13 Aug Rostrum WA Informer August 2012
Just when you get settled…!
There I was, going along quite happily, counting down the days to my next holiday, thinking that everything was settled and stable with Rostrum and then bam! Marianne announced that increased work pressures and family commitments meant she could no longer continue in her roles as Vice President and Director of Marketing & Membership. Being a strong family man myself I quite understood but was very sorry to see her go. I’ve very much enjoyed working with her over the last 18 months and will miss her calm demeanour and practical common sense. Thanks for everything, Marianne, and I look forward to still seeing you around Rostrum.
Fortunately, we’ve already found someone to take on the role of Director of Marketing & Membership. Graham Minchin (Club 19) is an enthusiastic member with a lot of energy for the role, so expect to hear from him in the next few months and make him welcome.
Kelly Brown (Club 2230) has been revising our web page and has now taken over the role of Web Coordinator from Ken Holzman. Kelly was previously with Rostrum in South Australia. She has lots of ideas, so you’ll see plenty of changes over the coming weeks–be sure to have a look–www.rostrum.com.au/wa. Kelly’s keen to get individual club web pages onto the site. If your club doesn’t have a webpage, consider starting one–Kelly will be happy to help you.
I’ve had a fairly quiet time after Convention but at the end of May, I was able to visit Club 11 for the South of the River speaking competition. It was a great event with some excellent speakers, including some relatively new members, which is always good to see.
By the time you receive this newsletter, I shall be over the seas and far away–in the middle of an English summer. The way the weather looks at the moment it’ll be rain, rain and more rain. However, we generally have a positive impact on the weather when we go there, so we have our fingers crossed. I’ll soon be back and look forward to catching up with you all then.
Freeman Tony Lightman, President, Rostrum WA
Northern Suburbs Club 2230 Awards Night
David McAndrew, Anne Pryor, Peter Hopps, Richard McCarthy and Dominic Faraone
Northern Suburbs Club 2230 held their Awards Night and the final of their first semester Impromptu Speaking Competition on Monday 9 July at the Glengarry Tavern in Duncraig
Club President Dominic Faraone presented awards to three deserving members in recognition of their efforts during the semester.
Richard McCarthy won the Best Club Member Trophy, having received the most points for his speaking activities, chairing meetings and serving on the club’s committee.
David McAndrew was presented with the award for Most Improved Speaker. This award, decided jointly by the club Critics and the President, often goes to members who are new to Rostrum as they usually show the most dramatic improvement. It was particularly pleasing to see the award go to a member of long standing.
Anne Pryor won the Chairmanship Trophy, as voted by the members after each meeting.
To round out the awards, Peter Hopps won the final of the Impromptu Speaking Competition.
Congratulations to all the winners!
Freeman Terry Walker, Club 2230
Rostrum Voice of Youth State Final
Junior winner Lachlan Sudlow and Senior winner Hamish Robinson
Months of preparation came to a head on 30 June at the final of the Rostrum Voice of Youth Speaking Competition at the new Concert Hall at Churchlands Senior High School. At stake for the 12 finalists were not only bragging rights, but recognition as the state’s best Junior and Senior speakers and the opportunity to represent WA in the National Final in Tasmania in July.
The audience and adjudicators were treated to a programme of thoroughly researched and passionately delivered speeches on a variety of current and pertinent topics, some with cleverly inserted humour, which had everyone in fits of laughter. The mental images of characters trying to scale the ‘cashed up bogan proof fence’, and of a penguin strapped into a hang glider leaping off a cliff will be with me until next year’s final.
Hamish Robinson from Hale School won the Senior section and Xavier Evans from Churchlands Senior High School was runner up. The Junior section was won by Lachlan Sudlow, also from Hale, with Tom Ballam from Ballajura Community College the runner up.
Congratulations to all the finalists and best of luck to Hamish and Lachlan in Tasmania. Many thanks to the Rostrum Voice of Youth stalwarts: State Coordinator Juliet Park for running the competition and ensuring the WA final went as smoothly as it did, Freeman Ken Holzman and Freeman Ruurd Speelman for adjudicating and Karen Reid for her help with the short notice speeches.
Hamish very narrowly missed out on second place in the Senior section of the National Final in Tasmania, whilst the experience Lachlan gained will serve him well in the future.
Rostrum WA provided financial assistance with airfares to Tasmania for the winners.
Rose Fogliani, Editor
Introducing two ‘new’ members of Dais Executive
Wayne Passmore – DIRECTOR OF TRAINING
Many years ago Rostrum was my saviour when, as a parent attending my children’s school P&C meetings, it not only gave me the confidence to speak but also the knowledge to make some much needed suggestions to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of those meetings.
Since those days Rostrum has been my saviour in countless work scenarios when I have had to conduct various meetings or presentations.
Rostrum Club 15 has been a big contributor to my life and I owe a lot to the many fine folk, past and present, who have been part of that learning experience. Club 15 has traditionally had a lot of ‘can do’ attitudes and hopefully that will continue. Through Rostrum my wife Pat and I have developed many long-term friendships and had some very memorable social occasions along the way.
