Visiting other clubs helps broaden your horizons, find out how other clubs operate, allows you to tick off another goal or speech, and puts you in front of a group of different Toastmasters.

Dale and Katina at Porirua Central.

Katina (left) with Dale, and meeting chairperson Mele at Porirua Central.

Thanks Porirua Central for having us to visit, and we look forward to you visiting Spinnaker soon!

Haunted castles and "strength finders"

Spinnaker's 18 July meeting ably chaired by Dave was a real treat! Our prepared speeches covered a wide variety of topics, including learning Te Reo by Katina, a blood-thirsty and gory historic story of a haunted castle in England (Chillingham) by Susan, a story of a John Twiss, no relation to the storyteller Gerry, and a plea to be yourself from Karinna.

Haunted Chillingham Castle.

Grammarian Vicky's word of the day "jubilant" had quite a few takers too.

Table Topics Master Suresh handed each of the six speakers their topics in advance so they could prepare themselves.

President Megan welcomed our two new members Daniel and Clinton and presented them with their New Member packs.

New member Daniel.

New member Clinton.

Our new Area Director Mercy visited us and outlined her plans for the next few months.

Best speaker: Susan. Best Table Topics: Mercy. Best Evaluator: Darrell.

Plasma, Independence Day and Opportunities

Spinnaker's 4th July meeting celebrated Independence Day with the theme, and word of the day by Grammarian Kathy was "union".

Independence Day

We welcomed a guest Clinton who said he found us on the internet and came along to see what we get up to.

Darrell's back-to-front table topics session had all the speakers ending their speech with the phrase they picked out of the envelope. This resulted in some hilarious stories.

Ron started off the formal speaking programme talking about "Plasma - the unexpected state of matter", a technical presentation using powerpoint and handouts.


Albertus uplifted our spirits with his specialty speech on the 10 commandments, and Megan outlined her motto "why not?". She said she had taken on two challenges this year - one to be a school hockey coach, and the second to be president of Spinnaker Toastmasters Club.

Grammarian Kathy's report listed some of the words she had heard during the evening - kerfuffle, flustered, ashen-faced, daft, sushing, magnetically disordered states, and the world's a mess! Great listening skills right there!

President Megan handed out the Club Leadership Manuals to the new club executive team (pictured below, from left: Katina, Suresh, Albertus, Megan, Susan, Dale. Absent: Mike.)

Club officers 2017-18.

Shipwrecks, Dr Who and the Daleks, OSH and Facebook

You never know what fascinating topics Toastmasters are going to come up with for their prepared speeches at a meeting, and Spinnaker's 20th June meeting was no exception.

Dale's "Shipwreck" speech told the story of the ANZAC connection between a small town named "Maheno" in North Otago, and a shipwreck on Fraser Island named "Maheno". When she sat down, the chairman Mike announced he had actually been a student at Maheno School - how about that for another connection.

Shipwreck Maheno.

Darrell's valedictory speech as outgoing President compared Toastmasters to the TARDIS, claiming he was Dr Who who's mortal enemy was the Daleks. Dale produced a photo of a real Dalek taken at a Seattle museum last year!

Dalek in Seattle museum.

Gerry talked about the health and safety requirements of running a meeting, which prompted us to think about our meeting venue and what we needed to know and document for emergencies.

Finally Vicky implored us to remove Facebook from our lives because of the many issues it causes, not the least being a massive time-waster.

Table Topics Master Jacqui offered speakers two topics, but they all chose "the longest night", with Mazina talking about the birth of her baby, Megan about a night out in Amsterdam, Albertus about being on guard duty for prisoners, and Gary about a night in hospital for an operation.

At the end of the meeting, we presented Darrell with a handful of gifts for his year as President and achieving Select Distinguished Club, and then he did a disappearing act, just like Dr Who! He will regenerate next month in the form of our incoming president Megan.

Darrell with gifts.

Judging speech contests

Several members of Spinnaker Toastmasters Club judged the Porirua Secondary Schools annual speech contest recently run by the Plimmerton Rotary.

