Black Swan May/June 2012

Black Swan
May/June 2012

The Newsletter of Toastmasters District 17

Editor: Gerry Prewett

In this issue

Select the link to go to the story


  • Q&A
  • Tarsh Gardiner
  • Q&A
  • Malley Martin
  • Q&A
  • Damien Montague


This will be the last time I edit the Black Swan and I am pleased to say that I will be handing it over to the more than capable hands of, someone else! You know, that person who does everything when no one offers to do it. In this case we have a very capable and willing volunteer.

I took over the old Southern Cross, about two and a half years ago, mid-year when the previous Editor Michelle Monaghan had to step down. I wasn’t daunted but I was frustrated! The software used to produce Southern Cross, Adobe In Design, was great for publishing professionals but at times I felt it was driving me rather than vice versa.

With the advent of our own District 17 it seemed a fantastic opportunity to review the whole Newsletter. For me it became a High Performance Leadership project and I was privileged to have some of the District Leaders on my Committee. I had a vision of an e-Newsletter, delivered to the e-mail boxes of all our members.

Probably the best move was using Constant Contact as the software to distribute the Newsletter. It has lots of different flexible templates and a great engine to aid distribution. It also happens to be the software used by TMI for their Newsletters to members.

I don’t think we are 100% there yet. There are still areas that need improvement but they will come. The best way this can happen is for as many different people as possible to contribute.

Thanks to everyone who has helped me during my term of Editorship. I’m not going to mention individuals but you have all been of great assistance.

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Gerry Prewett

Gerry Prewett DTM

Black Swan Editor


Sep Back to Menu



District Governor Report

Overall performance

I am very pleased to announce that we have achieved Distinguished District status and were the equal first District in the world to achieve this.

Currently (10th June 2012) we are ranked 8th in the World with 61.96 points. To gain a place in the top 12 Districts we will need to get to at least 76 points which I think we can achieve. With 2 new clubs about to charter and several clubs on the verge of Distinguished status we could reach Select Distinguished status this year. It has been a tremendous year for us so far and I hope this lays a strong foundation for the years ahead.


District 17 (62 clubs) July 1st Base 1134 – Members Now 1150 – Gain of +16  Growth +1.4%

New Members 563   Retention Rate 67.8%

Division C (20 clubs)

July 1st Base  349 – Members Now – 424 Gain of  +75 Growth  +21.5%

New Members 212 – Retention Rate 75.6%

Division N (20 clubs)

July 1st Base 367 – Members Now 345 – Gain of -22  Growth -6.0%

New Members 148 – Retention Rate 67.0%

Division S (22 clubs)

July 1st Base  418 – Members Now 381 – Gain of -37  Growth -8.9%

New Members 203 – Retention Rate 61.4%

District Website

We have added convention highlights to the website along with the minutes from the DCM.  The policies and procedures manual has been amended to show the changes voted in at the DCM. The History tab now reflects the tables of contest winners and District executive leaders.

Distinguished Areas & Divisions

We now have 11 of our 13 Areas at Distinguished status. C2 and N24 are not quite there yet with C2 needing 4 more CCs and 2 more ACs and N24 needing just 2 more CCs.

We have C4 and S35 at Presidents Distinguished, C1 at Select Distinguished and the others at Distinguished. Well done to all our Area Governors for an amazing effort this year.

Our Division Governors have been tremendous this year and the proof is in the pudding. Robyn & Vicky both Presidents Distinguished and Nola, Select Distinguished. Well done to our 3 ladies this year.

Distinguished Clubs

We have 27 Clubs at Distinguished so far this year with a possible 12 more clubs able to achieve this status. There are 9 Distinguished, 9 Select & 9 Presidents Distinguished. We had 29 clubs Distinguished last year so you can see we will go well past this mark this year.


I am so impressed with the dedication and focus we have as a District Management Team.  The culture we have in the West to focus on the needs of the member and the importance of their own personal goals that affect the club goals is something other Districts are trying to achieve. Our International Director, Mike Storkey, was telling me how impressed he was with the way our clubs and leaders focus on the DCP. He said if we could bottle the enthusiasm we have here in D17 and sell it, we would be very rich indeed.

