To get a thrill, give a speech

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS -

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.

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