The finalists have been decided–who will be Rostrum WA’s Speaker of the Year 2014?
End of Year Celebrations
The end of another year is rapidly approaching–Christmas displays are already in the shops! For Rostrum it means the Arthur Garvey Speaker of the Year final and our Annual Dinner are just around the corner. I’ve attended two of the heats and, if the quality of speaking in the first heat was the same as in the two I attended, we’re in for a great final, so book your places now.
I was unable to attend the first heat as I was visiting my daughter in California and had a great holiday traipsing up and down the west coast of America.
Since my return I’ve been able to visit three clubs and am pleased to see the quality of meetings and speaking remains high. First, I visited Club 50 for the AGSOY heat. They put on a great show and with about 30 attendees there was a great vibe.
I also attended the 100th meeting of Leedy Speakers Club 64. I was involved in the formation of their club four years ago and it was great to see that their energy and innovation is still there today.
Finally, it was a visit to Sunrise Club 42 in the city to introduce a potential member. They were the first club I was rostered to as a Critic, in the days when their meetings regularly had 25+ members attending and they had 6 or 7 critics–many of whom were Freemen! You can imagine how daunting it was! Well their numbers have dwindled but they still have good speakers and lively meetings.
Another celebration was held up in Geraldton earlier this month, when Club 14 celebrated their 30th anniversary–quite a milestone! Unfortunately, I was unable to attend but I’m sure they had a great night. I did speak with Freeman Ray Morton a few days beforehand and know that they were expecting about 40 attendees.
Also at this time of the year we need to start thinking about next year. This is my fourth and last year as President. I’ve really enjoyed it–well most of the time!–but other demands are looming and organisations need regular injections of new blood. Fortunately, a new young blood, in the form of Luke Matthews, is ready to take over.
There will be other changes and these are still being sorted out. The main one however, is the position of Secretary– Luke can’t do both. Think about it, it can only help your personal and professional life.
Unfortunately our web development has been delayed but I’m hoping we’ll have it up and running by the New Year. In the meantime I’m looking forward to catching up with you all at the AGSOY final and Annual Dinner.
Freeman Tony Lightman, President, Rostrum WA
Spring has sprung so grab your sneakers– it’s time for a walking meeting!
Many of us have desk jobs and spend most of the day sitting in front of a computer screen. And many of us also have to attend meetings where–you guessed it–we also sit, often for lengthy periods. It’s a fact that some people spend more time sitting than they do sleeping.
We know that sitting for a long time is not good for our health and it’s recommended that we take regular breaks to stand, stretch, go for a short walk, maybe also fit in a walk during our lunchbreak.
Nilofer Merchant, a Silicon Valley executive and lecturer at Stanford, introduced the concept of the walking meeting in a TED talk in 2013. She realised she was spending so much time in meetings she was finding it difficult to find time to exercise. Enter the ‘walk-and-talk’ meeting. While at first she encountered some resistance (‘I’m not fit enough…’)she now schedules many of her meetings as walk-and-talks outside the office: in a park, in the city, around the neighbourhood.
Apart from the obvious health benefits of physical activity, after several hundred walking meetings she has found:
- The changing scenery helps the thinking process and in generating ideas;
- Walking side by side is less stressful than meeting face-to-face across a table;
- Meetings are more memorable;
- She has become a better listener by walking next to someone;
- The mobile phone stays mostly put away; and
- The meeting ends on a high note, be it because it’s been creative, it’s outside or due to the walking itself.
Merchant suggests walking meetings are more suitable for getting to know clients, brainstorming, giving feedback and hashing through ideas, rather than project management. She also suggests they be kept to under an hour as attention spans and conversation tend to dry up after this time. And wearing comfortable walking shoes is a must.
Critics’ training 2014
Critics’ Training was held over two Saturdays –30 August and 13 September–at the Subiaco Community Centre. Neither the lure of the football nor the impossible parking situation along Bagot Road and surrounds was enough to keep the trainees and trainers away.
Trainees backed by years of experience and know-how. Standing (l-r) some of the trainers: Wayne Passmore, Ruurd Speelman, Ken Holzman, Joanna Whitney, Sue Hart, Frank Butler. Seated (l-r) the trainees: Carmel Philippe, Adrian Hinds, Denise Bradley.
Congratulations to the participants–Denise Bradley (Club 42), Adrian Hinds (Club 63) and Carmel Philippe (Club 64) for their commitment to improving their speaking skills, and their perseverance and sustained efforts over the two days, which included the occasional dash outside to move cars parked in restricted zones.
Through instruction and practical sessions, the trainees learnt how to listen attentively to speakers, analyse speeches to identify what was done well and what could be improved, summarise their analysis into points, prioritise their points, and provide constructive feedback in a non-threatening way. All agreed that by learning how the Critics did, not only would they be able to help other members; it would benefit their own speaking and presentation skills.
All the trainees improved their delivery of critiques over the two days, and will continue practising under the guidance of accredited Critics in their own clubs to gain more experience before accreditation.
Thank you to the members of Training Council who assisted in running the course, and to the many volunteers who gave up some of their Saturday to present speeches for the trainees to critique.
A message from the Coordinator of the Arthur Garvey Speaker of the Year competition
I am thrilled about our annual event–The Speaker of the Year Final and Dinner, held at Lake Karrinyup Country Club, which has proven to be an excellent venue, so ambient and hospitable.
