Jacaranda 2000 Toastmaster’s club is in the Local Authority of Ipswich Australia which lies twenty five miles to the east of Brisbane. The club is part of District 69 which includes all of Queensland and stretches from Papua New Guinea in the north to Northern New South Wales in the south and to Darwin and Alice Springs in the west. Having such a widespread district can lead to communication problems which they solve by holding district tele-conferences. Visit the Jacaranda club website to find out more.
On realising that her first published novel, Girl Reading, was going to require her to be the girl reading at author evenings, Katie Ward joined Ipswich Electrifiers in order to confront those fears and equip herself with techniques to speak successfully in public. “The Electrifiers’ meetings enabled me to practise reading excerpts in front of a supportive and constructive audience,” she says. “The members also gave me much-appreciated feedback and practical advice, to help me overcome my nerves and speak with more confidence.” Girl Reading, by Katie Ward, is published by Virago, and Katie has since been heard on local and national radio discussing this book and her writing.
Comic poet and novelist Mary Hall was the guest speaker at Ipswich Electrifiers Speakers’ Club visitors’ evening on 24th January 2013.
A former member of the club, she has carved out a highly successful career entertaining audiences with her work. Of all the skills she learnt at Toastmasters, the most valuable, she reckons, is keeping to time − and to prove the point, she composed this poem especially for Ipswich Electrifiers.
Not mastering no art
Toastmasters hasn’t helped me not to learn to public speak
It hasn’t helped me not to change my voice form merest squeak
It’s not achieved my butterflies not flying in formation
It’s not enabled me to win no prizes for oration
It’s not allowed poetic silliness nor extra verse
It’s not reversed this introvert; not made her extrovert
It didn’t show me not to teach, advise nor entertain
Not make a start; avoid the middle; never have an end
Nor yet disguise a pause when bits of memory don’t fail
Nor aim to have no eye contact, nor have your arms not flail
The only thing it taught me is, when walking down the road
When the lights go red, I now stop dead and utter not a word.