Dentists at Toastmasters

No not a free dental check-up!

Nor a Dental Practionor’s Convention!

You guessed right! Toastmasters Speech contests!

At the Inner City Division final of the Humorous Speech contest in Perth last week there were chattering teeth and moulded masterpieces on display as the contestants took the audience on a deliriously funny diatribe of humorous speeches.

Four individual and original speeches that by chance painted word pictures and images of the dreaded ‘dentist’, and the fear that it evokes for many.   Even Mona Lisa was present to witness the event, that famous smile complete with casted dentures!

Contestants in their topics reminded us that time waits for no-one but waiting at the dentist seems to take for hours, the exclamation shopping with the ‘wife’ worse than a trip to the dentist captured attention;  and the theatrics of life kept the audience laughing and entertained throughout.

Congratulations to Thierry

Thierry Morel will represent the Division at the District 73 final in Perth, in May 2011.  I hope Thierry has a dental check-up prior to ensure he is remembered for his brilliant toothy smile.

Table Topics and the road more or less travelled.

Impromptu speaking with contestants leading the audience  a journey of life as they shared wisdom, insight and the bumps and breakdowns that many in the audience related to in someway.

Congratulations to David

David Cain will represent the Division at the District final in Perth in May 2011.

A picture paints a thousand words as you can see in the snapshots.

These were the contestants in the two contests.

Jennifer van den Hoek, David Cain, Jeremiah Hartmann, Thierry Morel, Bill Hewitt, Stuart Hoare, Bradley Triston, Robyn Bell

These were the contest officials.

Division Governor Kristin McIntosh, David Cain, Thierry Morel, Judge Beth Colegate, Judge Kristofer Hindge, Chief Judge & Lt Governor Education & Training (West) Mark Richards, Timer Allen Hahn and Sgt At Arms Leonor Ragan

Thanks to I40 Area Governor Robyn Lloyd for the story and the pictures.

District 17 in July 2011

WA will be District 17

Toastmasters International has decided – we will be District 17 when we become a full District in our own right.

17? why not 88 or 89?

The most recent new District was 87, so with two new Districts coming onstream, we thought it would be either 88 or 89.  Not so.  We have been given 17 because District 17 in Montana, USA has been folded into District 78 which covers Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and northwest Minnesota.


Apparently, since we are in the “West” it was decided to give the previous number of the North Western State in the USA to us.

Who cares about the reason?

Mark Richards
Mark Richards DTM
Lt Governor
Education & Training

We have our number. From July 1, 2010 we will be functioning independently, the fourth Australia District, part of Region 12 of Toastmasters International. In the meantime, we will be preparing for the changeover, led by our current Lt Governor Education & Training (West) Mark Richards and Lt Governor Marketing (West) Ross Wilkinson. Elections for District 17 will be held in May, 2011 at the District 73 Convention being held in Perth.

A long journey coming to its destination

Quite a few people have been working very hard for the District WA project. At the last District Convention held in Perth in May 2007 then District Governor Geoff Morrissey moved and I seconded the resolution which set the process in motion.. The end of that project is in sight.

July 1, 2011 will be the beginning of a bigger project

It’s rather like a human birth. The child born from its mother was conceived well before the birth. We are coming out of District 73 and will need to grow and mature. Unlike human babies, we will need to be fully independent from the first day, with no parents to provide for us. We have just over six months to prepare for that full independence.

David Nicholas

Posted by David Nicholas DTM
WA Webmaster

Welcome Desperados

WA’s first new Toastmasters club for 2010/2011

A new club has been chartered in WA – the first new club in WA this Toastmaster year … and the first northern suburbs new club since 1994.

The club has been established in the State government Department of Education Services, commonly known as DES. So what better name than DESperados!!!

Richard Strickland
Richard Strickland

Mike Helm
Mike Helm

The origin of the club was a DES staff symposium on 26th August 2010. DES CEO Richard Strickland, an enthusiastic Toastmaster at Victoria Quay club who has seen the benefits of Toastmasters first hand, asked staff member Past District Governor Mike Helm to chair the staff symposium and also to give a short presentation about Toastmasters. Staff were very interested in what Toastmasters had to offer and accepted Mike’s invitation to attend a sample meeting which was held on 10th September.

