Communication Strategies, Rituals, Advocacy and Marijuana
Enthusiasm was the hallmark of the meeting, with the tone set by Toastmaster Nicola Powell. She interspersed the meeting with amusing anecdotes about her recent trip to Chile. Three speeches and an impromptu debate made for a riveting evening.
New member Tania Gibb gave a Pathways speech about four communication styles, showing her own style - sincerity laced with humour. As an ambulance officer for 15 years her styles were naturally supportive and analytical. She admires direct and initiating styles but said she scored zero on the last one. As a mother of children she finds being supportive - steady,calm, sincere and caring most useful. The analytical style is precise, logical, and task oriented, the direct is decisive, competitive and confident and the initiating is sociable.
Maria Ayala, as a pathways assignment repeated her speech on Rituals - reviewed in a previous report. It was just as fascinating and delivered, as had been suggested, with more enthusiasm and at a slower pace.
Former advanced Toastmaster Victoria Ball gave a presentation about her work in the Nationwide Health and Disability Advocacy Service, starting with her personal experience which lead to herrealising the need for advocacy after a perinatal tragedy. The advocacy service gives free and confidential support and guidance to people who have concerns about their treatment with a doctor, a DHB or other health professionals. She covered history leading to the Service - from The Unfortunate Experiment on women by Professor Green at Auckland Women's Hospital 5o years ago and the consequent Code of Patients' Rights in 1994 and recommended that we use these rights and use the service to speak up about poor treatment.
David Craig ran an impromptu debate on "Should Marijuana Be Legalised in New Zealand?" Four members were given slips of paper with yes or no on them and as luck would have it they got the ones with the opposite view to their own. Helen said yes because her husband was much nicer after smoking it , Adrienne said no because it damaged young people's brains, Sarah said yes because it would stop drug companies making big profits and Buck said no because the poor Mongrel Mobsters wouldn't have jobs.
Simon was Sergeant-at-Arms and table topic evaluator, Oxana, Nicola and Helen were introducers and Wendy, Adrienne and Helen evaluated the speeches. Lloyd again gave thoughtful, helpful general evaluation.
Helen as President expressed her disappointment in the member turn-out at the contests the previous week and the fact that for the first time in 26 years there was only one entrant for the International speech contest so that it had to be cancelled. It was embarrassing in the presence of 4 outside judges. Our club has good speakers. Theyneed to come and they need to take part. The Evaluation contest had 5 contestants and the places were: 1st David Clarkson, 2nd Helen Peate, 3rd: Lloyd Bathurst. David and Helen will be our representatives in the next level of competition - the Area D3 Contests - on Tuesday 4 December at the Barrington Bowling Club, starting at 7.00pm.