The District Council meeting went very smoothly, thanks in large to our ever reliable Secretary, Sandra Morton and a big congratulations to our next leaders who will lead the District next year.

A top 12 finish is not out of our reach. Let’s all focus on the last few weeks we have left. Encourage members and clubs to lodge any awards they have to boost the DCP results and then we can all celebrate our achievements at the Change Over Dinner together in July.

What a Convention on the Weekend at the Vines

District 17 Convention

What a brilliant event we held at the Vines. I have heard nothing but glowing reports on how well organised the event was and how much fun and knowledge was gained over the weekend. Well done to everyone involved in the organisation and running of our inaugural District 17 convention.

Here are all the results from the contests and District Council meeting elections.

Humorous Speech contest –

1st place – Peter Law, 2nd place – Debbie Hills, 3rd place – Gerry Prewett









International Speech contest –

1st place – Peter Law, 2nd place – Gil Alexander, 3rd place – Cheryl Marron









Evaluation Speech contest –

1st place – Gil Alexander, 2nd place – Peter Law, 3rd place – Bill Hewitt









Table Topics Speech contest –

1st place – Simon Frayne, 2nd place – Andrew Hadfield, 3rd place – Bill Hewitt










District Council meeting election results –

District Governor 2012/13 – Ross Wilkinson DTM

LGET 2012/13 – Pascale A Colby DTM

LGM 2012/13 – Robyn Richards DTM

PRO 2012/13 – Ian Pickens DTM

Central Division Governor – Leonor Ragan DTM

Northern Division Governor – Bronwen Jones ACB

Southern Division Governor – Allan Burt CC




Balang Award (most members at convention)Canning Vale 








Outstanding Toastmaster of the YearMaree Pickens


Positive Promotion PremiersVictoria Quay 


Area Newsletter of the YearArea N23 John Pawley


Club Newsletter of the YearTouch of Gold 


First Timers QuizTanya Finnie – Canning Vale

John Cecchi accepts the award for Tanya.





Tanya accepts the award at Canning Vale.
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Sep Mark Richards DTM
Sep District 17 Governor 2011/12

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Sep Back to Menu




Please Madam – No Eye Contact

Coming up with an idea for a demonstration meeting – Classic

The number of emails to organise the meeting – Countless

Handing out flyers on a cold autumn morning – Brave

Watching people avoiding eye contact so that you don’t give them a flyer – Priceless

The lengths that Toastmasters will go to, to attract members is incredible.

Roby Lloyd Nola Haddrill hnd out Flyers



An idea was formed to hold a demonstration meeting at Dome, City Square. It is a popular spot, located in St Georges Terrace, opposite King Street in the Perth CBD. Hundreds of people walk past every day. Surely these people could benefit from the Toastmaster program? For Central Division, it was an opportunity to be exploited.

On 30 May, Central Division Governor Robyn Lloyd and Vice President Education (Perth JusTalk) Nola Haddrill braved the cold to hand out flyers. The crowd was slow to start with but kept building up momentum. Nola quickly realised she had the upper hand over Robyn. One of the advantages of working in Westralia Square is that you can coerce your work colleagues as they walk past to stop, have a chat and get them to take a flyer.

Handing out the flyers was a lot of fun. We lost count of how many we gave out. Most people were happy to take one. We’re sure having a friendly, smiling face and greeting people with a cheery good morning helped.

Have you heard the phrase ‘there’s a speech in that’? We certainly got plenty of material. There’s the ‘if I talk to my friend, they can’t give me a flyer’ speech. Also the ‘if I pretend to be doing something on my mobile, they can’t give me a flyer’ speech. Our personal favourite, the ‘if I don’t’ make eye contact with them, they can’t give me a flyer’ speech.

Stay tuned for a follow up story on how the demonstration meeting went.


Toastmasters go to jail

Read on to find out more!

On 17 April 2012, the Department of Corrective Services held its Joint Development Day. The event was held in the Argyle Room at the Hilton Hotel.

Each year, senior staff from across the state gather to network, attend workshops, and listen to keynote and guest speakers. It also gives staff the opportunity to practice their public speaking skills.

The theme this year was Working Together: Managing Transition.

Perth JusTalk members David Cain, Nola Haddrill, Pascale Amberville-Colby and Steven Davison took the opportunity to coordinate a membership drive.

