We are a Toastmasters club in Tawa Wellington New Zealand.
Tawa Toastmasters is a group of people with an aim of improving our public speaking ability. We take turns speaking for 7 minutes to club members. We also practice impromptu speaking by going to the front to speak for 2 minutes with no prior preparation.
Everything we do in Toastmasters is evaluated by another club member. This provides feedback for continuous improvement.
We have students, professionals and retired members in our club. Each member talks about their ideas and experiences, which makes our meetings educational and fun. Come and join us.
We have contests during the year to find the best speakers. We have
DTM stands for Distinguished Toastmaster. This is the highest achievement in Toastmasters. To achieve this award the following have to be done.
Fun and fellowship with a meal
I have a stutter which is caused by my ataxia. This has given me a lot of challenges when I was growing up. I would be talking to somebody and get stuck on a word. I found it impossible to speak without delay. My stutter caused me problems. I shied away from people as it was so hard to speak.
My late friend Jim, who suffered from a brain injury, suggested I join Toastmasters. It was hard at first. I not only had to conquer my nerves when going to the front of a room to speak. I also had to contend with my stutter too. I have made so much progress. I have managed to control my nerves which helps my stutter.
I have met many fine people at Toastmasters. They have become lifelong friends. I became the 2021-2022 President of the Tawa Toastmasters club, which is something I would never have believed I could do.
I can speak. I have a voice. I would recommend Toastmasters to anybody who wants to improve their speaking skills and to speak to an audience of any size.
Like many Toastmasters, we all have similar stories about why we joined. I joined for self development. I wanted to gain skills in delivering presentations and to be able to speak at work conferences with confidence.
Toastmasters has given me a life time education that I still enjoy and value not only in my work but anywhere else like chairing a pre-school meeting, organising family reunions, organising conferences and being able to run workshops in the community.
I have met many experienced members and I have learned through their speeches, their stories and their evaluations.
Having a good mentor is what I also valued during my journey to get my Distinguished Toastmaster Award. My mentor was helpful with my projects and to get me to think outside the square. She guided me through the pathways and took the time voluntary to help and support me.
My favourite quote from the founder of Toastmasters International Dr Ralph Smedley: “The unprepared speaker has a right to be afraid”.
When I first came to Wellington I worked in the NZ Audit Office. In those days it was staffed with mostly ambitious younger people in their 20’s and 30’s all wanting to get ahead. I well remember having a discussion with the Regional Manager, Ross Dunn, who recommended Toastmasters to me. Little did I know that Ross was actually a member of Tawa Toastmasters.
I was living in Tawa and saw an advertisement for a Speechcraft course being run by Tawa Toastmasters. The organiser was George Nicholson. I remember attending the first session and being terrified doing my first table topic. I found the members from Tawa Club running the course to be exceedingly helpful and supportive and joined the club not long after.
I must have been in the club only 2-3 years when they struggled to find a President that year so volunteered for that role. I was always in awe of the senior members of the club who were so polished in their speeches, the likes of David Knight and Peter Murphy. It took me years before I was able to win a contest in the club.
My wife joined the club not long after we married and we both achieved DTM status with in a year of each other. I was involved in starting up both Spinnaker Speakeasy and Capital Chatters Toastmasters clubs.
Professionally I have been hugely helped by Toastmasters and would not have achieved the things in life I have without Toastmasters.