This year we have an exciting and innovative MC in Andrew Ballantyne from Club 15. We are in good hands as this man is able to juggle management with entertainment–plus some of the unexpected (?)
We also have an entertaining interlude from the spectacularly creative Samuel Osborne (Club 34). I can’t say too much about this as Samuel has a way of being totally mysterious and surprising!
Our six finalists are currently working away at their apex effort, so please give them as much encouragement and support as you can. They are the stars of the show.
Before we move on to the grand finale, I must express my gratitude to the three clubs who hosted the heats–Clubs 15, 34 and 50. I was at all three heats and really appreciated the friendly welcoming atmosphere, the great food that was organised by the pixies behind the scenes, and the professional manner in which each heat was conducted. You are a credit to Rostrum!
By now you should all have full information about the final and how to book. The cost is $60 each, and the Booking Form is on the back page of the newsletter.
If you have any doubts about anything at all, you can contact me on 0433 700 354.
Karen Reid, Coordinator AGSoY 2014
Meet the AGSOY finalists…
Amy Radunz Club 34
My passion is connecting people. Being born in the heart of Australia, in Alice Springs, and having travelled to over 20 countries, I have connected and engaged with individuals in various cross-cultural experiences all over the world. Though day-to-day, my artistic background joined with over 10 years of working within the events industry, has given me the gifts to create unique experiences that bring people together. I notice the commonality that binds us all together and that connection is what I want to share and ignite within individuals, to have a better experience of life itself.
With a heart to nurture, a need to challenge convention and being a passionate visionary, I bring people together to discover the power of being connected with yourself and being connected with those around you. Life is a beautiful journey and it’s worth travelling with a peaceful heart.
Denise Bradley Club 42
People describe me as passionate, happy, energetic and friendly–and I’m known for my laugh! Apart from a couple of privileged years spent working in Tasmania, I’ve lived and worked in Perth for the past 31 years and I love it.
I believe Rostrum is an effective tool for people to improve their communication skills; whether it’s to improve leadership skills by good communication with staff, polish presentations to prospective clients to win more business, or improve relationships with colleagues and put their point across. Polished public speaking ability is a side effect, or the icing on top. We just need to spread the word louder and wider and follow the Rostrum Promise to ‘not be silent when we ought to speak.’
I see the AGSOY competition as an opportunity to take my skills one step further, having just returned to Rostrum this year after my Tasmanian ‘sojourn’.
Kanyanta Chipanta Club 64
Kanyanta hails from a little Southern African country called Zambia and is the youngest of four siblings. She moved to Perth 11 years ago to pursue a degree in Architecture in which field she now practices. She is passionate about Family, music, dance, good food and now improving her public speaking. Kanyanta also enjoys swing dancing and enjoys social dancing with the Perth Swing Dance Academy. She joined Rostrum Club 64 in June 2014 and is enjoying the learning and challenges so far.
Kanyanta is excited about what’s next for her on this wonderful journey of self-discovery.
Luke Matthews Club 2230
Preparation, preparation, preparation….the three Ps for speeches.
I have been looking forward to this moment, slowly working away, preparing for my AGSOY entry since the final last year. A year on, hundreds of ideas, weeks of writing and rewriting, I am ready.
Last year I gave a good speech, this year I gave a great speech. And I’m pleased with my achievement. I’m confident my next AGSOY speech will be an improvement on my last two. Will it be good enough? Of course, could it be better? Yes.
My aim is to be better than before, to have fun and to give the best competition I can to all the fantastic speakers in this year’s final.
To all the entrants, I say ‘well done’. You have shown outstanding dedication by stepping up and competing. Pat yourself on the back and learn from your experience.
To everyone else, I invite you to come along to the final and be inspired by the speakers and what they have to say.
Kun-Lin Wu Club 11
Hi there, my name is Kun, and I was born in Taiwan. Before working and living here in Perth as an engineer, I worked in Taipei, Dubai, Singapore and Sydney. It was great travelling to different parts of the world and seeing people in different cultures. And, with those experiences, I find Perth is my most favourite place because of its climate, great outdoor activities, and lovely people.
In order to improve my English, I joined Rostrum Club 11 earlier this year, and the amount of help I have received is far beyond my initial expectations. It is not just learning new words and correct grammar, but also what to say and how to say it. The most eye-opening part is to see great speeches delivered by experienced speakers, and that makes me realise there is still so much more to learn. I really enjoy this!
Lynne Ellis Club 34
Lynne could be described as ‘well-travelled’. Since joining Rostrum in 1995 to meet people outside her industry, she has been a member of several clubs north and south of the river. She’s also not one to shy away from a challenge.
Early on when a fellow club member suggested she try competition speaking, Lynne jumped in with both feet. First as a member of Club 56, and later Club 49, she was a regular participant in Rostrum speaking competitions, including the impromptu competition at Convention.
She also served on Dais as Director of Special Events.
Travelling of a different kind became Lynne’s focus during a break from Rostrum in 2009 when she travelled around Australia in a motor home. On her return she was a member of Club 52 in Mandurah for a time, and has now found a new ‘home’ at Cambridge Speaking Club (Club 34).