“Tech and Technique”: Laura Bruce’s tips for humorous speaking and how to win in Toastmasters online contests

An invitation to be a guest speaker at another new club can be an exciting, albeit somewhat daunting prospect! Having triumphed at the 2020 District 72 Humourous Speech Contest, I was invited by Boaters Toastmasters in Christchurch, New Zealand to present my tips on humorous speaking and online competing.

Only problem is, they meet at 7am! Yes, Boaters Toastmasters is one of a handful of breakfast clubs in the Garden City.

“Never fear, Laura is here!” I got up early, found the venue in plenty of time, and had a wonderful time, meeting new people and going for coffee with a group from Boaters after the meeting. What fun! It was worth getting up very early after all!

If you’d like to watch the video of my presentation, “Tech and Technique”, here it is, courtesy of Louise Landess at Boaters Toastmasters.

Competing online is part of the brave new Toastmasters world post-March 2020. This presentation was in October, 2020. Toastmasters clubs in New Zealand resumed in-person meetings in July 2020 after we returned to normal life on the islands. Unfortunately, clubs all over the world have had to meet online to cope with various regulations around social distancing.

At the time of writing (July 2021) Toastmasters Clubs in New Zealand continue to meet in-person. At Christchurch Women’s Toastmasters, we relish the opportunity to visit with our friends, go for coffee afterwards, and enjoy all the ancillary benefits of being a Toastmaster — part of a worldwide community of people committed to becoming better speakers and leaders.

Welcome the new CWC Committee!

A group of CWC toastmasters have coffee after the meeting.
The first committee meeting of the year was held Friday 9 July and new members and visitors attended.

The first of July marks the beginning of a new Toastmasters year! Congratulations to the new slate of club officers at Christchurch Women’s Toastmasters club! And a big thank you to the previous club officers, whose efforts helped our club to achieve President’s Distinguished status for the 7th consecutive year. This is the highest level of achievement a Toastmasters club can reach. Well done team!

Here are your club officers for 2021-22:

Sergeant at Arms: Elizabeth de Jong

Secretary: Frances Williamson

Treasurer: Nicola Tiffin

VP Public Relations: Laura Bruce

VP Membership: Sheila Hailstone DTM

VP Education: Candy Green

President: Lovey Ratima-Rapson

Past President: Sheila Hailstone

Humourous Speech Contest 2021: new member triumphs!

Congratulations to Esther Skinner, winner of the 2021 Christchurch Women’s Toastmasters club Humourous Speech Contest!

Esther was competing in her first Humourous Speech Contest. She wasn’t even a member when we held our previous one, in September 2019! Esther came along to her first meeting in May 2020, attending online via Zoom due to pandemic restrictions on on-person meetings.

Esther’s performance shows that even new members have a chance when it comes to taking part in speech contests. Well done Esther!

Congratulations to everyone who took part. Second place winner was Lovey Ratima-Rapson (below, second from left), and third place went to Steph McDade (left).

Photo of speech contest winners holding their certificates, with contest chief judge.

Thank you to all the contest officials, especially Chief Judge John Ballantine of Bishopdale Toastmasters (above, right).

Our next and final contest of the Toastmaster year is the International Speech Contest which will be held at our meeting Friday, 26 February at 12.30pm. Visitors are always welcome! 🙂

If you think Christchurch Women’s Toastmasters may be for you, please join us at one of our meetings. Click here for details.

New members welcomed

Christchurch Women’s Toastmasters has welcomed a number of new members during the past few months. We’ve also had a number of visitors attend a meeting for the first time.

If you are thinking you may want to become a more confident speaker, you can be assured of a warm welcome at Christchurch Women’s Toastmasters Club. When you arrive someone will greet you, give you a name badge, ask you to sign the guest book, and then take you to a seat where you will find a meeting agenda. They’ll also ask if you are happy to speak if you are called upon, or if you would prefer not to speak just yet.

After the meeting, we like to go across the road for a coffee and a bit of conversation, and you will be invited to join us for this too.

If you have any questions about Toastmasters, please click here and send us a message. We will promise to give you a warm welcome, so don’t be afraid to come along. Try to arrive around 10 minutes prior to our 12.30 start time if you can, as this will give us time to get you properly settled in before the meeting begins.

Back in action: in-person meetings resume at Christchurch Women’s Toastmasters Club

We’re bursting with excitement as meeting in person again — at last!

Today marks our first meeting back and we can’t wait until lunchtime to resume our normal Friday meetings at Christchurch Women’s Toastmasters Club!

Toastmasters is a big part of our lives, and meeting our club members each week, sharing a laugh, and watching each member progress in their speaking and leadership journey is truly gratifying. While meeting on Zoom was a helpful stop-gap during the Covid-19 lockdown, we are really exciting to be meeting in person again from today.

Are you a woman in Christchurch who would like to develop your public speaking skills, your confidence in team meetings and social interactions? Would you like to develop your leadership skills? All these things are possible with Toastmasters.

Come along to a meeting Friday at 12.20 and see if it feels right to you. You can attend up to 3 meetings before making a decision about joining. Membership costs about the same as a fancy coffee once a week, so most people can afford to join Toastmasters.

Any questions? Just drop us a line! See you soon!

CWC’s final online meeting this week: June 12 on Zoom

We were just getting the hang of this, and now it’s back to in-person meetings! 😀

This Friday’s meeting will be the final online meeting for Christchurch Women’s Toastmasters Club, as social distancing measures have relaxed under Level 1.

Last week’s meeting (5th June) had the theme “Poetry in Motion”. Chaired by Toastmaster Sheila Hailstone DTM, there were two excellent prepared speeches from our club’s two newest members, Souhila Abdelazziz and Lauren Harwood.

We enjoyed a round of impromptu speaking during the Table Topics section of the meeting, and are grateful to special guest Helen Kelly of Livingston Speakers in Toastmasters District 71 for evaluating our Table Topics speakers.

We also welcomed guests — some were first-timers, Helen Kelly is a Toastmaster from Scotland, and another was a third-time visitor who has today made the decision to join our Toastmasters club!

To join our final online meeting, please look for the Zoom link which will be emailed to members, and posted to the club Facebook page Thursday. It will also be available on the top of the agenda on the Easy-Speak website.