Speech contests inspire members to reach their potential

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Toastmasters LogoSeventeen Sunshine Coast Toastmasters across five clubs will test their speaking skills against each other at the annual Area 16 Conference on Saturday, 29 October.
They will compete in the International, Humorous, Impromptu and Evaluation speech contests, with winners progressing to Division level and finally the District Convention in May next year.
Area Governor Ingrid Duane said the speech contests, which started at club level in August-September, provided an opportunity for Toastmasters to improve their speaking abilities.
“The competitors provide encouragement to fellow Toastmasters, who learn by observing the more proficient speakers who have benefited from their Toastmasters training,” she said.
The International speech contest, which is based on an inspirational speech, culminates in the United States in August, where the winner is crowned World Champion of Public Speaking. This year’s winner was Jock Elliott from Bongaree, Queensland.
Ingrid, from Buderim, joined Toastmasters 25 years ago to improve her communication skills.
“I have also learnt the art of focused listening without letting my mind wonder and can express my ideas more effectively. Practicing clear and precise communication has helped me acquire better people skills in preparation for leadership roles,” she said.
Speech contests are an annual event across Toastmasters International. This year’s Area Conference will feature contestants from Coolum, Maroochydore, Nambour, Sunshine Coast and Noosa clubs. Members from the newly-established Cooroy club will help as contest officials.
Highlights include audience participation in activities between contests, raffles and guest speaker David Ellaby, an Intensive Care Paramedic from Queensland Ambulance Service and Flight Paramedic with AGL Action Rescue Helicopter Service.
Ingrid has entered International Speech Contests in the past and reached Division level in impromptu speaking before concentrating on Toastmasters leadership roles.
She said Toastmasters was a not-for-profit community organisation, which helped people develop better speaking skills and build strong leadership skills.
“As a Toastmaster I have become much more self assured and confident in my presentation skills and have developed successful business communication and leadership qualities,” said Ingrid, who has achieved the Distinguished Toastmaster level twice.
Ingrid encouraged members of the public to attend the Area Conference.
“Watching people who have challenged themselves out of their comfort zone can inspire others to do the same. Toastmasters offer the opportunity to empower others to reach their potential,” she said.
What: Area 16 Conference
When: Saturday, 29 October 2011
Where: Nambour Christian College, McKenzie Rd, Woombye
Registration is essential. RSVP by 20 October: www.toastmastersarea16.org/registrations
Cost: Full Conference $40 (includes lunch). Half day (no lunch) $30.
Enquiries: Coral McVean Ph: 5441 7820 or coralmcv@bigpond.net.au
Conference program:
8am-8.45am Registration
9:00am Conference Opening
9.30am Impromptu speech contest
10.15am Humorous speech contest
12pm Evaluation speech contest
1:00pm Lunch
1:30pm Guest speaker – David Ellaby, Intensive Care Paramedic, Queensland Ambulance Service
2:15 Audience activity
2.35 pm International speech contest
3:50 pm Award presentations
4:15 pm Raffle draws