The Jotter – 20th June and 14th July 2022

Jottor for 20 June 2022.

Theme of the evening…. Fortune favours the brave

Glenn, our trusty and dependable Sergeant at Arms called the meeting to order at the stroke of 7pm. Elaine our faithful President opened the meeting, welcomed the members, and introduced our wonderful guests – Joanne and EricMark outlined the alterations and then Glenn – this evening’s Toastmaster – ensured that the meeting flowed smoothly and kept to schedule.

Wordmaster/Grammarian Karen reminded us that our words impact our lives and the lives of those around us. Recognising this, Will Bowen created a movement called ‘A complaint free world.’ Karen encouraged us to attempt the challenge – to try and go 21 days without complaining, criticising, or gossiping (see the website – ). The word of the night was joyful and before the night was out Barbara had joyfully used it ten times, with Joyce a close runner up! Mark commenced the warm-up, encouraging us to share our stories about ‘fortune favouring the brave.’ Members and guests each gave their view of this saying – no two versions were the same!

When you become proficient as a Toastmaster, you gain confidence in your public speaking skills. Mark’s speech warned us not to develop beliefs around needing specific external, environmental tools to give a good speech. The skills you learn and develop at Toastmasters reside within you, and you bring them to every speech you give – wherever it is and whoever the audience is.

Supper included a delicious CAKE as we celebrated 45 years of the Coffs Harbour Toastmasters, thank you Joyce and ElaineBarbara had a mysterious object for each of the Table Topic speakers, and each speaker created a magical story around their object: an enlightened buddhist (Melissa), a magic teapot (Gerry), a genie bottle (Joyce), and a telepathic creature (Joanne). Elaine chaired the business meeting, where the members discussed issues relating to the venue and ongoing charges.

Ernie’s evaluation of Mark’s speech was thorough and supportive. Gerry’s general evaluation was warm and encouraging. Thank you to Joyce for your scrupulous timekeeping and reporting. Elaine sincerely thanked and congratulated both our brave guests for joining us and for their impromptu speaking – we hope to see you again soon.

The Jotter – Karen


Jotter for 19th July 2022

“When the rain tumbles down in July” (Slim Dusty)

It was a dark and stormy night as we drove in to Coffs through pouring rain from as far as Red Rock in the north, Bellingen in the west, and Bonville (our guest!) in the south. All 10 of us!, which was enough to celebrate the club turning 45 years old. Some quick history: Toastmasters began in 1924; the first club in Australia (Wollongong) started in 1957; and Coffs Harbour club started in 1977. By the way, our multi-talented President Mark baked and iced a cake for the occasion.

So what’s been happening in the last 45 years? I put that to two of our “elders” – Fran (30 years a member) and Barbara (18 years). (Ernie, 27 years, was AWOL and couldn’t be reached). Fran confirmed that in her time the club has run at least 6 Speechcraft and 6 Youth Leadership courses (for people outside the club), and she said the last Speechcraft course for a group of business women in Coffs was specially inspirational. As to what the club has meant to her over the years, she said: “All the lovely people I’ve met on the way”.

Barbara first joined Toastmasters in 1977 in NZ, long before she came to Coffs. She’s been in and started up many clubs since then and has observed how clubs each have their own culture, and how they interact with each other and the wider community. She’s done many different jobs and says: “I couldn’t have done as well in my career if it hadn’t been for Toastmasters”. For example once, as a nurse, new on the job and with only 10 minutes notice, she had to speak to 500 wharfies about health and safety issues, and that into a barrage of catcalls and whistles. She credits Toastmasters with helping her do that.

Getting back to the meeting, it had a couple of innovative items. In “Two Truths and a Lie”, Mike told 3 yarns from his time in a US Marines boot camp. (Members’ back stories are always interesting). After supper Melissa, instead of the usual Table Topics, had 6 people in 3 pairs, do 3 impromptu role plays. In the first one, for example, Mark and Elaine were Captain Cook and Cook’s mother. They had to chat away for 2 or 3 minutes, staying in character while trying to figure out who on earth they were speaking to.

That’s all folks. Stay dry.