To get a thrill, give a speech
There is nothing quite like the adrenaline rush of public speaking without notes, says Jocelyn Syme, local Toastmaster of the Year.
She accepted the award at the Kapi Mana @ Tawa Toastmasters annual prizegiving.
The Toastmaster of the Year award recognises the member who has done the most for the Tawa club during the year.
‘‘Many people join Toastmasters because they’re afraid of public speaking. That’s an excellent move because at Toastmasters, we provide a friendly, nonthreatening environment in which you can practise and grow in confidence,’’ said Ms Syme, who is in only her first year of Toastmasters.
Part of the weekly meeting is devoted to evaluations of speeches, so speakers and others in the audience get plenty of tips on how to improve.
As the club’s vicepresident for education, Ms Syme is responsible for organising the programme and ensuring everyone has the opportunity to meet their goals. The support and encouragement she gave were partly why she received the top award.
‘‘I’ve really benefited from getting involved in Toastmasters. I used to write official speeches for ministers of the Crown and the Governor-General as part of my job many years ago, but it’s quite different when you have to get up and deliver your own speech.’’
She is now teaching at St Mary’s College.
A highlight for her this year was representing Kapi Mana @ Tawa Toastmasters at the area impromptu speech contest, in which she came third. She also represented her other club, Porirua Central, in the humorous speech contest.
‘‘ That was surprisingly difficult, delivering a sevenminute speech with no notes. That’s when you have to conquer your fear of forgetting what you want to say and, instead, to make use of that adrenaline rush,’’ she said. ‘‘It’s also a lot of fun writing these speeches and working out how to make people laugh or keep them listening.’’
For more information, contact Kapi Mana @ Tawa Toastmasters president Alan Martin at 232 8487 or Martin36@globe.net.nz.