Keelan is new champion!

Keelan Naidoo won the Transformers Toastmaster annual Humorous competition

Presidential Address

Presidential Address 2011-07-25 

Fellow Transformers Toastmasters,

It is an honour and a privilege to serve Transformers Toastmasters Club as the President for the next 11 and a bit months.

It is my aim to return to basics and to keep things simple in order to serve you, the members of this club, by allowing you to achieve your reasons for having joined.

Toastmasters is one of the most effective Adult Education Programmes around and has a long history of success. Part of it’s success is that the clubs are self managed and thereby everyone participates in their own success.

For this reason I am very pleased to have members serving on the committee for the first time. No one becomes a committee member of a Toastmasters club because they know the job, everyone joins the committee in order to learn the job. I’ve been the mentor of a new club, Wits Business School Toastmasters Club, since the beginning of this year and can attest that in a new club the committee is entirely made up of new members with no prior experience of Toastmasters. In a well established club such as ours there are mentors aplenty for each role and the opportunity for learning is only a question away.

Last year as the VPE I tried to help every member set goals for themselves. I think I started off making it all too complicated and I did not assist by facilitating what I had in mind through the meeting programmes. You may have noticed 2 changes on the meeting programme already. Firstly, formalising the swapping of manuals. This means that everyone who does anything at all on the programme will be evaluated and many more people will have the opportunity to evaluate. Secondly, I have asked that we allocate 5 minutes where mentors can speak with their protégés to set goals, plan the next speech and assess recent evaluations.

I must confess that I’m not a very goal oriented person. My maxim is that life is a journey, not a destination and therefore I’m happy moving in a particular direction without racing to gain a particular achievement.

However, I also realise that an Adult Education Programme is pointless without goals just as attending university would be worthless without graduating.

I recently joined a self-help support group and learned there the value a simplified goal statement and I would like to encourage each one of you to use the Educational Session later this evening to formulate your goals in as simple a statement as possible. My goals for this year are: As the club president that this club shall be a President’s Distinguished Club and my personal goals are to complete my CL and 5 advanced speaking projects. My desire is that everyone should be able to articulate their Toastmasters goals for this year and I have suggested to the committee that we find a way that every member speak his or her goals every time they take the floor.

Becoming a President’s Distinguished Club means achieving 9 or 10 points in the Distinguished Club Programme (or DCP). This programme is designed specifically to assist members of the club in achieving their own speaking goals and becoming better leaders. The DCP programme is reflective programme, i.e. it reflects on achievements. Our District Governor for this year, Erich Viege, has devised a metric that will assist us in keeping on track towards DCP goals.

This metric is very simple: have 20 people at each meeting, 3 prepared speeches and 1 new member a month. The twenty people can be members, visiting Toastmasters or guests, but it ensures a lively vibrant meeting with duties spread to as many people as possible. Three prepared speeches spread between Competent Communicator and Advanced projects means that with 24 possible meeting a year of which 5 are holidays, contests or events means 19 meetings of 3 prepared speeches or 57 speeches. For full DCP points for speaking the club must complete 4 CCs and 2 AC or 60 speeches. There is sufficient opportunity during 19 to 24 meetings to complete two CL, AL or DTM’s. The only area where we as a club keep falling down is on membership. It is expected that on average 8 members will fall away during any year for a variety of reasons. With 12 new members signing on during the year the club will achieve and then maintain charter strength. (A new club can only be chartered once it has 20 paid up members.)

Because we fail in the area of new members I have chosen as the theme for this year: the club is the newest member. If we all direct particular focus on bringing in guests and making their experience such that they want to become members. Everyone writes on their guest form a reason why they have attended as a visitor. Our aim should be to assist the new member in putting in place a plan to achieve this reason and then mentoring them through the plan. If we focus on doing everything right for the newest member it will soon become the way we do everything in the club, particularly because we will have a new member every month.

I’m looking forward to a productive year in a fun environment and I invite each one of you to reflect on why you are a member of this Adult Education Programme and take the steps to make the programme work for you.

John-Peter Gernaat

Meeting No 608

Meeting No 608 Monday 25th July 2011

Theme:                “Long walk to Freedom”


Only 10  toastmasters braved the cold weather to attend our recent meeting.