Fifteen staff members attended the sample meeting plus external Toastmasters leaders Inner City Division Governor Kristin McIntosh and District Public Relations Officer Pascale Amberville-Colby.

It was agreed to hold fortnightly meetings where enthusiasm has remained high. The knowledge and competence of the new members is of an exceptionally high standard and they have a thirst for developing their skills further. This demand has been met to some extent by introducing an array of guest speakers to the meetings – Toastmasters leaders Pascale Amberville-Colby and Perth Area Governor Peter McDonnell, the new club’s mentors; Kristin McIntosh, past Perth Division Governor Bill Hewitt and Inner City Area Governor Gerry Prewett.

The formalities for starting the new club were completed, and an excellent group of club officers elected, at the fourth meeting on 22nd October. The club currently has 21 first time members and rising, almost a third of the total DES staff.

The new club’s sponsors are Richard Strickland who has generously offered resources to assist the new club, and Mike Helm who will provide the benefit of his experience in Toastmasters.

Keep an eye on DESperados club! Its members are sure to feature strongly in future speech contests and leadership activities.

Dunsborough Sample Meeting

Saturday November 20th

W29 Area Governor, Shaun Palmer CC ALB, has organised a demonstration meeting for a Dunsborough Toastmaster Club.

The location is the Naturaliste Community Centre, Dunsborough Lake Road, Dunsborough.
It starts at 10:30 am.

If you can help, contact Shaun on 9755 4809 or 0448 979 041 or email him

W21 Area Contest

Victoria Quay hosted the W21 Contests

On Wednesday, October 20, 2010 Victoria Quay hosted the Area W21 Humorous and Table Topics Contests. There were contestants from Victoria Quay, Gateway and CSBP Kwinana.

Peter Law
Peter Law

Peter Law won both contests

The Victoria Quay President, Peter Law, won both Contests. He carried off the Humorous with his “Midlife Crisis – Leave it to the Professionals” speech. The Table Topics subject was “The most memorable dinner party”. He recounted a military party with the Governor and some unexpected under the table activities.

The supper

Some people say that the contest detail which sticks in peoples memories is the supper. On that test, this was a memorable contest. Heljo Cameron and partner Alan superintended the arrangements. Members brought along a plate – and the food on them was plentiful, tasty and attractive looking.

The contest officials

Area W21 Governor Tim McNamara was the Toastmaster. He was genial, relaxed and efficient. His careful planning meant that the whole contest flowed without a hitch.

Mark Williamson
Mark Williamson

Heljo Cameron
Heljo Cameron

Mark Williamson and Heljo Cameron were the Contest Chairs. They were faultless in their accurate, mistake free conduct.

Judith Ingle and Greg Madden kept time scrupulously.

Glenis Nicholas and Andrew Bond were tally counters. I’m sure they were fair, supervised by Chief Judge Sandra Morton from Cannington Communicators.

Paul Reilly and Neville Simmons were the Usher – yes, it was a double act, and it worked well.

The Judges

The Judges
Area Governor Tim McNamara with the Judges

Sandra Morton was chief judge. She was assisted by Peter McDonnell, the W10 Area Governor from Stirling Toastmasters and a judge from each of the competing clubs – Victoria Quay’s Alan Smith, Martin Lindsay from CSBP Kwinana, and Sharon Wayland from Gateway.

Where to from now?

Peter will represent Area W21 in the Western Division final to be held on Saturday afternoon, November 6.

David Nicholas

Story by David Nicholas DTM

Ellenbrook Toastmasters

Toastmasters is coming to Ellenbrook

We are in the process of establishing a new club in Ellenbrook, a thriving community north of Perth in the Swan Valley.

A sample meeting has been booked at Ellenbrook Place, a well appointed meeting room above the Library in Main Street.


Wednesday 10 November 6:45 for 7:00pm start

How can YOU help?

By distributing flyers, come to the sample meeting, tell your friends, neighbors, relatives, promote this new club by whatever means you can.

Contact Martin 0402 823 351 – or Vicky 0427 535 636 –

We would love to hear from you to help us establish this new club.

CL Problems

Project 8 is a problem

The Competent Leader Manual has 10 projects.  Project 8 deals with Motivating People.  Members are required to do three of five roles, at least one of which has to be from the first two roles named.  These two roles both require the member to conduct campaigns or chair a contest.