Topics ranged from Climate Change, Racism, The Influences of Music, to Friends vs Family. There were many heartfelt stories, humour, and singing, and all the speakers were very well practised, with outstanding delivery styles.

Porirua Mayor Mike Tana presented the winning trophies.

The standard of speaking for our young people is very high, and us Toastmasters should be very afraid!

D-Day 6 June

The sixth of June created a D-Day themed meeting chaired by Albertus included D-Day table topics by Megan

Speech 1 by Jacqui was an interpretive reading of a speech from history, delivered with a thunderous voice, much lecturn banging and a grim face. It held us spellbound right to the final words "Enlist now!" from which someone in the audience piped up "Where do I sign?".

Speech 2 by Dave entitled "What is GIS?" explained that geographical information systems are all about location - analysis - and presentation of mapping data.

Speech 3 by Katina drew upon her recent experiences in "A guide to employment" with some great tips to remember when we are looking for our next job.

Finally Speech 4 by Kathy "Come speak with me" inspired us to go beyond our club by entering or supporting speech contests, taking on leadership roles, and attending division and district conferences.

Mike in his first time general evaluation said there was always a great vibe at Spinnaker, with the chairperson adding value with linking comments, and a variety of styles and experiences on show in the four speeches from rabble-rousing to technical topics.

Spinnaker member a VIP International Guest

While on holiday in Caloundra, Queensland, Club VP Education Dale Hartle DTM discovered that the Caloundra Toastmasters Club met in the restaurant in her hotel on 16 May.

No invitation was needed, Dale just rocked up and joined the meeting, and was given the task of General Evaluator. Dale also introduced herself and took part in table topics.

The two and a half hour dinner meeting was full of speeches, activities and games, and was a very enjoyable evening.

For her efforts at being a VIP international guest, Dale was awarded Toastmaster of the Evening (see below).

Caloundra agenda and award.

Below: Dale Hartle (centre in white) with members of the Caloundra Toastmasters Club.

Dale with members of the Caloundra club.

Spinnaker elects new executive

Ron our Chair for the 16 May meeting chose "growth" as the meeting theme. Katina our Grammarian chose "abundance" as the word-of-the-day.

The theme and word were both honoured with an abundance of activity in Table Topics, project speeches, the annual AGM and committee elections, all delivering growth in the Toastmaster twin tracks of Communication and Leadership.

Jacqui - Our Table Topics terror teased her volunteers with quotes by famous figures asking them to agree or disagree. I'm having a senior moment so can't tell you all of whom said what but I do recall two disturbing memories. Gary said he "found real estate agents a pain to work with", I think Gary may not be well! Dave "loves to daydream at work", Dave needs his wages reduced!

Our three project speakers showcased the benefit of talking to a theme with which you have a personal knowledge, and passion, about.

Karinna - told us about Brexit, she was anti, the reasons it happened, how it divided family and friends, where she thought it would end and why. From the other side of the world it was great to get a close-up view from someone for who it was part of their life.

Frances - treated us to just 5-7 minutes of a longer treat she has for a workshop of some 300 people in a few weeks time. In the workshop Frances will teach them how to write informative information in an interesting way that will capture and then keep audience attention. She certainly seized our attention and interest as some of us have volunteered to hear a rehearsal of the full workshop and then give our feedback.

Mazina - gave us a first hand view of the coups that have occurred in her native Fiji over the past 20 years or so. From the first which was particularly hard on her family as Indian Fijians through to the latest that is steadily allowing the country to return to happier relationship with her now home NZ. Mazina's speech ended on a very positive state-of-the-nation note where she welcomed us to a refreshed Fiji. I think Mazina should be their next tourism director.

As well as the usual club night we had the AGM and elections for our new committee.

Talk about growth, our membership is up and our committee for 2017/18 is bigger too!

So come July 1 our leaders will be:

A VERY good line up and three newcomers - excellent!

2017-18 Committee.

Spinnaker's new Executive: from left - Katina, Suresh, Sue, Megan, Darrell. Absent: Dale, Albertus

So definitely an abundance achieved in one meeting where growth was apparent in everyone.

Yet another good night at Spinnakers Toastmasters. (Report by Darrell.)