My role on the Dais Executive is Director of Training. It has been a steep learning curve and I have a way to go–it is my aim to successfully conduct all the training sessions on the agenda for 2012 and come out the other end without too many scars!! I have had a lot of assistance so that has made it more enjoyable.
When I am not preparing Rostrum items I have two other interests–motor bikes and bees. I have three motor bikes (two dirt bikes and one road bike) and two very productive beehives in my side yard. When I ride to work in the mornings, because of the cold I have to leave my helmet visor up a little to prevent it misting up; only trouble is, once I rode across my bees’ flight path!! Result –two free Botox-type injections on my forehead!! It’s a shame they hurt like hell, itch a lot, and don’t do anything to improve the craggy face!!
Kelly Brown – WEB COORDINATOR
I have been a member of Rostrum Club 2230 since June 2011 however I was a member of Club 7 in South Australia for 12 months before moving to WA. I originally joined when my brother asked me to be MC at his wedding and I wanted to do a good job. Rostrum helped me to improve my confidence and speaking skills and I received lots of compliments from
family and friends on my skills as a compere at the wedding.
I quickly felt the benefits of what I learnt at Rostrum in my work, from being able to formulate clearer and confident responses in meetings to speaking with customers over the phone.
What I like most about Rostrum is that I get to practise my skills in speaking and meeting procedure every week; each meeting is structured so that everyone has the opportunity to be involved, not just those who are set speaking exercises. I also like the support, encouragement and great advice I get from other members and the tutors. At Club 2230 we have a sense of humour, so we have fun while learning. We also have members at all levels of speaking experience, from new members right through to members with more than 30 years of membership under their belts.
Joining Rostrum isn’t my first foray into public speaking. In year 12 at high school I performed in the school play. I was dressed in a swimsuit, slipped in a make-believe pool and landed awkwardly, breaking my left arm for the second time. Like a true professional–or maybe I was just stupid? –I finished the performance without telling anyone what I’d done. The following night I performed in the play with a plaster cast on my arm, something that wasn’t in the original script!
I am Web Coordinator for Rostrum WA. I’d let Sue Hart know I was interested in helping to refresh our web content while moving Rostrum WA to the national website and was invited to join the team on Dais Executive. My role includes developing web content that is engaging and clearly articulates what Rostrum WA can offer, with the aim of increasing traffic to the site and attracting new members.
In my spare time I love to read, preferably fantasy novels, and spending time with my partner and gorgeous kelpie- cross, Gypsy. I also like to run, steering well clear of non- existent swimming pools.
Arthur Garvey Speaker of the Year Competition
The heats for the Arthur Garvey Speaker of the Year Competition have been held and the semi finals will be held in late August and early September (see below). Well done to all those who took up the challenge–entering the competition increases a speaker’s skills tremendously.
For those who will be in the audience at the semis and final, you might be interested to know how adjudicators carry out the difficult task of trying to be objective about something that is inherently subjective. You may be aware that they award points on the basis of 50% for appeal to the intellect and 50% for appeal to the emotions. In other words, speakers must have something worthwhile to say, and present it in an attractive manner that engages the audience.
The speech must not be all about the speaker but must give the audience something they can relate to–a personal story can work perfectly well, as long as it involves a universal theme.
We are told in Rostrum that a good speech should inform, entertain or inspire, but the very best speeches have at least two of these elements and preferably all three. A serious speech will benefit from touches of humour–think of a eulogy at a modern day funeral–while an informative speech needs to be more than a list of facts. A humorous speech won’t work if it is simply a stand-up routine with no point or focus.
Finally, a winning speech must be within the set time limit, and will relate closely to the topic. The topic may hardly be mentioned within the speech, but it will be obvious to the audience and adjudicators that the speech has been created to illuminate the chosen topic.
Start getting your tables together now for Rostrum’s big night. The Arthur Garvey Speaker of the Year final will be held at the Rostrum end of year dinner at Lake Karrinyup Country Club on Saturday 6 October. You will enjoy a lovely dinner, hear the winning speeches, see the winning Rostrum clubs rewarded, enjoy some surprise entertainment and meet up with old and new Rostrum friends.
Details have not been finalised but the cost will be about $75–most clubs subsidise their members for attending. It was a great night last year so do come along and celebrate our great organisation.
Freeman Sue Hart, Coordinator, AGSOY
Club of Excellence Awards
The Club of Excellence Awards will be announced at the annual Rostrum dinner on Saturday 6 October. All Rostrum clubs in WA are eligible for the R. Alan Crook Award, whilst those in the country are also eligible for the David Price Award for Best Country Club.
To be considered for the awards, a club’s written submission must address how the club promotes the aims of Rostrum, including:
- How the club is run;
- How the club promotes itself to attract new members;
- What the club does to promote Rostrum in the community;
- How the club interacts with other clubs;
- How the club participates in Rostrum WA functions; what the club’s members do to assist with Rostrum functions outside the club; and
- What events the club holds or runs outside the normal club meeting.
