Passing on the Baton

An appropriate title for the club meeting and AGM where the new club committee for the Toastmasters year starting 1 July 2013 till 30 June 2014 was elected. With Mary Byrne as Toastmaster of the evening the 650th meeting of Transformers Toastmasters on Monday, 10th June was destined to be informative. Throughout the meeting Mary drew comparisons between the club committee positions and the running of a company.

The Toast of the Evening by Chamu M’Kombe was dedicated to leadership and described three characteristics of good leadership. Margie Skeen gave the response to the Toast drawing on one of the characteristics of leadership: being available.

Five prepared speeches is an indication that club members want to complete goals before the end of the Toastmasters year. The first speech by Rod Taylor was in fulfilment of the third project of the Competent Communicator Manual. Rod’s point was to share some of the great things about South Africa. Most notably a first world banking system that is infinitely more advanced than the British banking system. His points made everyone feel proud to be South Africa.

The second speech by Goran Radanovic, who recently joined the club as a dual member, was in fulfilment of the fifth project of the Competent Communicator Manual. In this speech that required Goran to use gestures, body language and facial expressions to enhance his message he told us how he, and each one of us, is unique. Yet, we allow the thoughts of people who do not hold our growth in regard to effect our self image and so we view our greatest qualities as failures. Goran inspired and challenged each one of us to accept our uniqueness as a positive quality.

The third speech by Vero Ardies was also in fulfilment of the fifth project of the Competent Communicator Manual. She spoke passionately about everything she had learned at the recently held Toastmasters Southern African conference from the various speakers on stage. Her challenge to everyone was to use the club meeting as a platform to prepare to speak on a large stage to a large audience and to experiment with using the stage space, props and gestures.

Sriram presented an Advances Manual speech in which he inspired a sales team to be star salespeople.

Finally, John-Peter Gernaat, also presenting an Advanced Manual speech, spoke in praise of Dr Madan Kataria, the founder of Laughter Yoga, at the fictitious opening of a University where Laughter Yoga will be taught as well as research conducted into the benefits of laughter.

The evaluations delivered were motivating and insightful.

Highlighting some of points in the President’s report by Margie Skeen:

“Transformers Toastmasters has had a year characterised by a wide variety of speeches delivered in the club and by several club members being actively involved in leadership assignments both inside the club and within the broader Toastmasters organisation.

“Transformers is on track to achieving most of the educational goals in terms of the Distinguished Club Programme. The good performance of our members at Area and Division contests further bears testament to the quality of speeches and evaluations delivered in our Club. We are on our way to achieving President’s Distinguished status if we are able to gain charter strength during June.

“Our Club was represented in Area and District Structures during the past year by John-Peter Gernaat and Keith Bowen respectively. John-Peter will go on to serve as Division L Governor while Keith will serve a further term as District 74 Treasurer during the 2013/2014 year. The 2013 Maxicon, “LeaderCon”, organising committee was headed up by John-Peter Gernaat. The conference, which featured World Champions of Public Speaking Ed Tate and Mark Brown, was a great success. The first ever Sotho Contest, organised by Chamu M’Kombe, was held during LeaderCon. We recognise the significant amount of hard work needed to host a successful conference and are proud to have John-Peter and Chamu as members of our club.”

The new committee, as nominated, was accepted without opposition:

Club President

Chamu M’Kombe

Vice President Education

Judith Taylor

Vice President Membership

Tibor Nadj

Vice President Public Relations

Vero Ardies


Sriram Murali


Leonard Yelverton


Brian Manase

We wish the new committee a wonderful experience in the coming year

We welcome guests to our club meetings and make you feel very welcome. There is no charge for visiting us and a meal forms part of the evening. You will learn from the experience and may even want to join Toastmasters and our club. We look forward to meeting you.