A Leadership theme

Tuesday 2 May was our Leadership themed meeting, ably chaired by Jacqui.

Grammarian Megan used "emulate" as the word of the day, and most speakers managed to get it into their speeches.

In general business, President Darrell proudly presented Rob Waanders with his Advanced Toastmaster - Silver Award. Rob was suitably thrilled to finally receive the award he had worked so hard for last year.

Darrell presenting Rob with his Advanced Communicator - Silver Award.

Above: Darrell presenting Rob with his Advanced Communicator - Silver Award.

In our Leadership - all about my role segments, Jacqui outlined the responsibilities of the Sgt at Arms, Dale explained all the jobs the VP Education does, and Megan talked about the VP Public Relations on behalf of Mike, and her own role as VP Membership.

President Darrell said his role was all about setting and achieving the Distinguished Club goals, leading and guiding the club, and representing the club at meetings and events.

Treasurer and Secretary Susan showed us the club's chequebook and receipt book and explained in a humorous way how easy the Treasurer's role was, and topped it off with an even easier Secretary's job.

Table Topics by Kathy also adopted the leadership theme with all speakers talking about some aspect of leadership they had used or encountered.

The club will be holding its annual business meeting on 16 May, so it was important to outline the roles and encourage members to step up and seek election to the committee roles to help run the club during the next Toastmasters year.

Timekeeper Mazina rattled off the timings for the various speeches and said she had enjoyed the role.

General Evaluator Suresh's first time in this role said that it had been a useful meeting, and was impressed that the leadership theme had carried through all the speeches.

Spinnaker Speechathon Success

Tuesday 18 April was Spinnaker's annual speechathon - a night of non-stop speeches - 7 in all, plus table topics.

Ably toastmastered by our President Darrell, speakers were teamed up with mystery evaluators, including two guest evaluators.

Speech topics were wide and varied, including how did world war 1 begin, how to help cancer patients, how to think on your feet, how to make big decisions, and what to think about when making your will.

Table Topics by Dale covered an Easter weekend theme, where speakers told us about a granddaughter's 5th birthday, a family occasion, travelling in the South Island, and making own hot cross buns.

Great work Spinnakerites, let's do it again sometime.

A life-changing meeting

Despite the threat of heavy rain, which never eventuated, Spinnaker Toastmasters were treated to 3 wonderful speeches, and a challenging table topics session.

Frances had recently been to a workshop where she learnt a new way of delivering key messages to the media in a crisis, so she asked each speaker to practise the method on a variety of crises she had invented. Most speakers managed very well considering they had only a few minutes to prepare.

Tonight we heard Karinna's Icebreaker "Who am I?" where she outlined her early life in Germany and the UK. Evaluator Jacqui thought she spoke with confidence which will only grow with practice. Welcome to the club Karinna, we look forward to hearing many more interesting speeches from you over the next few years. (Karinna, left below)

Kathy (at right below) gave an interpretive reading from a poem by Mark Twain. Evaluator Megan thought she had covered all the points in the assignment well.

Karinna giving her icebreaker speech. Kathy giving her poem.

Dale asked the audience what they would need to do to change their lives, then gave a whole list of possible solutions. Finally she said there was only one way to change your life, and that was to make and eat "Dale's life changing crackers". She ended with giving everyone a tasty treat to prove her point. Evaluator Dave didn't pull any punches in his evaluation focussing on voice projection and pauses.

Grammarian Mazina's word of the day was "want" and she reported back to the meeting who had used the word in various contexts.

Suresh's first meeting as Chairperson was evaluated by Dale who commented that it was an efficient and well-run meeting.

A full and busy meeting

Spinnaker's 21 March meeting chaired by Megan had a great turnout with five speeches packing the agenda and a theme "The importance of time".

First up was Frances who was "Finding my mind palace" - a lovely tale of her challenges in learning French. Next Katina's icebreaker "A Traveller's Tale" informed us that she was a teacher, a translator, a tour guide and a traveller, and she used a map of the world to show us where she has been, and is intending to go shortly.