Staff attending the Joint Development Day received an information pack, which included a Perth JusTalk flyer. The idea was for managers to take the flyers back to their workplace and forward them onto their staff.


Nola Haddrill Pascale Amberville Colby


The club was also given permission to set up a table with the registration desk. Competent Communicator and Competent Leadership manuals were available for viewing. Plus plenty of Toastmaster magazines and membership forms for people to take with them.

Nola Haddrill managed the table in the morning for registration, with Pascale Amberville-Colby joining her for the lunch break. Being there gave us the opportunity to make plenty of eye contact and welcome people over to promote Toastmasters in general and the club in particular.

It was a great way to promote the club. All in all, we had a good time. We’re looking forward to the next Joint Development Day.

Sep Nola Haddrill DTM
Sep Northern Division Governor 2011/12






Q&A Talking with a Toastmaster – Tarsh Gardiner

Q:  What is the name of your home Club?

A: Toast2FS – ‘FS’ being the Financial Services division at Bankwest.


Q: What is your favourite Toastmaster meeting activity/ role? And why?

A: There are two – I really enjoying giving evaluations as it’s an area I’ve developed Quite a bit over the last couple of years. I also LOVE doing table topics, the challenge of having to think on your feet really motivates me.


Q: What is your favourite food?

A: Seafood!! Can’t beat a chilli lemon seafood linguine.


Q: What are your other interests besides Toastmasters?

A: Yoga, trying new restaurants, summers in the pool, LOTS of travel – looking forward toAmericalater this year.


Q: What is your most memorable speech title?

A: Best Before or Not At All?


Q: Where do you get inspiration/ ideas for your speeches?

A: All over the place really. For example, the speech title above was for a Tonic and the inspiration came when a colleague very kindly shouted me an out of date chocolate – we were sure it was probably still okay!


Q: Is there anything you would like included on the District 17 website?

A: n/a


Q: Are you attending the District 17 Annual Convention in May?

And have you registered yet?

A: No

Tarsh Gardininer Toast2FS


How to Get More Results from Your Facebook Page

Have you been posting to your Facebook Page hoping something good happens?

Unfortunately, hope isn’t much of a strategy.

But don’t worry, you’re not alone. And the good news is there are proven tactics that can help you get what you really want from your investment in Facebook marketing: More fans, more shares, and more business.

So how do you get real results? For starters, you need to focus on two things:

  1. Providing a reason for users to Like your Facebook Page
  2. Providing great content that gets fans to Like, comment on, and ultimately share your posts

Let’s take a look at both.

First impressions matter

Facebook users like to Like businesses and organizations on Facebook. Customers and prospects will Like your Page too if you ask them to — just give them a good reason to become a fan.

Fact: Customers and prospects will Like you on Facebook if you present your brand well and give them a good reason to become a fan. Remember, first impressions matter.

When people visit your Facebook Page are they welcomed with a professional looking Page that separates you from your competitors? Or are they taken directly to the wall, like most other Pages? Use a tool like our Social Campaigns, which provides an easy way to help you customize your Facebook Page so you can stand out above the crowd and attract more fans.

But getting more “Likes” and fans is only part of the story

The way many people measure success on Facebook is, at best, incomplete. It’s not about how many fans you have — it’s about the quality of the engagement with the fans you have. That’s what matters most.

When users “Like” your Page, they are basically giving you permission to communicate with them in their newsfeed (i.e.: when you post on your Facebook Page, your fans will see your post in their newsfeed).

This is really no different than when people subscribe to your email newsletter; they are giving you permission to communicate with them in their inbox. Sure it’s great to have a large list size or fan base, but if no one is reading, commenting, or sharing your content, you are not really marketing.

Are you posting great content?

The number of Likes, comments, or shares your individual posts get really matter. They provide great insight into how your fans view the quality of your content.

The more Likes, comments, or shares you get, the better you’re doing at staying top of mind and building deeper relationships.

In addition, comments and Likes help Facebook to determine if your posts should continue to appear in your fans’ newsfeeds. If your posts are ignored, then Facebook will effectively hide them from most newsfeeds. In the world of Facebook, Likes and comments are valuable, but shares are pure gold.

Why is sharing so important?

