Awards spring from a change of heart
Tokoroa’s Julian Leite has learnt to never say never again after receiving two Geyserland Toastmasters Club awards.
Leite, who transferred from an Auckland club where he’d been for a year to the Rotoroa club around six months ago, has received the Doris Moore award for Most Improved Speaker as well as the Oral Reading Contest Award.
He said it has been an interesting journey building up to the awards as he once walked away from Toastmasters thinking it was not for him.
‘‘Years back I was taken to a club but I wasn’t ready for it. It wasn’t until I went back to study towards my diploma in business that I realised I would have to speak anyway so I thought I would give it another go,’’ he said.
‘‘I began to realise it was more than just speaking though. You’re evaluating and listening as well and learning all those skills.’’
‘‘It’s been great and the people have drawn me in. It’s rewarding to see how far I’ve come in such a short time,’’ he said.
Leite said since joining the club he has also gained his competent communicator certificate which is the first award after 10 speeches. He also recently completed his bronze medal certificate for his next ten speeches and is now working towards his silver.
‘‘At my other club I had done nine projects so I completed my tenth through Geyserland but in less than a year I have also now done another ten so I have accelerated quite a bit,’’ he said.
‘‘You are nervous when you first start out so it took me a while but now I always have something ready in case someone is sick so I can step in.’’
‘‘You always have fun times at Toastmasters and always come away feeling really positive that you have taken part,’’ he said.
While there is no longer a club in the South Waikato Leite said he would be keen on starting another one up if there was enough interest.
‘‘I saw a lot of comments on the Tokoroa club’s old Facebook page when I first moved here so those members must still be out there. It all comes down to numbers so if anyone would like to see a club started up again give me a call on 022 353 4654,’’ he said.
In order to get enough members he said it might be easier to look at setting up a South Waikato club so encouraged people interested outside of Tokoroa to also get in touch.