Shannon's heartfelt speech "Getting Through" gave us all excellent tips for coping when things go wrong. while Mazina's "The Analytical Mind" speech told us how she had used her chemistry training to help find out what was causing her son's illnesses. Finally Suresh's "Cellphones and their downsides" speech looked at the negative aspects of using cellphones in today's world.

Table Topics Master Dave had everyone pulling a topic out of his sun hat on a "Summer" theme. Gary announced that summer arrived last Saturday for one day, while Darrell said he had been flat out all summer with a long list of jobs his wife had created.

Best Table Topics Speaker was Karinna, Best Speaker Shannon and Best Evaluator Dale.

President Darrell congratulated our Area Contestants, noting that Albertus had been placed 2nd in the International contest.

Spinnaker Club Champions

Spinnaker Toastmasters Club held its annual International Prepared Speech and Evaluation contests on Tuesday 7 March.

There were four contestants in each speech.

International Contestants: from left Albertus, Gary, Darrell, and Megan.

2017 International Contestants.

Evaluation Contestants: from left Gary, Darrell, Dave, and Frances.

2017 Evaluation Contestants.

And the winners were:

2017 International Winners.

2017 Evaluation Winners.

Congratulations! Our first placegetters will now compete in the Area J4 contests to be held on 13 March in Tawa.

Spinnaker a force to be reckoned with

Spinnaker's 21st February meeting was a pearler, with 3 speeches, a huge table topics session, two new members, and two guests.

Chaired by Frances, the prepared speeches were by Susan, talking about making the number 6 vanish, Suresh on budgeting, and Gerry on the NZ icon thermettes. (See photo of Gerry demonstrating how to use a thermette below.) The meeting erupted in laughter when the Plimmerton fire siren went off just as Gerry was demonstrating how to light a thermette - Gerry's a professional firefighter!

Gerry - our thermette man.

Table Topics Master Gary challenged ten speakers with topics such as speed limites, favourite car, tattoos, kidney donations, and aliens.

Best Speaker of the Night award went to Gerry, and Best Evaluator to Dave.

A bright start to 2017

A really good turnout of our membership on Feb 7 and 5 guests!! You wait ages for one and then 5 come along, how good is that? Luckily the Chair for the night Darrell had foretold their coming (well actually got the emails asking to come) and ensured they got three interesting speeches one being an educational.

However, before the speechifying, Susan who had the 'misfortune' to be Grammarian, told us that we should speak proper and try to use the word 'fortune' as word-of-the-day. If only I could have got a TT topic on FORTUNE-cookies.

Peter - had us absorbed with the very sobering subject of Depression. Peter has a great ability to deal with subjects that are not a laugh a minute in a way that keeps his audience interested without them being uncomfortable while listening. A tough topic well confronted Peter.

Mike - is mad! He is going to subject his poor body to a mountain bike event in Otago. They are riding from Wanaka to Arrowtown via the Crown range and not even stopping at the Cadronna Hotel. As this is the Body Language project he insisted on showing us naked parts of his anatomy.

When he rolled up his trousers to show us his scarred knees we all gave a look of sympathy in Frances's direction. Mad yes but informative and scary, well done Mike.

Rob - gave an Educational on 'Planning and Preparing' for a speech, a really appropriate start for our guests. He literally demonstrated by example having a flipboard backup to his USB datashow presentation should he have problems. He did have problems but thanks to his board gave them the flip. His presentation not only covered preparing the speech but also preparing for the venue for the speech. He even had a train conveniently pass to illustrate problems with nearby NOISE! Amusing informative, especially for our guests, just right for the night. Thanks Rob.

Ron - on behalf of Jacqui challenged the Table Topic speakers with testing topics (ah now I get the 'TT' thing). A great way to dust the cobwebs off and get the speaking mojos going.

Alison, one of our guests, bravely got up and did a selfie two minute table topic, bravo! Alison.

This was a great starter meeting for the year with many more to look forward to.

Finally let's put our hands together for Rob. His educational was the last step in becoming an Advanced Communicator Silver.

Congratulations Rob we look forward to the speeches that take you to your Gold award.

This update was prepared by Darrell Phillips, President.


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