Problem 1

Chairing a speech contest is not an eligible activity.  This is the text of the relevant role

Membership campaign or contest chairman.  Your club conducts several membership-building campaigns or contests each year.  With the approval of your club’s vice president membership, organise and conduct a membership building contest, motivating members to participate and helping the club grow.”

This makes no reference to speech contests.  It is quite different.  Unfortunately the wording of the first role is ambiguous until the explanatory paragraph is read.  Either members and club officers don’t bother to read the explanatory material or they know of the problem and ignore it.  This role is very badly worded.  It should be presented as two separate roles

Membership campaign
Membership contest chairman

Problem 2

Members and club officials in most clubs are wrongly claiming credit for successfully completing Project 8.  They are using the chairing of club, area and division speech contests as fulfilling the requirement.  It doesn’t, as is perfectly obvious from Project 6 which lists chairing a club speech contest as a separate role from the two chairing roles in Project 8.  Have a look at at the 6 possible roles in Project 6 and see what I mean.  A club membership campaign or contest and a public relations campaign are there too, separate from a club speech contest.

Problem 3

This problem applies particularly to strong, successful clubs.  They have very great difficulty in providing opportunities for more than two or three members genuinely to complete either of the first two roles.  How many membership contests or public relations campaigns can reasonably be run in a given year?  This is particularly a problem for clubs with effective websites which attract the bulk of their new members.  I know of several such clubs in WA which have this problem.  It might sound incredible, but such clubs don’t run traditional member recruitment campaigns because they already have more than enough new members being recruited from the website.

Project 8 is a bottleneck for strong, successful clubs with many members working on the CL award and needing it to progress to the ALB award and finally to DTM.  .

What can be done about this problem?

I don’t know.  A new version of the CL Manual has recently been published.  It contains the same role requirements as the original Manual.  World Headquarters are not going to publish a revised edition for quite a while which recognises the problem I identify above, even if they agree with me.

Members and clubs which wish to promote the successful completion of the CL award will either have to turn a blind eye to the problem and use speech contests as an acceptable substitute or to find creative ways to conduct membership contests or public relations campaigns.  But read the manual.  Taking part in such campaigns or contests is not adequate – organising them and motivating other members to take part is the requirement.  This is an ethical problem for Vice Presidents Education who sign off the completion of Project 8.

What do you think about this problem?

Do you agree with my analysis?  Have you any creative suggestions for getting around the bottleneck?

Add your comment.

David Nicholas DTM
Member 318284

David Nicholas

Twenty at last!

WA has an average membership of 20.0!

At week end September 24 we had 1,100 members in our 55 clubs.  That is an average of 20.0!

What’s the big deal?

I have been keeping detailed records of our WA Clubs for over 10 years.  This is the first time in that time we have reached this significant average.  It’s significant because Toastmasters International makes this the goal for clubs and Districts – 20 members is needed for effective club maintenance.

District WA

In the early days of our campaign for our own District in WA we were given two targets to reach – at least 60 clubs and an average membership of 20.  That was when we had 35 clubs and an average membership of 16.7!   Well, we have reached an average of 20 members per club (but not for long – see below), but we have only 55 clubs.  Yet, World Headquarters has promised we will be a full District on July 1, 2011 – only 9 months away.  What is going on?

Two things have tipped the scales in our favour

The first is our energetic pursuit of growth in new clubs.  In the 4 years since Mike Helm became the first West Australian District Governor of District 73 and I launched the District WA brand, we have been averaging a net growth of 5 clubs a year.  That average growth has given credibility to our push.  It has been significant overall and steady from year to year.

The second is pure luck! Toastmasters International has re-organised their structure to make it reflect the reality that growth is occurring outside North America.  A Region structure has been adopted with a minimum of 5 Districts per Region.  Geographically Australia and New Zealand have been grouped together in Region 12.  Currently there are 3 Australian Districts – District 69 Queensland and the Northern Territory, District 70 New South Wales and Canberra and ou District 73 Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and WA – and 1 New Zealand District – District 72.  Region 12 needs another District to bring up its quota.  Enter District WA.  They need us and we have established credibility – they know we will get there soon, so they have relaxed the entry criteria.  In November this year we will be allocated our District number, along with a new District in China.  That is very appropriate given the close association between our WA mining industry and China.

