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Diverse Speakers Overcome Fears in Impromptu Speaking Contest

A diverse group of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie residents, from all walks of life, found confidence and conquered fears as contestants for an impromptu public speaking contest in Newcastle.

Twelve contestants competed in the Table Topics impromptu speaking contest at the Newcastle Toastmasters Club in Merewether on Thursday 13th October 2022.

Melanie Suzanne Wilson, club-level Vice President of Public Relations, was surprised to realise her speech achieved third place despite her inner uncertainty. She recently returned to Toastmasters to regain confidence, having originally joined the organisation in 2010.

“I found my voice in this contest. The pandemic and personal experiences chipped away at my confidence in recent years. The Newcastle Toastmasters Club encouraged me to speak about issues I care about with compassion and strength.”

Georgia Thomas and Dhaval Dani placed in the top two for this contest. Dhaval Dani, Trevor McIlveen and Rosalie Grayson placed in another contest on the same night.

Fellow contestants, including newer members, developed career-ready transferable skills. Jemma, a teaching student, had been a member of Toastmasters International for just four meetings when she successfully spoke in the competition which challenges all to think on the spot.

Members encourage each other’s growth regardless of experience or background. Some speakers triumph over mental health issues, addiction and even simple shyness.

The club prioritises genuine friendships and support beyond formal achievements. Melanie shares, “This group is more than a public speaking program. These people are a real supportive community.”

The Newcastle Toastmasters Club meets at Souths Merewether on the second, third and fourth Thursday of each month, from 6:45 pm. Attendance is free for visitors.


Melanie Suzanne Wilson, Vice President of Public Relations, Newcastle Toastmasters Club

0458 273 326


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