All about community (and the RISE values)

This week’s meeting had an unspoken and underlying theme of ‘community spirit’, with the club values (Respect, Integrity, Service, Excellence) demonstrated in every moment and word.

A toast to Harmony Day (thanks Dilara), and a Table Topics session run by Utku with the intriguing theme of “Questions I ask myself…”. helping us reflect while thinking on our feet.

A bumper business session by David was full of recognition:  Acknowledgement of the successful Speechcraft course run at Mainfreight, with David expressing appreciation to Margrit, Rachel, and myself for assisting. Of course, David was shown recognition as the Course Coordinator too! With President David having just returned from a trip to the US, the club was presented with a “World Headquarters Visitor” ribbon for the banner, presented to Victor Fajardo.

Yosef reached an important milestone of 5 speeches (well done!), presented with a certificate and a TM pen to help craft his next speeches. I was presented my Competent Communicator award (and shiny new name badge!), and was presented the trophies from the Club’s IS and evaluation speech contests last month.

The prepared speeches included a high performance leadership project by Rachel with her inspiring vision fundraising for cancer research; an interesting deep-dive into St Patricks Day by Steven; and a touching speech “I wish you enough” by Rufina.

It was hard to leave this meeting feeling anything other than “euphoric” – which was also the word the day! So wonderful to see such a warm community spirit and the RISE values truly embedded in our club meetings.

Our next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday 12 April – be sure to bring your manuals! Even if you are not scheduled for a prepared speech, it’s never too early to think about your next speech project!

Have a wonderful fortnight, see you then.

Vice President Public Relations


Last week’s wrap-up

Last Wednesday 8th March was International Women’s Day and our meeting was right on theme! I did my best to step into Chairman role as best I could – thanks for making it a fun and memorable meeting!

Always wonderful to see members step into roles at the last minute when called upon, and also to give their personal reviews – Tahseen with a point of view on cricket, and Rufina with her review of an autobiography by an Indian princess. Four brilliant prepared speeches, including wonderful icebreaker! What a fantastic start for Dilara’s manual projects. 

Reminder: Our Area 24 contest is tomorrow night – and we are the host club! Would be great to have as many club members there in the audience as possible! Details in the flyer posted below – I look forward to seeing you there 

Although I hope to see you all at the Newmarket Hotel tomorrow night for the contest (7pm sharp, don’t be late!), our next club meeting is Wednesday 22 March.

Cheers to all!

Vice President Public Relations

The Treasurer’s Thoughts

Wrap-up of last week’s meeting, by Aaron (Club Treasurer)

What a busy little meeting we had on Wednesday night. With our numbers down there were lots of members doing multiple roles and our newer members jumping to fulfill roles they hadn’t yet done. Well done to our new members.

Margrit was our chairman. We had a wonderful speech from a visitor and a great interactive speech by our president David Fisher. Here is our newest Club member, Dilara receiving her certificate. [Photo in members-only Facebook group]

Well done to all our members who participated in such a great meeting. Can’t wait for the next one…


Meeting wrap-up (#99)

Wrap-up of last meeting #99 (25-Jan-2017)

With a toast to Australia Day and the proposed “Mate Day” (May 8) by Margrit, and the word of the day being “mettle”, we were set for a meeting that was full of character, strength and pride.

Club business by David included the Club leadership training, our upcoming International Speech Contest, as well as our club’s Speechcraft course planning. Table Topics were a challenge to pitch movie ideas to a Board of Directors (facilitated by Rachel Segal), proving an interesting challenge for us! 

A joke about the policeman and the groom set the scene for the second half of meeting (thanks Iqbal for the chuckle!), then we were treated to two Icebreakers (well done Emil Danescu and Utku – in photos below, with Toastmaster Ursula), and a speech by visiting toastmaster Yvonne Chan.

Next meeting, meeting #100 (wow!) is scheduled for Wednesday 8 February – pop it in your diaries, and get excited!

– Belinda (Vice President Public Relations)



Article: Repeat repeat repeat

Keen to learn how you can use purposeful repetition in speeches? Here’s an interesting article by Paula Fuchsberg (a corporate communications expert):

What You Say May Bear Repeating

How do you plan on including repetition in your next speech?


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