Nicky Kaj and Anne have just returned from attending the District Convention in Caloundra. While returning trophy-less, all considered it a rich experience.

Highlights were

  • Spending more time with Leigh Anne Metcalfe and husband John McClean currently Area 2 Governor and our next Northern Division Governor from Townsville
  • Go getting up close and personal with our International President Gary Schmidt who demonstrated excellent speaking skills and a strong ability to develop rapport with his audience in his keynote presentation ‘The Secrets of Successful Leadership’. Nicky and Kaj spent the Saturday dinner at his table and Nicky has succeeded in gaining him as her mentor for her next year’s role as Area 32 Governor. Go Nicky!!
  • The presentation by Julie Cross was heart warming and inspirational. We will all be safeguarding our sparkle!!
  • Table Topics was won by Kayt Duncan from Southbank Toastmasters with Pushpa Vida second. Kate gave a most enthusiastic and energetic response to the topic while Pushpa’s was strong, articulate and more along the inspirational line.
  • Generally all the educational sessions were presented with considerable thought with a view to making them interesting, interactive and meaningful. Nicky gave hers on Sunday on attracting members via websites. She presented it very professionally in a highly interactive style and I have no doubt all participants found it a valuable session.
  • Saturday night was dress as your fantasy. Anne went as a rock chic. Nicky and Kaj went as vampires – Kaj in make-up was particularly disarming. John McClean went Mexican while his wife went 1920’s style.
  • The humorous competition on Saturday night saw a well deserved win to a Terry Hicks for a masterfully crafted and very funny speech about catching a mouse his wife was scared of. Second went Kayt Duncan for a great speech about trying to pursue her exercise routine since having a baby.
  • A lady named Rhonda gave the test speech for the evaluation contest and did an really good job so it was a stretch to find points for improvement. Kaj was up first to give his evaluation and he did so with no notes, with his usual well moderated, measured and word perfect style. It was clever, succinct and apt. We thought he’d nailed it. He didn’t place! Feedback from other participants later has led us to believe many felt he was contrived or had just recited something he had prepared earlier because it was sooooo measured. Others commented they didn’t feel he used enough voice variety and spoke too slowly. The lady who won was Lorraine Lehmann, followed by Kate George.
  • The International competition was held on the Sunday night and Pushpa Vida from Alice Springs in our own division won breaking the drought since 1983 of female winners. Alison Cleaver took second position with a mesmorising speech entitled ‘Bewty’
  • Both Nicky and Anne received A Salute to the Stars award for work done behind the scenes in promoting and supporting Toastmasters