We are Amazing

It has been only 10 days since our Toastmasters District D91 experienced the exhilarating Div A Autumn Conference in Southampton. This full-day event brought the Toastmasters community together for a day of speeches, learning, and laughter, showcasing the talent and camaraderie that defines our vibrant community.

The morning kicked off with infectious laughter during the Div A Humorous Speech Contest. Contest Chair Alex Spencer-Hill skilfully orchestrated the proceedings, creating an atmosphere of joy and camaraderie. The improvisation skills of our Table Topics contestants, crafting inspiring and entertaining masterpieces prompted by Alex, left us in awe. The impeccable Chief Judge, DTM Barbara Saph, a Past Div A Director, led a team of impartial and incorruptible judges and functionaries, ensuring the smooth flow of the event. Master of Ceremonies Matt Roseblade, dipped in his Stand-Up Comedy background, using his art to dissipate tension and infuse the conference with energy. Hamwic Speakers played a pivotal role in supporting this event held in beautiful Southampton and only the support of Dave Collins, our Hybrid Coordinator, and George Wellers, Area A1 Director made it possible to run a meeting so smoothly, not to mention the incredibly experienced and always helpful Kit Barrit.

The quality of the contests soared, a testament to the fierce competition seen in the earlier Area Contests and reinforcing Division A’s #Amazing reputation. Congratulations again to Philip West, from Northavon Speakers (Winner of the Division A Humourous speech Contest) and Carol Bausor, from Shilling Speakers (Winner of the Div A Table Topics Contest), who will represent our Division at the District Conference, on the 3-5 May 2024 in Bristol, another pearl of our division.

Moreover, true icing on the cake was DTM Pedro Casillas double workshop about Table topics where we all learned how to deal with fear and how to deliver better Table topic Evaluations.
As we reflect on this successful conference, let us look ahead to upcoming events. The Toastmasters Leadership Institute on January 13th promises to be a valuable opportunity for learning and growth. Mark your calendars for the Div Spring Conference on March 23rd, where we will hold our International Speech and Evaluation Contests. Encourage members to step up as contestants or volunteer for a role- would you like to be our next Chief Judge or Contest Chair? Get in touch!

In the spirit of Toastmasters, let us continue to learn, grow, and support each other on our public speaking journeys. The success of the Div A Autumn Conference is a testament to the strength and vitality of our community, and the best is yet to come.

Andy Righi
Division A Director 2023-24