You know why Rose was at the Division E Conference this weekend. She was competing. But why were Peter, Pauline, and Chris there?

dec-peterdec-paulinechris Yes, we were there to support and cheer for Rose, but I think I can safely say it was also because we had all been before and wanted to come back for more. More quality entertainment, first class inspiration, and a mystery freebee.

I will admit the day started with a bit of officialdom to meditate through, but it was not before the Table Topics competition started. The question was “Does Money ever buy you happiness?”.division-e-conference-tt

Raymond our Area E4 champion was first up and answered first by defining happiness as having good health, great opportunities, and lastly long life. In Raymond’s classic strong structural fashion, he then followed through three strong examples infused with wit. For example, who likes foreign holidays? Money can buy you the happiness of reclining back on a deckchair beside a tropical beach, or the deck of a cruise liner,  rather than being blown flat on the stones of Petone’s windy foreshore.

The following 7 Toastmaster area winners all answered creatively too. For some, it was “The age old questions”, another started with the Beatle’s song “I don’t care much for money, money can’t buy me Love” a great way to launch an answer.  Houses and cars came up, as did an attention-grabbing machine gun like burst of Money, money, money, money …… From the ladies, free expensive designer shoes brings happiness. As did a family of pet dogs, affectionately referred to as fairy children.

With so many great answers, the judges will have had a tough time, but there has to be a winner, and that was Raymond Kemp from Five Crowns.swc-tt-winners

I mentioned a freebee, that came in the form of an educational “emotional vocal variety” given by Owen Winter. At Toastmaster meetings we often talk about pitch, volume, and even the poignant pause. Emotional Vocal Variety was certainly new. Four emotions were voiced, by us the audience as we became involved standing up to imagine a calm water voice, a warm huggy voice, an acerbic angry voice, and a flicky frustrated voice.

Lunch was included in the $15 fee, which showed the gastronomical variety that can be applied to the humble baked potato. Yum, yum.dec-food-potatodec-food




Following lunch was the Humorous Speech contest, was warmed up by an American “refugee” and new bee Toastmaster that happened to be a professional stand-up comedian.All the Toastmaster’s that followed him were in my estimation professionals too. Each with their own thematical speech.


Rose spoke third with her speech “little wins”, full of emotional vocal variety and heartwarming humour. She really did try hard, giving undoubtedly her best performance. Her only trouble was the competition and their hilariously high standard. The winner spun a story about Diysycoasis, the disease caused by the success of a small DIY project such as hanging a picture leading to undertaking larger DIY projects that  are completely beyond the suffer’s ability.


If you read all the way to here, I hope that you will want to go to the next Division conference, as they really are great entertainment and a rare opportunity to be inspired by watching the very best of Wellington’s Toastmasters in action.

For more pictures curtsy of Shagen our area director, click here.