Being entertained and going away inspired during your lunchtime is a fantastic deal anytime if you can get it, and those were the two elements that the audience of the Area E9 International Speech Contest received in spades from the moving speeches given by the four contestants.

In speaking order, the contents were:

Stephen Hilson, with his powerful start demonstrating the mastery of silence for power, attention grabbing and audience focus whilst bowing, tying his Karate sensei’s belt before beginning in earnest. The wait was worth it, listening to his description of the inspiring and amazing feat of a limbless disabled boy completing the high-level Karate Kata that Stephen has taken years of practice to achieve. The actions of the boy then turn into the incubus of an idea for Stephen to give similar opportunities to disabled and vulnerable children by starting upon a journey, towards the creation of a new New Zealand Charity … [inspired by Disability Karate Federation ]

Rahul Madaan, whom turned into the story teller; moving from washing the dishes for his wife to drawing an apple out of his pocket and satisfying us with three crunchy stories about how the apple has changed our lives: from Adam and Eve’s tempting experience, to dropping in on Newton’s extraordinary insight into why an apples fall, and ending in humour drawing another apple from his pocket of the digital flavour which has also so dramatically changed our modern lives.

Rose Austen-Falloon, stirred us emotionally and winning heaps of empathy for the struggles one goes through both in early life and upon finding oneself without a job, not to mention inspiring us to aim high and think long term about gathering life skills for the future.

Raymond Kemp, mounted his mountain bike, to tell us his story of overcoming hurdles to competing in 60km race near Taupo, where you always get back on the bike, even if it hurts when you fall off. For me I also related Raymond’s story to Toastmasters, as Raymond took a pounding, some of it from me, when he was the test speaker for our Terreace@12 evaluation competition, but like his bike race, he remounted and today spoke without a wobble.

After the speakers had finished, we waited upon the result in anticipation:
• 1st Raymond Kemp
• 2nd Rose Austen-Falloon

Raymond is our representative at the Division (Wellington) contest in April.

For the Terrace@12 speakers, there was quite some support from our club with Peter Scholtens chairing and Marion, Andrew, Pauline, Ruth and Chris along to support and help where required.

Also A big thanks also all the Judges, Talley Counters, Timers, and competition organisers for making today happen.