I joined Hornsby District Toastmasters Club in 2008, and have enjoyed my time there.
There's much more to Toastmasters than just giving speeches.
Organisation skills are honed, evaluation skills are improved, and the meeting together of other people who want to improve their public speaking skills is an uplifting experience.
However, that having been said, this page contains nearly all the speeches I've made since I joined Hornsby District Toastmasters in 2008.
All content from this web site is copyright © Andrew Host. It is made available for personal listening only. No content from this site may be played in public, broadcast or streamed from another web site without the express permission of Andrew Host.
Love, Love, Love - 29th April 2008
This is the first speech that I presented at Toastmasters. It is referred to as the "Ice Breaker" and is supposed to be an opportunity for the new member to introduce themselves to the other members.
Eating With All Your Senses - 17th June 2008
I still can't believe that people go to cafés and pay good money for coffee which they proceed to drink out of foam or cardboard cups.
I Am Not A Rain God - 19th August 2008
Why is it that every time I go on holidays, I bring the rain with me?
With this speech, I won the club's Humorous Speech Contest, so I went on to perform the same speech at the Area Humorous Speech Contest where there were many better speakers than me.
This recording is from the club contest.
Good From Bad - 2nd September 2008
A speech about Julie's death and an entreaty to sign up to the Organ Donor Registry
This is such an important message. Even if you listen to no other speeches from this page, please listen to this one.
You can listen to audio from the speech on 2nd September or watch the same speech (below) delivered as part of the Toastmasters District 70 Area 16 International Speech Contest in Pennant Hills on 12th March 2010.
Also have a look at Bel Vidal's reaction to my speech.
em-FAH-sis on the right syl-AAH-bul - 30th September 2008
The way most people pronounce the word kilometre has been bugging me ever since Australia adopted the metric system.
The Amazing Compact Disc - 11th November 2008
The Compact Disc is so intricate, and the pits are so small, and the disc rotates so quickly - it really is amazing that it works.
Grandma - 24th November 2008
When my Grandma passed away, I was asked to give a eulogy at her memorial service.
On the afternoon that I was asked to do this, I attended a Toastmasters meeting, and on that occasion, all the speakers had pulled out at the last moment. I'd already worked out what I was going to say at Grandma's service and I'd had a couple of hours to practice. So when we were all asked if we had a speech ready, I volunteered. Because I'd had only a little practice, the speech was a bit disjointed and a bit more hesitant than it should have been, but this recording was not made at Toastmasters. It was made six days later at Grandma's memorial service where I was one of four speakers.
They Don't Make Them Like They Used To - 7th April 2009
Once upon a time, a refrigerator could be expected to give well over twenty years' service, a good piece of hi-fi equipment might give thirty years of service, and there was something unusual if the washing machine didn't just keep on keeping on.
Now, we're lucky if the CD player is still working in five years, we expect to replace our computer hard drives every few years, and nothing is repaired any more - just replaced and sent to landfill.
Don't Believe Everything They Tell You - 2nd June 2009.
One decade they tell you that red meat is bad for you. Next decade they tell you that red meat is good for you.
This was my ninth speech at Toastmasters, but Speech Number 7 from the CC manual, Research Your Topic.
My speech was about how often scientific reports come out which refute previous scientific reports. I talked about how smoking cigarettes used to be prescribed by doctors. I talked about how we have been told via scientific reports that dairy foods are good for us and bad for us, and how the same has been said about red meat and red wine. I said that contradictory scientific reports came out because of ignorance, that is ignorance of facts yet to be discovered that affect the results, or because of vested interests, and finished by giving a humorous example of how a report may be given which leads people to believe something that's not true. Such as:
It went over well and I was happy about how I delivered the speech. The reason for describing the speech in such detail is because this is the first speech I've made at Toastmasters that I had not recorded. I had my audio recorder there, and I set it to record, but I didn't check the settings, and I found afterwards that it was set to record from external microphones, which were not connected at that time. So I ended up recording seven minutes of silence. I found this most annoying.
The Joys of Parenthood - 1st September 2009 (also performed 4th September)
This was my entry in the 2009 Humorous Speech contest, which I won, and so I performed it again at the Area Humorous Speech contest on 4th September. But this recording is from the club contest on the 1st of September.
Table Topics Club Contest - 1st September 2009
Table Topics is Toastmasters way of saying Impromptu Speaking.
For the contest, our name was announced, then the topic was announced - Women Are Better Car Drivers Than Men - and then while the audience applauded, I had ten seconds to think about what I was going to say. I won this contest and so went on to perform in the
Table Topics Area Contest on 4th September 2009 in which, with the subject of Mistakes Are A Fact of Life, I came runner-up.
A Toast to Our Brave Police Officers - 29th September 2009.
This was not a formal speech, but a two minute toast at the start of the meeting.
I chose that subject because 29th September each year is the official remembrance day for police officers who have lost their lives in the course of performing their duties.
The Pursuit of Happiness - 1st December 2009
This was the final speech in my Toastmasters Competent Communicator manual, and knowing full well that I can't authoritatively speak about what makes anyone else happy, I spoke from the heart about what makes me happy.
"Unexpectedly Entertained" - 15th March 2012.
This was the target speech performed at the Toastmasters District 70, Area 10 Evaluation Contest.