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Forward Momentum

I never expected to have sore cheeks from laughing so much at a Toastmasters meeting!”

That was the comment made by one of our guests who zoomed into our latest online Toasties meeting. High praise indeed – and it was an entertaining meeting but there was also plenty to think about with some quality ideas and information to ponder as well.

Austin chaired the meeting and made this all-consuming role look easy with his relaxed, professional style. We knew we were in good hands.

Sharon welcomed us and was warm and inviting for her first time tackling this assignment and was followed by Maude who delivered a toast to Teachers on World Teachers’ Day. As the partner of a schoolteacher Maude told us about the dedication and care she has seen in the teachers she knows. They really go above and beyond for their students and it’s certainly not all about long holidays and short workdays! I’m sure many of the members who have been homeschooling their children during lockdown have a renewed appreciation for teachers.

Nerida presented her Icebreaker speech “Vanlife”. She took us through her many creative careers from fashion designer to taxidermist and art therapist – and explained how now that she’s in the corporate world her creative pursuits are done on the sidelines!

She experienced a ‘misalignment of values’ was burnt out at work and seeking a better life balance when a chance conversation with a van owner at a music festival opened up a whole new world for her. Nerida sold her car and after 6 months of careful research bought herself a yellow Toyota Hi Ace which she is lovingly renovating.

She concluded with some advice for us all – trust yourself and don’t forget there’s always Youtube!

Next speaker up was Brad who was delivering his latest speech on the Innovative Planning path, titled “Am I in the Right Mind”. Brad asked us to consider which side of our brain dominates our life. He finds that although he is an artist by profession (a pen is his weapon of choice!) he see saws between left and right brain. No matter what work we do we can all push the creative side of our brain a little more to achieve better balance.

Brad used his relaxed conversational style to keep us thoroughly engaged but also added some of his trademark humour. We all learnt a new line when Brad questioned whether ‘his cheese had fallen off his biscuit’! Check out Brad’s work at

Other highlights of the meeting were the Members Soapbox sessions where Laura and Sharon told us a little about themselves. Sebastian with his very creative Timers Report delivered like a Formula One race call – it was hilarious, and Brian raved that it was the best Timers Report he’d heard in 20 years of Toastmasters!

We enjoyed having visitors India and Anna participate as well as our Area Director, Aruna who noted that the Dynamic Diggers meetings ran like ‘a well-oiled machine’! Thanks so much Aruna, it’s always a pleasure to have you and to receive such positive feedback.

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