Communication and Leadership Skills

The Team Makes You Stronger

Our June 9th meeting was tons of fun and included teamwork, important topics and bathroom humour!

Our chairman for the night, Baccus, chose the theme,  “The Team Makes You Stronger”, so we opened with each of us discussing this idea for 45 seconds. Some of the ways we tackled the topic included: 

  • How some of us who have our own businesses miss working with others and need that connection
  • How it’s easier to be a good boss when you have a great team
  • How our St Kieran’s Toastmasters members are a strong and supportive team and how we have community with each other beyond Toastmasters as well (our people really are incredible!)
  • How people of different expertises come together to create the teams required to get things done like build a Hungry Jacks or do a tech release for a major bank

Prepared speeches

We had two prepared speeches on the night. Karen served as Speech Toastmaster for the evening.

Jeff spoke about “My Release” and shared the incredible amount of planning, teamwork and hours that go in to the release of new banking features for customers.

He described what was involved with his most recent project and how it involved hundreds of scrum teams, months of planning and millions of lines of code to achieve a successful release that was executed in a matter of hours. 

Felipe evaluated the speech and gave some terrific feedback. 

Keiron delivered a speech called “Are You OK?” and spoke about depression. He shared that there are two types:

  • Chemical depression – due to a chemical imbalance in the brain
  • Situational – due to circumstances outside of physiology

He spoke about how important it is to be open about mental health and support each other.  

One of the interesting speaking techniques Kieron used was to sit down so that he was on the same level as his audience, creating an intimacy and approachability that was very effective for the topics.

Ilona evaluated Kieron’s speech and pointed out some of these masterful techniques that Kieron uses. 

Table Topics – Bathroom Humour

Paul was Table Topics Master this week and he delivered a super fun session about bathroom renovations.

Having been renovating his bathroom for months, he presented slides about bathroom renovation decisions to be made and we each chose topics to speak about.

  • Filimon tackled the debate about whether one should have a separate shower and bath, a shower that’s in the bath, just a shower or just a bath! He gave us a lot to think about when he shared how impossible it is to get into a bathtub with any type of major foot, ankle or leg injury. So, his verdict – accessible shower!!
  • Karen’s topic was “Tiles – vertical or horizontal”. She explored how deciding about tiles was so much more complex. Between size (mosaic, subway, square, rectangular, round, etc.), colour, texture and more.  So many choices! 
  • Felipe won the night when he chose the topic of toilet colour – black or white? He used this opportunity to lament why Australia, a first-world country, didn’t have “bum hoses” (bidets), when a third-world country like his home of Brazil does.  From there, hilarity ensued and “bum hoses” and bidets continued as a theme for the night. 
  • Other topics explored 
    • Should a shower have no screen, a glass screen or a door?
    • Should shower heads be big or small?
    • Double showers – yes or no?
    • Basins positioned on top of the bench, within the bench or half and half
    • Toilets – floor mounted or suspended?
    • Windows – a view, no view or no window?

This session made me not want to renovate a bathroom any time soon. So many decisions!!

Table Topics sessions were evaluated by Therese and Kieron. 


  • Best speech – Kieron
  • Table Topics – Jake
  • Best Evaluator – Ilona
  • Excellence award – Karen 

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 June 23, 2021.


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