Raising a glass to toastmasters

TWO northern suburb residents filled their glasses and put on their best public speaking voices recently as they showcased their mastery of toastmaking at the annual Area M20 Speech Contest.

Held at Hotel Soho on Saturday 7 November, Rodney Tattam, of Austins Ferry, and Gawain Simpson, of Claremont, joined fellow “Toastmasters” from across Tasmania to battle it out for the opportunity to climb the ranks and represent Australia at the world championships.

Area director Kate Gray said the contest showcased the best speakers in Tasmania with winners advancing to the next level of contest, which would be held in Melbourne next year.

“This is an exciting day for both contestants and spectators,” she said.

“Contestants have worked really hard on their public speaking skills to get to this point and have already competed at club level.”

Mr Tattam said he joined Toastmasters five-years-ago following a desire to undertake some public speaking.

“I wanted to learn from experienced and confident speakers,” he said.

“I love attending meetings because of the diversity of people and how their stories are always interesting and engaging.

“I often comment on how I learn something new every night from others’ experiences and presentations.”

Mr Simpson, joined the Toastmasters 11-years ago to improve his communication after a suggestion from his boss at the time.

Mr Simpson has since gone on to achieve one of the highest rewards of ‘distinguished toastmaster’.

“My biggest challenge also turned out to be my biggest highlight,” he said.

“I gave a 45-minute workshop on humour for speeches on the 2010 District 73 Convention and ended up with 127 people in the audience, which was more than I expected.”

This year’s Area M20 contest included four categories – table topics, evaluation, humorous and international.

Mr Simpson was awarded first prize in the hunourous and international contests, as well as third prize in evaluation.

Mr Tattam scored third prize in the humourous category.

Ms Gray said the contestants in the international category could now advance for a chance to compete at an international level.

“It is a tough competition but there have been several Australians to win at the worldc in past years, so it would be great to see one of our Tasmanians reach that level,” she said.

For more information about Toastmasters, visit www.toastmasters.org.

Enjoy this story? Share it!

About the Author: Glenorchy Gazette

The Glenorchy Gazette is your monthly community newspaper, reaching over 24,000 homes and businesses in the Glenorchy municipality. It is the product of Nicolas Turner, Justine Brazil, Ben Hope, Simon Andrews, Tobias Hinds and guest contributors, with support from advertisers.

Leave A Comment

What’s new?

Go to Top