Transformers Wipes the Floor at Area Contest

Yes, literally …… actually figuratively! Transformers Toastmasters come first in both the Humorous Speaking Contest and the Impromptu Speaking Contest in Area H4 this evening.

Congratulations to Matthys Meintjes for winning the Humorous Speaking Contest and to Rod Taylor for winning the Impromptu Speaking Contest. Both these winners will compete in the Division H Contests on 10 October. The winners from those Contests compete at the Toastmasters Conference in Cape Town on 13 October against the best in Southern Africa.

It was a well organised contest this evening at Da Vincenzo’s Restaurant in Sunninghill. Wayne Perry as Contest Chairman fulfilled the role given him by Area H4 Governor, René Schoeman, and figuratively took the plane aloft and landed it again safely. Wayne always has a host of dry, oh, so dry, jokes up his sleeve and no one is spared. René and her team ensured that the evening flowed like clockwork, trays of snacks arriving at the moment the recess was called. We feasted on pizza slices and delicious salad. The raffle this evening, sponsored by Bytes SI, had delved deep into their stock of good wines and chocolates and four very fortunate people went home with prizes worth the R20 for 3 tickets price and much more.

The four Toastmasters Clubs in Area H4 had a contestant representing them in each of the two contests. The humorous prepared speeches were very entertaining and had been well prepared. Matthys’ winning speech told the tale of his humbling experience of leaning to fly-fish for trout. He did not bring home the fish for dinner as he had boasted he would, but he learned not to underestimate that which at first sight seems inferior to yourself. Second was Keelan Naidoo of Morningside Toastmasters Club with his love disappointment in the Saga of gym-buddy. Know that a girl who wants a boy as gym-buddy has a boyfriend lurking in the background. Barbara Poultney of Sandton Toastmasters Club warned us to be prepared when facing nature because she can be treacherous and a pleasant scramble up a mountain can turn into a race for life. Jacques Beard of Business Engage Toastmasters Club engaged us with the humour of a family of four sons.


The impromptu speeches on the word “spring” were seasonal and uplifting. Rod, in his winning speech challenged every able-bodied person to use their given talents and dig as deep as the Paralympics competitors have done and we would all achieve gold in our own right.

Chocolates in hand for everyone who had helped in one role or another, we went home well satisfied on a job well done.

Catching trout for dinner

Catching trout for dinner; Danes taking Leaf off their Census and the happy pastures of lost socks – Transformers has a great Humorous Speaking Contest and Impromptu Speaking Contest

Transformers Toastmasters Club had a full house for the annual Humorous Speaking Contest combined for the first time with the Impromptu Speaking Contest on Monday, 27 August. Three contestants braved the judge’s ballot sheets in each contest.

First up in the Humorous Speaking Contest was Rod Taylor or Cnut the Great Dame with an ingenious minister of finance, Leaf. Leaf found a way to “pluck the goose without killing it” and taxed both Saxon and Viking alike. Based on a national census Leaf knew everything about everyone, and when a Viking acquired goods though plunder he was charged a Viking Acquisition Tax. VAT has changed little in a 1000 years. Rod had many a great pun and twisted every bit of history until Leaf had to leave Britain and return to Denmark to marry his brother’s wife and so Cnut took Leaf off his census and headed into obscurity.

Next up Matthys Meintjes told us what he had learned about fish from a three day holiday to Dullstroom’s trout mecca. Promising his wife that she would not have to worry about supper, he set off to make a fool of himself and was instructed to go practice casting on the lawn in front of his bungalow for a day. No fish! Next he learned to think like a fish and headed off to buy the perfect lure. No fish! Finally he learned that fish are smarter than to be caught by a lure, stealth and silence are also a prerequisite. No fish! Three days and no fish for supper. The real lesson of the holiday was to always take the wife along or go without supper: she prepared steak, chicken and chops; no fish!

Last up in this contest was Mary Byrne with the tale of where all the lost items in a house go. Yes, they are conscious and resent the arbitrary uses that humans find for them and the neglect they suffer, so they contrive to find their way to sock nirvana, Tupperware meadows and teaspoon heaven. Paperclips evolve to coat hangers and these to shopping trolleys; metal has become plastic and with boomed suburbs shopping trolleys struggle to escape to trolley paradise and end up in ditches of desperation instead.

The result of this contest was fish one, socks two and Cnut took Leaf of his census; Matthys Meintjes winning first prize and going through to the Area Contest with Mary Byrne winning second prize.

The Impromptu Speaking Contest followed a hearty buffet of snacks. The word that was given to the contestants with which to make a 1 to 2 minute speech was “filter”. First up, Mary Byrne punted the super-oxygenated water for which her husband is designing the plant with suitable filtration, that provides oxygen to the body and enhances performance. Next up, Rod Taylor regaled us with the many filters he had met and installed in his career in the metallurgical field. Final contestant Margie Skeen recounted the malfunction of the filter between brain and mouth that lands people in hot water.

The Impromptu Contest was won by Rod Taylor with Mary Byrne taking second place.

A great evening enjoyed by guests, visiting Toastmasters and members alike. We thank our visitors who assisted by taking roles as judges and Sergeant-at-Arms.

Our next meeting will be a regular club meeting and takes place on Monday, 10 September. Guests are always welcome to come along and find out more about Toastmasters and the programme we offer.

Survivor 2012 announced

transformers survivor 2012 - printable flyer_v2-0-compressed

Winning the Area H3 Contests

Transformers Toastmasters Club hosted the Area H3 combined International Prepared Speech Contest, Evaluation Contest and Impromptu Contest on Monday, 23 April. Those who attended were privileged to hear 5 excellent prepared speeches as well as an excellent demonstration speech for the Evaluation Contest. The evaluations that were given were very educational, showing what can be said of a well delivered speech. The impromptu speeches were entertaining.But, at the end of the day a contest is about winning. Our Mary Byrne walked away with a first place in the International Prepared Speech with her speech outlining the risks of Fracking (Hydraulic Fracturing of shale rock to extract natural gas) in the Karoo and a first place in the Impromptu Contest with her speech on the topic “race” about her cat’s favourite pastime of playing tag, which has become more difficult now that they have moved to a house with parquet flooring. Ryan Ebedes came second in the Evaluation Contest.

The full results for the Area are: 

International Prepared Contest: 1: Mary Byrne (Transformers) 2: Michael Neale (Hatch) 3: Debbie Bowyer (Nedbank)

Impromptu contest:1: Mary Byrne (Transformers) 2: Peter Barker (Golden Gavel Advanced)

Evaluation Contest:1: Peter Barker (Golden Gavel Advanced) 2: Ryan Ebedes  (Transformers) 3: Paul Kluge (Hatch)

Some of the Area H3 contestants flanking Mary Byrne

In the photo from left to right: Michael Neale; Debbie Bowyer; Peter Barker; Mary Byrne; Paul Kluge; Precious Mathe; Struan Roberts and Vinu Nair