When you ask any small business what their biggest driver of new business is, the answer is almost always word of mouth referrals. In the context of social media, sharing is really just word of mouth enabled through technology.

When a fan shares your content, he is effectively promoting you to his networks of friends. If you consider that the average Facebook user has more than 245 friends, sharing can help you reach a lot of new prospects. (APewResearchCenterstudy recently found that the extended reach of your Page could be as many as 31,170 people.)

So how do you start the sharing cycle?

Build a plan with a clear goal in mind. The goal could be something along the lines of the number of fans gained, documents downloaded, coupons redeemed, donations raised, or something else.

Create a great offer that relates to your goal. Then you can promote that offer with a social campaign that drives visitors to the offer on your Facebook Page and encourages your fans to share the offer.

This is why we created Social Campaigns: To give you a structured way to stand out on Facebook, stay top of mind with your existing customers, and ultimately, reach new prospects through sharing.

Of course, Social Campaigns doesn’t just offer a simple way to get real business results, it also provides you with the reporting to show you that it works. After all, if you’re not measuring, you’re not really marketing.

By Mark Schmulen

Constant Contact


Breakfast with the Stars

Lights! Camera! Action! No, sultry music, clattering cups, and order up! Fruit toast is ready! That was the background crescendo to the Sample Toastmaster meeting held at the Dome cafe Central this week.

The bleak whether didn’t deter the morning throng of early breakfasters who were treated to a sample meeting lead by the intrepid team of Toastmaster tragics,Robyn Lloyd, Nola Haddrill, Pascale Amberville Colby, Leonor Regan and Bill Hewitt.



It was fun for all and Toastmaster Robyn welcomed members and the unwary customers, who provided a range of responses; some bemused and bewildered, some hid in their papers, other sipped at their coffee and smiled, while others observed proceedings from the safety of their seats.

Leonor inspired with her enthusiasm for 7.00am Toastmaster meetings and getting her high for the day. Bill tantalised with testy Table Topics questions that were evaluated by the collective- a great approach that fitted the occasion.

Then the café was entertained by Nola with her pet peeves about pets. This was followed by Robyn breaking the ice by declaring to all her new found identity, Robyn DTM.

As always the meeting was rounded off with the General Evaluation conducted by Pascale, on time! A fitting close by the Toastmaster, thanking participants, café customers and venue host.

From little things big things grow, a few months ago this was an idea, a conversation that grew to become a living thing.  Thanks Nola, Pascale and Peter who were part of that initial dialogue.

Would I do it again? Sure can, sure will and with the offer of a return visit from the café host nothing is stopping us now!



Robyn Lloyd DTM

Robyn Lloyd DTM

Central Division Governor 2011/12


Q&A Talking with a Toastmaster – Mally Martin


Q:  What is the name of your home Club?

A: Ellenbrook


Q: Your favourite Toastmaster meeting activity/ role?

A:  I enjoy both being Toastmaster and having the opportunity to give a



Q: What is your favourite food?

A: Indian chicken curry followed closely by Lamb Roast.


Q: What are your other interests besides Toastmasters?

A:    Health and Wellness is an area that I am passionate about.

Personal development and awareness also fascinates me.

I also enjoy rock’n’roll dancing ,gardening ,yoga.


Q: What is your most memorable speech title?

A:    Are You Heading In The Right Direction?


Q: Where do you get inspiration/ ideas for your speeches?

A:    Usually a combination of my areas of interest listed above and every day

Life which often comes with both humour and lessons attached..


Q: Is there anything you would like included on the District 17 website?

A:    There is a great deal of information on there already to educate and inspire everyone. Nothing in particular that I feel needs to be added.


Q: Are you attending the District 17 Annual Convention in May this year?

And have you registered yet?

A:    My husband Ray and I are both attending and yes we are registered.

This will be our first Convention, so looking forward to it.

Malley Martin

Letter to the Editor

Hi Gerry,
Congratulations on the D17 Newsletter. I like the clear styling and love the stats.

D17 can be very proud of its first year as its own District – you folk are doing brilliantly!

I particularly love the use of Latin for the theme of your next conference. But then I’m a person who played a Gregorian Chant CD in my car when I had just obtained my license. I was working on the theory that little extra prayer couldn’t hurt!

