“Desire! That’s the one secret of every man’s career. Not education. Not being born with hidden talents. Desire.” Bobby Unser

It was strongly obvious that the three contestants Hazel, John, and Grace had a great desire to speak at the 2018 Terrace@12 International speech contest. The desire to excel overflowed from them and into audience listening.

Hazel, speaker 1, spoke of “Giving Praise”. She flowed across the speaking area as she spoke fluidly of the many benefits of “giving praise” before floating her personal experiences in a story to us. Her story was of the struggle in IT between software developers and software testers. Developer who don’t say want they have changed and testers who can’t do a professional testing job without knowing. The story spiraled around an e-mail of praise sent by Hazel. Sent in praise of a developer whom actually made the effort of documenting their changes. Who sent it to around their team, which went to their boss, that then traveled to Hazel’s boss and team and finally back to her. Proving just what effect “giving praise” can have.

Speaker 2, John with “Wellington” sprinkled, poured, and in then conjured a deluge of praise for our home city of “Wellington”. Very in line with Hazel’s speech, and very popular choice with the audience who enjoyed John’s praise of the hills, the views, local attractions, and the night life available for those that can party all might. His role of a self proclaimed Advocate for the city of Wellington gave a stalwart impression. He gave praise and extolled of how Toastmaster skills can give us confidence to go up an talk and help all the lost sheep tourists with upside down maps wondering were to go in our Absolutely Positive little capital Wellington.

Grace, speaker 3, with “Something about busking” popped up into the streets of Wellington that John had just talked about so confidently and smiling engagingly told us of how she had seen her son’s confidence grow by busking there playing his flute. She also had a story, which coincidentally was about praise, the praise her son received from a old couple. At the start of Grace’s story, her son was busking and a homeless man shuffled over and put his only two dollars in the world in and which him good luck. What the old couple saw was Grace’s son later on upon come across a different homeless man and now seeing the homeless in a new and improved light giving $5 of his busking money. The couple were impressed, tapped Grace’s son on the shoulder and instead he takes $5 himself along with their praise.

After the three connecting motivational speeches and after so much being said so well the judges ponder, and pondered for some more before finally having over their ballets to Liz Springford out Tally Counter, who then disappeared along with the Chief Judge Ruth Fletcher to determine the winners.

  1. Hazel Bidmead
  2. Grace Xu

Chris, Hazel (1st), Pauline

Chris, Grace (2nd), Pauline


Hazel and Grace pictured with Chris the Contest Chair and Pauline Area E4 Director.




Special congratulations go to Hazel, who will be going onto represent Terrace@12 Area E4 contests on the 13th March 11.55am to 1.00pm NZTA Chews Lane, 44-50 Victoria St
(take lift to the 2nd floor)

Sincere thanks goes out to all the officials, judges, timers, tally counter, contest organiser and club supporters for making a great contest this Valentines day.