The 2016 Toastmasters International District 70 Conference was held in Batemans Bay over the 25th & 26th of November. The culmination of an idea that started 24months ago when Marie Cook & Michael Freedman were thinking of how to highlight the good work Toastmasters does. The Batemans Bay Toastmasters club decided to make an application to hold the conference in Batemans Bay. This was the first time this conference was held so far from Sydney, but the gamble payed off with over 100 members representing many of the 190 clubs in the district.
The purpose of the conference is to hold a council meeting of the clubs and to also hold the finals of two competitions, a Table Topics contest and a Humorously speaking contest. Table topics is extemporaneously speaking also so know as Impromptu speaking in which all contestants are taken out of the room and return one at a time to answer the same question in the 2-minute time limit. Humorously speaking requires the speaker to use humour to deliver a speech with a message or inspiration in a time limit of 7 minutes.
The winner of the Table Topics contest was Matthew Tonkiss representing Central Division Second was Peter Papadimitriou from Southern Division and third was Dale Rees-Bevan of Phillip Division and the winner of the humorous speech contest was Andrew Whelan representing Bradfield Division second was Nick Field of Lachlan Division and third was Matthew Tonkiss of Central Division.
One of the highlights of the conference was when Soldiers Club employee Diane Leddy was presented an award for her excellence in Communication and Leadership by Batemans Bay Toastmasters.
The conference was neatly finished off with a visit to Mogo Zoo on Sunday morning for breakfast and a visit to the zoo, where a couple of the members took the opportunity to get up close and personal with a Giraffe, with one member being kissed by a Giraffe a treat which will not be forgotten for a very long time.
Toastmasters is a worldwide Communication and Leadership organization which has helped over a million people improve their communication skills giving them the confidence to speak in public. As well as empowering them to leadership roles at work and other social organisations.