Best wishes for a great end to your first year,

Western Lectern,

Cumberland Forest and Western Gourmet Toastmasters,

Western Division, D70

Sue Haynes, our current RA, is a member of Western Gourmet and one of the most inspirational Toastmaster ladies I’ve met !


Q&A Talking with a Toastmaster – Damien Montague

Q:  What is the name of your home Club? And how did you find it?

A: ‘Plain Speakers’. The name is based on the club’s location inPlain Street, EastPerth, not because its members are “plain” speakers! In fact, I think we are Quite the opposite.

I first found Plain Speakers when they came to my workplace offering people an opportunity to overcome their fear of public speaking. I jumped at the chance to find out more, as public speaking was always a personal weakness of mine. I’m proud to say that’s changed since I took the initiative to join Toastmasters.

Q: What is your favourite Toastmaster meeting activity/role? And why

A: I like all the Toastmaster activities and roles but I especially like the role of ‘Toastmaster’ as it provides excellent practice for chairing meetings; a difficult skill to master and one that’s sought after in the modern workplace.

I also think Table Topics is a great activity because it helps you think on your feet and build impromptu speaking skills; another essential for work and everyday life situations.

Q: What is your favourite food?

A: I would have to say pizza. I love that there are thousands of flavour combinations, depending on the toppings you choose. I once had a pizza with steak and potato wedges, it was delicious!

Speaking of pizza, I think a social outing or a special Toastmasters Club meeting at a pizza parlour would make for a great night out!


Q: What are your other interests besides Toastmasters?

A: I play ten pin bowling in a social league on a weekly basis. I enjoy the game itself, but the opportunity to interact with people of different ages and backgrounds is an added bonus.

I’m also an avid Aussie Rules Football fan, and when it’s the off season I enjoy watching the Perth Wildcats in the National Basketball League.

Science and biology, reading, film and gardening are amongst my other interests.


Q: What is your most memorable speech title?

A: I recently delivered a speech titled “Australian Rules Football: Who is the greatest team of all?”

As soon as I announced the speech title I saw smiles on the faces of my audience and heard joyful laughter and excited murmurs fill the room.

I find that a bold and even controversial title is very important as it captures the audience’s attention right from the very beginning. It also sets the tone for what you are going to talk about and helps to build intrigue.


Q: Where do you get inspiration/ ideas for your speeches?

A: My speeches are typically based on current affairs in the media, personal hobbies and interests or things that are happening in my local community.

There are so many speech ideas out there, you just have to open your eyes and ears if you aren’t sure what to speak about. For instance, I once got a speech idea from an advertisement I saw on the side of a bus!


Q: Is there anything you would like included on the District 17 website?

A: Whist the website is very comprehensive, I think it would be useful to have access to a digital map of District 17 which shows the divisional and area boundaries and club locations.


Q: What are your goals for the next 12 months?

A: I have ambitions to be part of the Plain Speakers Committee and I’m currently talking to other members about what’s involved.

In the next 12 months I’d like to encourage and inspire others to join Toastmasters, perhaps in a membership role on the Committee. On a personal note, I’d like to continue building my self confidence and communication skills, meet other like-minded Toastmasters, and most importantly, continue to have fun and enjoy the Toastmasters experience.


Damien Montague

Changeover Dinner: Be There!

The Annual Change Over Dinner & Awards night is on Friday 6th July. This is your opportunity to join in the celebration of your Club and the District successes this year

On the night we will crown the District Officer of the Year, Area & Division Governor of the Year. From each of the Divisions we will award the Club President of the Year, Club of the Year & Toastmaster of the Year. We will celebrate the achievements of our current District Officers and welcome in the new leaders for 2012-2013.

The venue this year is at the stunning Tompkins on Swan in Alfred Cove, where we will be served a sumptuous 3 course meal while we enjoy the festivities of the night, overlooking the beautiful Swan River across to the city skyline.

Will your club be the Club of the Year? Will a member from your club be one of the awardees? Every member has an achievement to celebrate. Take the opportunity to celebrate together!

Please encourage all your club members to attend this gala evening. All details on how to book and pay is on the attached flyer. Booking close on Wednesday 27th June, so please book early to avoid disapointment.

Robyn Richards DTM
District 17 Public Relations Officer 2011-2012