The closing date for submissions is usually in October however, as the AGSOY final and annual dinner will be held one month earlier than usual this year, the closing date for submissions will also be one month earlier.
Freeman Tony Lightman, President, Rostrum WA firstname.lastname@example.org by: Monday 17 September 2012
Making a speech memorable
A good speech leaves the audience wanting more. A memorable speech also gives them something to mull over and discuss for some time afterwards.
To be memorable, a speech needs:
- A logical structure and progression of ideas. A speaker has to remember a speech to deliver it and the audience has to remember it to be able to think about it. A logical structure with a steady progression of ideas aids the speaker and allows the listeners to follow the speaker’s theme. One idea leading to another meets audience expectation, is easier to grasp and aids understanding. Going off on tangents, however interesting they might be to the speaker, risks ‘losing’ the audience.
- A strong opening and conclusion. A good opening, such as a startling comment, with an indication of what is to follow, will catch the attention of the audience and ignite interest in the speech. An ending, which restates the theme introduced in the opening, delivers an outcome or a prediction, or makes a personal appeal, will summarise the theme and thrust of the speech for the listeners so it must be worded thoughtfully and delivered with conviction.
- Simple descriptive language. Simple words spoken clearly, and simple phrasing and sentences make it easier for the speaker to deliver, and easier for the listeners to understand a speech. Unnecessary words and complex sentences will confuse the audience. If a speech becomes too difficult for the listeners to follow, they will be easily distracted and quickly lose interest. Remember the KISS principle: keep it simple and straightforward (or keep it simple, stupid). Language which paints word-pictures will aid understanding, give listeners something to think about and keep them engaged. A clear image will stay in the mind longer than a string of words.
- Vocal variety. Variation in the voice adds ‘colour’ to a speech, and can also help to hold the audience’s interest. The volume can be increased or decreased to emphasise important words and phrases; the pitch and pace of delivery can be varied to establish a mood; and the quality (richness or resonance) of the voice can be altered for dramatic effect, to highlight a quote, or to indicate a transition. Pauses of different lengths in a speech are like punctuation and paragraphs on the written page. They assist the speaker to present ideas clearly and the audience to listen comfortably. Vocal variety and pauses in the delivery can bring out the meaning of a speech, help build suspense, and avoid ‘blah, blah, blah’ monotony.
- Appeal. There are two parts to this. A speaker who appears relaxed and confident, who looks like he wants to be there and delivers his speech confidently will encourage a favourable response from the audience. If the speaker is also able to relate his message to every person in the audience, the audience will want to listen and understand. This is achieved in part by delivering the speech as if addressing one person and making sincere eye contact, and in part by telling a story. A memorable speech always involves transfer of feelings and feelings are more readily conveyed by a story than by facts and figures. Stories get the message across and can be reinforced by using relevant, well-timed gestures. Gestures also add to a speech’s appeal. Conversely, excessive or pointless gestures can distract, whilst a speech without any gesture may lead to loss of concentration.
- To finish on time. Overtime is usually boring time. A speech that is too long must be pruned to cut out the waffle. It is better to leave the audience wanting more than to have bored them, thinking ‘When will this end?’
Rostrum Critics’ Training
Rostrum Training Council are pleased to report that the Critics’ Training Course on Saturday 7 and 21 July attracted five trainees: Joanna Whitney (11), Trevor Denholm (50), Paul Turbett (2230), Graham Minchin (19) and Rose Fogliani (15).
Critic’s Training is a big commitment and a substantial investment of time over two weekends. Thank you to the trainees for committing to the first stage of becoming a Critic and for participating in the activities with such enthusiasm. We hope you found the course informative, challenging and enjoyable.
The training programme was both ‘hands on’ and ‘full on’, covering such topics as:
- How to deliver a critique and give feedback to a speaker in a way that will help the speaker improve as well as teach the audience;
- How to watch and listen to speakers and take meaningful notes at the same time;
- How to critique general business or meeting procedure (and not panic);
- How to assess demonstrations, tutorials and workshops; and
- How to assess a club speech and adjudicate a competition speech.
The trainees practised critiquing a variety of presentations by members of Training Council, and had the opportunity to evaluate both their own efforts and those of their fellow trainees before receiving personalised feedback from the trainers. At the end of the two days, some of the trainees progressed to the next stage of becoming an Accredited Critic, while others were recommended for more training and practice in their clubs.
Freeman Ruurd Speelman and Wayne Passmore conducted the training sessions and wish to thank the following for assisting–Karen Reid, Freeman David Price, Carol Brands, Freeman Adrian Grant, Derek Sparkes and Freeman Sue Hart. A special thank you to Carmel Markham who not only helped with the training but also provided the wonderful facilities (and a mountain of delicious, ‘just-baked-this-morning’ scones for morning tea).
Wayne Passmore, Director of Training