• First Oakville Toastmasters


Submitted by Toastmaster Donald Knowles

It was another great night at a Toastmaster competition. What competition you may ask? It was the Division finals for the Table Topics and Humorous Speech Contests. The venue was a repeat of last year, the Senior’s Centre at 2285 New St. In Burlington. The room is quite good with reasonable depth and good width. There were about a hundred or so people in attendance. The only negative about the room is the air conditioning can be a bit loud.

On to the first event. The meeting was called to order by the SAA David T Shaw and a welcome presented by the Contest Chair Michael Klaptocz. Avis Brodie (DTM and LGET) gave District greetings which were followed by Charlotte King giving a Fall Conference update. The contest rules were presented by Chief Judge Chris Czerwinski.

The contest phrase was “Politicians are like”

The contestants in order were; Ross Campbell, First Burlington, Crocodiles. Catherine Majore, Hamilton TSO, Dogs Chasing Cars. Tim Bartol, Rose City, Community Vultures. Chuck Slaa, Stoney Creek, Friends. Tony Bradschitsch, Valley Town, Us. Denise Redgers, Lakeshore In-depth, Thieves. Peter West, First Oakville, Oil in a Car.

As you can see most of the comments were negative, and quite funny.

The results were; Denise Redgers 3rd, Tony Bradschitsch 2nd, AND


Peter West First.

How did Peter do it?

Toastmaster Peter West Taking Top Honours in Table Topics

1. Quick entrance with a hearty handshake. Trade mark energy and excitement entrance 2. Memorable play on introduction ” Politicians are like Peter West”. 3. Warm and pleasant demeanour and facial expressions. 4. Superb smooth modulation of voice with clear enunciation . 5. Positive take on politicians, relating leadership skills learned in Toastmasters to those employed by politicians. 6. Second reference to TM skills learned. This built more connections to audience 7. Perfect speech structure; a. Hook, see #2 above b. Introduction c. Body, d. Close 8. Whole body movement expressed by walking around the stage front and using a lot of the presentation area so as to include audience. a. Note that walking is not pacing. 9. Great audience eye contact which built rapport.

In other words, a perfect speech which lasted 2 minutes and had 20 second prep time.


A short intermission for refreshments ensued.

The Humorous Speech contest was called to order by the SAA David T. Shaw who introduced the Contest Chair Lyn Jutras. The contest rules were interpreted by Gary Reid. The interpretations gave the rules more life than the usual verbatim reading from the book, but they did go on a bit longer than was expected. The participants in speaking order were;

Joanne Gray, Rose City, It Wasn’t Funny At The Time, But. Peter Maxymuik, Midday Marauders, Smarter Than a 6 Year Old. Ninh Tran, Steeltown, The Journey. Joan Graham, Trafalgar, Debunking the Myth. Linda McCready, Skyway, Love Tank. Mark Grottoli, Valley Town, Little Bit Of Water. Liz Grebe, Garden City, Aisle Rage.

First of all, every speech was terrific and diverse. Joanne talked about her infant son’s antics, Peter winning bribes for his charge to eat supper, a closet party animal attending premed and med school from Ninh, Joan talked about 3 myths of older people, Linda was coy with a self help book on finding romance, and lastly, Liz discussing her Aisle (shopping cart) rage and its control. This was the 3rd round for these speeches so they were all very entertaining.

The results were; Peter Maxymuik, 3rd Liz Grebe, 2nd


Joan Graham first place.

How did Joan do it?

1. Cynical non smiling address, which made it funnier. 2. Sardonic smirk. 3. Included people in audience for rhetorical responses, which built inclusiveness 4. Au courant jokes, especially Justin Beaver. 5. Good social reference about pharmacist going up market “from a Kia to a Bimmer”. a. Had fun with Joan after the contest. Congratulated her then put on my Kia cap. We both laughed. 6. Perfect voice control. 7. Fabulous cynical intonation and matching facial expressions. 8. Perfect pacing with effective use of pauses a. She had to push some lines a bit as she was picking up more laughs than the clock would allow. b. Most laugh waits were perfectly timed. c. Joan improved her delivery over the Area contest, which was no mean feat as she was the clear winner at that level. d. The ceiling romantic section had people tittering well past the speech time limits.

In case you haven’t twigged on this, Area 52 WALKED AWAY WITH ALL OF THE HARDWARE.

It was a fun time, a little rushed for 19:00, but a terrific contest all the same.

Please send Peter your congrats.

Yours in Toastmasters

Donald Knowles

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Contact Us

Meeting Location

79 Jones St, Oakville, ON


L6L 3E6

Meeting Time

Every Thursday 7:15 pm- 9:30 pm EST

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