Communication and Leadership Skills

How Much Risk should I Take?

Our April 28th meeting was small but powerful, and lots of fun. 

The theme for the night was “How much risk should I take?”, so we opened with each of us discussing the this question for 45 seconds. Some of the ways we tackled the topic included: 

  • Inspired by her work in insurance, Eva discussed mitigating risk
  • Jeff explored that taking no risk is actually a risk
  • Karen shared that risk appetite can change over time based on experience and past results
  • Ilona challenged us to take a risk and attend a future Hummingsong concert
  • Therese pondered taking financial risk to gain her dream of travel
  • Felipe shared that every decision has potential risk

Prepared speeches

We had three prepared speeches on the night. Eva served as Speech Toastmaster for the evening.

Eva serving as Speech Toastmaster

Karen spoke about “How to Break the Habit of Being Yourself”, inspired by a book of the same title by Joe Dispenza and a course she’d just attended over the previous weekend – Jack Canfield’s Breakthrough to Success.

Therese taking us back in time.

Therese took us (some of us!) on a trip down memory lane in a speech about “Life before Technological Advancement” and discussed the changes she’s seen as a child of the 70s, in any many areas of life including:

  • TV shows – scheduled see-it-or-miss-out vs on-demand binge watching
  • Music – pre computer-production vs now
  • Food and drink
  • News reports – 5:00 vs 24/7 newstainment
  • Communication – phone booths vs mobiles 

Paul telling a story.

Paul G told a short story for his speech practicing using story/telling story in a speech. He told the story of “The Horror of the Heights” by Sir Arther Conan Doyle.

Table Topics

Karen was Table Topics Master this week and she took us on a tour of the world, using an upside-down globe.  Members spun the globe and spoke about whatever country or landmark they landed on.

  • Paul G landed on Harbin and actually knew a lot about it. He shared about the Russians who migrated to this area of China and helped build the town as they helped build the railway
  • Kesh landed on China and shared a story of being a tour guide for a 500-strong tour group of Chinese tourists and their fascination with his Sri Lankan heritage. 
  • Felipe landed on Singapore and it seems he’s not keen to land their for real. Singapore is not on his bucket list
  • Bacchus landed on Norway and spoke about Norwegian chess champion, Magnus Carlsen.
  • Other places that members explored included Algeria/Africa, the Indian Ocean and Russia

Kesh evaluating Table Topics


  • Best speech – Therese
  • Table Topics – Paul G
  • Excellence award – Eva 

You’re Invited!

I hope these meeting summaries give you a flavour of what our meetings and culture are like at St Kieran’s Manly Vale. We meet on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month.  We’d love to have you as our guest. Simply email our VP Membership, Eva Meagher, for more details.  Link is on our home page or email toastmastersmanlyvale at outlook dot com

(Why do we write the email address that way? So that we can avoid phishing/spam bots!).

The next meeting is May 12, 2021.


Karen Robertson. Toastmasters St Kieran’s Manly Vale VP PR.