Christchurch Toastmaster Sheila Hailstone DTM placed 2nd in the 2021 Toastmasters District 72 International Speech Contest.
Congratulations to Sheila Hailstone, right, presented here with her Silver Medal. Sheila, founder and current president of Christchurch Women’s Toastmasters, which meets weekly in Papanui, placed 2nd in District 72 for the International Speech Contest! The medals were presented on 22nd June at a special meeting of Avon Toastmasters in Christchurch.
We were delighted to get media coverage of our club’s recent achievements in the Nor’West News this week in Christchurch.
At the District 72 conference, our club won an award for having a positive impact on our community. It’s the second year we’ve won the Jack Duffy Memorial Rose Bowl.
Thanks to the Nor’west News for their interest in our community and our club!
“If at first you don’t succeed, compete, compete, again.”
Also at the conference, Laura Bruce won the District 72 Humourous Speech Contest with a speech entitled, “Smart, Helpful, and a Great Communicator, She’s the Ultimate Assistant”. Prior to this win, the best Laura had ever placed in the Toastmasters Humourous Speech contest was second place in her club contest in Scotland, in 2018.
“My experience with the Humourous Speech Contest should be an inspiration to all Toastmasters,” said Laura. “My first year in the contest  I came second. The second year , I went over time. The third year , I came second. The fourth year, 2017, I was on the District Leadership Team and could not compete. In 2018, I placed again — but again, only second — and so could not progress to the Area contest.
“To finally make it to an Area contest in 2019 — now a member of Christchurch Women’s Club — was such a thrill! I was delighted to proceed to the Division Contest in April. But to win at District is the biggest thrill ever!”
“What I have learned from competing each year since I joined Toastmasters is that persistence pays off. I have also learned that it’s important that your speech be funny, and it’s good to get an early laugh to put your audience at ease.”
“It’s important to remember what you present in the Humourous Speech Contest still has to conform to the structure of a speech. It can’t be a series of one-liners, or a stand-up comedy routine,” she added.
“That being said, a funny story is an ideal starting point for the Humourous Speech Contest. I still remember the District 71 Contest at the Titanic Conference in Belfast in 2014. One of the contestants, a speaker from Ireland, talked about his trip to a water park in Italy. The imagery of his swimsuit making him stick to the water slide, together with the accompanying gestures, was hilarious. He had us in stitches — and he didn’t even win!”
It was a momentous day at the District 72 conference yesterday, as the Christchurch Women’s Club came away with two victories.
Representing her club as well as Division E, Laura Bruce triumphed in the District 72 Humourous Speech Contest, and the Christchurch Women’s Club won the Jack Duffy Memorial Rosebowl for Community Service. This marks the second consecutive year the club has won this accolade.
Congratulations to Laura and to all the members of the club for making their mark and being recognised by District 72 Toastmasters in New Zealand.
Best of luck to Laura Bruce ACG, ALB from Christchurch Women’s Toastmasters Club. Laura, who serves as the club’s Vice President of Public Relations, will be representing our Division at the New Zealand District 72 Humourous Speech Contest on Saturday 23 May, 2020.
Laura triumphed at club contest in September, then at the Area contest in December. She won again at the Division Contest in April, and now progresses to the ultimate arena, the District Contest, tomorrow.
Laura said, “Having never won the Humourous Speech contest at my club before, I am absolutely over the moon to be representing Christchurch Women’s Club at the District 72 Conference contest tomorrow!”
Three of the club’s members — Laura Bruce, Sheila Hailstone and Nicola Tiffin — were successful at Area level contests — a sweep by Christchurch Women’s Club at Area 4 — and all three went on to compete in the Division Contest in April.
“Our club’s motto is ‘supporting women to succeed’,” said Club founder President-Elect Sheila Hailstone DTM. “Laura embodies that drive for success, and we will all be there tomorrow to cheer her on!”