Presidential Address

Our new President, John-Peter Gernaat addressed the club and spoke on his plans for his term of office.

He is aiming at Transformers being a President’s Distinguished Club. This will be achieved by adopting the metric of our new District Governor, Erich Viege - which is that for every meeting there will be 20 members, 3-5 speeches and 1 new member.

This would relate to a minimum of 57 prepared speeches presented over the next 12 months.

Transformers committee for the coming year has a good balance of experience and new members to assist in this endeavour,

But a toastmasters club is self managed so every member assists our success.

Taking part in an adult education program, such as Toastmasters, requires setting goals and he encouraged us all to devote some time to decide on what each of us wants to achieve.

There will be new items on the program, primarily to promote the Competent Leadership track but more importantly that each member gets evaluated on the role they perform at each meeting.

He is looking forward to a productive year in a fun environment.

Theme: “The Club is the newest member”

(see News section for full report) 

Toast of the evening: Mary proposed “a Short walk to Freedom” in honour of the Discovery walk the previous day when 50 000 people reclaimed the streets from the cars.

Word of the evening: Nontu’s word was ‘Injustice’ – but only Keith was able to do justice to it!


Prepared speeches

Matthys Meintjies (CC3) : “Fish have feelings too”

Matthys refuted 2 misconceptions about fish – that they are stupid and that they don’t care.

He gave examples of how they can be trained to do tricks and how they can retain memories for up to 5 years.

Fish have Business sense and a work ethic – the ‘Cleaner fish’ egging each other on biting them if they fall below standard.

As an example of good parenting he spoke of the hard headed cat fish who fasts for a month as he holds the sperm in his mouth!

Glenice Ebedes (Adv) “The Deal”

This was a three part presentation firstly defining negotiation skills and processes.

This was followed by a simulated negotiation situation where Glenice, as a landscape designer, had to convince a client (Sumari) that the original plans for a water feature were foiled by a large rock underground and that the subsequent plans would cost another R5000.

The third part involved feedback from the audience.

The general consensus was that Sumari could have given Glenice a harder time on the price issue, but the introduction of a new puppy into the formal garden did pose a challenge.


Table Topics

Margie presented an intriguing session where participants had to define a problem/issue in their life and then had to select a book which assisted in their salvation.

Who                       Issue                                            Book

Ryan   /  Fear of volcanos in Pilansberg /  Food & Wine Pairing Book

              Nontu /  Fear of Snakes / 1812: Napoleon’s March on Moscow 

  Sumari / Losing Weight /  (Engineering) Design Paradigms

   Mary /  Depression  / Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus

Glenice  /  Blisters in Comrades  / The Beatles Complete


On a sad note we say farewell to Angelica who is returning to America. We wish her every success.

Survivor 2011

Survivor 2011


On Monday 11th July Transformers held its Survivor Spectacular evening.

We had over 20 guests from various Toastmaster clubs who came to challenge our members on being the best impromptu speakers.

Round 1: 16 contestants had to survive an impromptu Powerpoint presentation. the topics were there for those who found them but included such diverse aspects as Flying / Pirates / Egypt / Horses / Mice / Snow / Parrots / Love / Lotto / Sharks / Dinosaurs

Round 2: 7 contestants survived to select their topic from a bowl which gave them an allocated sound bite to which they had to respond with emphasis on Vocal Variety and Body Language.

Topics included Gardening / Casablanca / Weather / Politics / Physics / Spiders

It came down to the final round

3 contestants left in the competition

Each contestant had to pick a slip from 3 bowls for Challenge situation / Helpful Pet / Antagonist

Keith : Raging River / Parrot / Mamba

Ann : Cliff Face / Hamster / Cannibal

Amanda: Impenetrable forest / Monkey / Man eating lion



3rd Place Keith  - Transformers TM

2nd Place: Amanda  - Bedfordview TM

1st Place Ann - BedfordviewTM

Congratulations to Ann who survived to take the ultimate prize (bottle of Amarula!)

Survivor takes impromptu speaking to a new level. Only the best survive!