Twenty now!  16 next month?

That’s my gloomy prediction, again based on monitoring our figures over many years.  Members must renew their membership for the next six months by September 30 – next Thursday.  In practice the real date in the past has been October 9 and the final figures wont be available until about October 23.  When they come through most clubs will have suffered a member loss of about 20%, which will bring our WA totals down to around 900 members and an average of less than 17.  That’s my prediction.    And then we start the climb up again – more clubs and more new members.

Let’s start the action now.

David Nicholas DTM
WA New Clubs Coordinator

David Nicholas

Kalgoorlie Training

Road trip

9:00 Saturday 31 July, a fresh morning as we assembled at Vicky Post’s house for the Road trip to Kalgoorlie. Pascale Amberville-Colby, Vicky and I, along with Lynette Delane, complete with foggy reminders of red wine celebrations from St George’s end of year party, and foggy weather conditions, set off for Kal for Club Officer Training. We made the trip in 6 ½ hours, a few pit stops along the way, avoiding Salmonella Central thanks to Pascale’s previous experiences, and with minimal snoring and drooling, but… what happens on the Road Trip stays on the Road Trip.

Arriving in Kal we were warmly greeted by Robin Lonsdale, President of Touch of Gold Toastmasters. After a pick-me-up coffee, we headed to the venue for a comprehensive two hour COT session. This included a judging workshop for the Table Topics contest, as well as the usual: Club officer roles, having a buzzing club, the DCP and your future in Toastmasters. The meeting was both informative and informal, with lots of audience participation and feedback. It was encouraging to see the professionalism of the club officers with their questions specifically targeted to their roles and responsibilities.

Following the COT we were treated to a sumptuous and creative buffet dinner, including a large bowl of salad that we accidentally kidnapped from the 30th birthday party BBQ held in the venue that night.

Touch of Gold held their regular meeting immediately after dinner and we were both informed and entertained by Morrie Goodz showing us how geologists interpret core samples with real samples of drill core and rock chips. Several jokes were made about “Morrie’s rod” and it featured prominently in the group photos. It was a stupendous meeting and we were made welcome and invited to participate.

After the meeting we retired to Robin and Morrie’s for coffee, chocolate and liqueurs, followed by a well deserved rest.

Kalgoorlie Training
Pascale, Lynette, Morrie, Martin, Robyn

Sunday morning, after successfully negotiating the bathroom roster, we set of to the superpit, where Morrie gave a resounding speech worthy of Project 2 from the “Speaking to inform manual” on the mining process, history and future, much to the appreciation of several interested tourists who gathered around to listen.

Breakfast at Kaos Cafe was a little Kaotic, with staff struggling to cope with the number of patrons. Morrie had to rush off to the airport, but the rest of us enjoyed a leisurely and sumptuous breakfast, before packing up ready for the trip home.

Along the way back, we played tag with a band of patched bikies, a large boat on a semi trailer, a freight train and the setting sun, driving due West mid afternoon. There was lots of Toastmasters related banter, but as I said…. what happens on the Road Trip stays on the Road Trip.

Martin Lindsay
Martin Lindsay
Perth Division Governor

Third Place for District 73

District 73 World Championship of Public Speaking respresentative, Linus Chang, has placed third in Palm Desert California with his speech entitled “Being Jane”.

Linus gave a heartfelt story of his achievements in life which he had planned from a young age. What he got along with that success was not what he had planned…..
That was when he discovered JANE. Jane is his GPS!

Jane taught him that no matter what has happened in the past, you can always “recalculate”. Linus learned “If we can accept the past, be flexible with the future, we can live the present.”

All of District 73 are proud to have such a worthy representative. I know Linus will go on to greater achievements now he understands the lessons Jane has shown him. CONGRATULATIONS LINUS!

Mark Richards DTM
Leiutenant Governor Education & Training West

A smiling Linus after the presentations

The World Champion of Public Speaking 2010, David Henderson, flanked by 2nd placegetter, Robert McKenzie, 3rd placegetter, Linus Chang, and previous World Champions.