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The return to face-to-face meetings was a welcome change to our zoom meetings of late. At the same time, we were able to look to a more inclusive approach to our meetings, with our first ever hybrid meeting. Although connection bandwidth issues played their usual havoc, the core elements were there, and I thank everyone for their patience and assistance.

Speaking of change, this was a recurring theme throughout the meeting. A new segment ‘Fast Minute’ allows for a quick public speaking burst on your topic of choice. Hyuni shared a story about her work, whilst Sammy shared the life changes she is experiencing approaching the birth of her first child.

Dana gave an Icebreaker Speech that was a personal story about herself and her transition from Germany to Australia. Dana shared her adoption of the Wim-Hof Method of breathing and cold-water immersion, part of her spiritual path that brings out her inner hippy. During the speech Dana used lots of vocal variety, facial expressions and a little rainbow-butterfly-unicorn-magic as she puts it. An enjoyable speech that allowed us to learn a bit more about you Dana.

Ana V also gave a similarly themed speech around ‘Travel and Exploring in 2020’. Ana also shared her experience of moving from Croatia to Australia. Now firmly planted in Australia, Ana has a passion for her weekend camping trips. Notably, how One Mile Beach in Nelsons Bay NSW, is top of the list of her all-time favourites. There was a message for those considering taking a regular break from the normal, as it increases mood, makes you more adaptive, increases cognitive ability, boosts creativity and facilitates personal growth. Ana used an ipad for notes for her speech and was able to use it infrequently whilst maintaining positive engagement with the audience.

Brian also presented an educational on motions, an area of debate and public speaking that is practiced less often these days. Following this, Anna Leadbetter presented a motion about the inclusion of an ‘Acknowledgement of Country’ in Toastmasters, which aroused some healthy debate. Discussion was around what could be said, who, when and how often. After twenty minutes, this motion has been adjourned for now to a future meeting, to be continued…

In summary, some wonderful examples of approaches to change. Lived, advocated and proposed.

By Garry Taylor

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