A vibrant start to 2016-2017

Wednesday night’s meeting was the first of the “new year”. The room was full of energy and packed to the brim as we had a great turnout of members, guests and visitors.

We were joined by guest speaker David Griffiths, sharing with us the speech he’s developing for the Semi-finals of the World Championship of Public Speaking. We wish David the best of luck as he takes the world stage in Washington DC in August.

David has visited many clubs in his 10 years as a Toastmaster, so I took the opportunity to ask him about his experience at our meeting. I’ve included a summary of our chat below. I encourage you to share your thoughts too, add a comment!

Our next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 27 July 2016. We welcome you to join us – feel free to get in touch beforehand.

Have a great weekend,
Belinda Cella (VP PR)


FOUR QUICK QUESTIONS – with our guest speaker David Griffiths:

First impressions? The overall positive atmosphere of the meeting was established early. The members were warm and welcoming when I arrived and the room was set-up well. The Sargeant-at-Arms Michelle also had great energy in her opening address.

Anything we did particularly well? The vital elements of the program are all there and it seems seamless. Members are committed to doing their manual speeches, and it’s great to see the Competent Leadership manuals being completed. The agenda is varied and gives opportunity for members of all experience levels to speak and develop. The round-table comments, President’s club business, Listening post etc – these were all short and punchy segments that also kept the meeting interesting. The evaluations of the prepared speeches showed a good fundamental understanding of what evaluation is about, and very much encouraging to the speakers.

Did we do anything differently? The Table Topics session was more advanced than I typically see at other clubs. A really tough theme, members were challenged to adopt a character, as well as prepare a mini-speech. Some less experienced speakers would probably benefit from topics that are simpler, but I was impressed to see so many members rise to the challenge. There were many entertaining responses!

Final comments? It’s obvious the club is doing many things well. A healthy executive, well run meetings and engaged members. There’s clearly a supportive culture, and an ingrained focus of helping each other develop and succeed. Thanks to the club for giving me the opportunity to participate – I’m grateful for your support.


A new year, a new committee

The annual Changeover dinner was held on Wednesday 29 June and what a spectacular night it was! The unofficial theme of the evening was “change” – as we changed venue for the night (to the grand function room downstairs); were challenged to “change just one thing” in the Table Topics session; and had an official changeover ceremony facilitated by Area Director Mia Cong.

Changeover is about celebrating the contributions that the executive and club members have made throughout the year. It’s also the changing of the guard, with the current executive team relieved of their duties and the new executive team sworn in.

We were also treated to three engaging prepared speeches, a hearty laugh thanks to new member and Laughmaster Emil, as well as some some delicious food.

Thank you to everyone who helped organise the meeting. It was wonderful to see so many members coming together to celebrate what a truly great club Sydney Speakers is.

The quote featured on the agenda is a fabulous one by Lady Bird Johnson: “Any committee is only as good as the most knowledgeable, determined and vigorous person on it. There must be somebody who provides the flame.” – to which Chairman Aaron closed the night with a laugh.. “looking around this room, I think the incoming Committee is an inferno!”

Belinda Cella
(an excited incoming VP Public Relations!)

Sydney Speakers Committee for 2016-2017 
(left to right in photo)

President:  David Fisher DTM
VP Education:  Margrit Fisher DTM
VP Membership:  Victor Fajardo CC (missing)
VP Public Relations:  Belinda Cella
Secretary:  Rufina Silveira
Treasurer:  Aaron Ross CC
Sergeant-at-Arms:  Michelle Fragias (missing)
Immediate Past President:  Nikolas Kloufetos CC

2016_06_29 Changeover committee