Tag Archives: New Zealand

Don’t sweat the small stuff!

Meeting – Tuesday 5 February 2013

“Learning to stop sweating the small stuff also involves deciding what
things to engage in and what things to ignore.
From a certain perspective, life can be prescribed as a series of
mistakes one right another with a little space in between”
Richard Carlson

  • President – Jo was the consumate professional
  • Toastmaster –  fun infused meeting hosted by none other than Rhonda – well done!
  • Sergeant at arms – John the unflappable
  • Timer –  Ruth was sharp on deck and didn’t skip a beat
  • Grammarian – Cassia reported on the grammatical gold.  Her word of the day ‘Zealous’ was used with zeal.
  • TT Master – Mohammed invited unsuspecting members to the floor for a test of impromptu speaking
  • TT Evaluators – Steve D & Glenn L teamed up to give our speakers feedback for learning
  • Speaker 1 – “Hairstyle of the gods” – new appreciation for the classic mullet – thank you Troy!
  • Speaker 2 – David demystified the boy racer – hilarious!
  • Evaluators – Ben and Glenn F provided useful evaluations for the benefit of our speakers and the club
  • General Evaluators – Tony M (first half) and Clinton (second half) – comments on the meeting from their perspective
  • Apologies – Jeremy, Warwick

This was Rhonda’s last meeting with our club – all the very best Rhonda. Stay in  touch!

A round of rapturous applause

 Meeting – Tuesday 13 March 2012

“The only people without problems are dead”

Toastmaster Raj provided this quote and facilitated a great meeting at Central park HQ this week. There was a fantastic turn out too. In fact, attendance was so good, we struggled to find seats for everyone.

We had the pleasure of hosting guests, Area A4 Governor – Stephen McPhee, Cassia Bennett-Burkhardt and Rhonda Togipau. Apologies were received from Jo and Nick.


  1. Area contest – Saturday 24 March. Clinton will compete in the International Prepared Speech and Ben will enter the Evaluation contest.
  2. Semi annual invoices are out. Please contact Brenda.

Table topics

Jeremy presented a challenging scenario. He held photos of items that our speakers had to use in order to escape from a deserted island. Glenn F magically converted his mini matchbox to a life-size boat [and as usual delivered mutiple uses of the word of the day – ‘rapturous’ by grammarian Steve D], John stayed afloat in his bucket and spade, Mohammed was a master canoe craftsman with his ball of string, Nadene was set to surf on a  giant spoon, Ruth made an impact with her stick of dynamite and Stephen McPhee was well informed and equipped with his instruction manual. Providing constructive feedback for our speeakers were our evaluators Glenn L and Brenda. Great job!

After a nine minute spell catching up with the latest goss at half time, we were treated to some great speeches. Eric’s speech ‘HOLD ON’ had us engaged with a telephone conversation about people hanging off the side of an office building [Undoubtedly a Central Park Oscar winner!], Warwick took us on a fun and hilarious ride with his tribute to all the long-lost cars he’s loved in his life time and Steve T gave us behind-the-scenes access to his life as a real estate agent. An entertaining mix of presenters, all evaluated by Tony, Marlene and Ben respectively. Well done!

Special thanks to Raj [great job for his first time in the Toastmaster role], our president Marlene for her warm, delightful opening, our timer Marieke for keeping us in order, Sergeant at Arms John for early morning sustenance and Clinton for stepping in to cover Jo as general evaluator – legend!

This meeting was met with rapturous engagement!  See you all at the next one! 



Networking – who you know and who knows you.

UPBEAT – Monday Morning Motivation
Edition 95 – First published Monday 20 June 2011
Clinton Jones, President of Central Park Toastmasters

Keeping up with the Joneses

Hi, the hairs on the back of my neck stood to attention and the tips of my fingers tingled as we waited in anticipation early Saturday afternoon. We weren’t alone as thousands of others crammed, pushed and jockeyed for position to share the same experience. The annual Auckland Grammar (AGS) vs Kings College (KC) First XV match has a history that dates back 115 years. The two sides have met an amazing 196 times over that period. Hundreds of pupils past and present, parents and supporters from each school welcomed their respective teams to the AGS #1 field.

Two blood curdling hakas were performed on the field by large groups of boys from each school. The tradition, passion and excitement was infectious and moving. Beamed live to ‘rugby channel’ viewers an amazing game unfolded where the lead see-sawed and the result was in doubt to the very last seconds when unbelievably the visitors snatched victory from the jaws of certain defeat. It was the type of match that restores ones faith in ‘our’ game through a traditional rivalry that has stood the test of time.

As an ex-coach of the KC side I was particularly proud that one of my former players was now coaching KC and a number of others were at the game supporting. It was also good to see a number of AGS supporters and past players fervently doing the same.

I know ruggers and sport isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and there is probably more to life but it is hard to go past the rich life tapestry woven over time by this traditional rivalry. It was certainly a welcome and positive diversion for all from the recent negative and tragic KC press

I hope you managed to have an equally memorable weekend with family and friends, cheers Jonesey!

Harry the hound was pampered at ‘Nose to Tail’ (dog car wash!). We went for the full works including the blow dry and a new silver food bowl, Scooby Doo eat your heart out !

Selling the Sizzle

It isn’t just what you know, and it isn’t just who you know. It’s actually who you know and who knows you that makes all the difference”.
Bob Burg

This weekends experience at the First XV footy game reminded me how important the ‘old school tie’ network is. This network is clearly alive and well if my observations are anything to go by. Many prominent ex pupils of each school were in attendance amongst groups of friends and colleagues.

Every school has an ‘old boy and girl’ network among which there are ‘movers and shakers’ who have influence or have worked their way to prominence in the world of Industry and Commerce. You don’t have to have attended posh private schools to be able to use your ‘old school ‘ network to your advantage. We tend to lose touch with people we went to school with after having formed close and special bonds with our year groups, class, and team mates. These are bonds that are formed for life, they are loyalties that are built and trust that is earned not given lightly.

So it makes sense to use this network to refer and be referred to as we work our way through life. Detractors say the old school network can limit competition and create a ‘closed shop’ in some cases? I say that if you can use this network to give yourself an advantage over competitors then why not? Often ‘who we know’ rather than ‘what we know’ makes all the difference. I don’t make enough of the large network of contacts I have so I went looking for a way to do something about that…

I discovered a networking site called www.linkedin.co.nz it is the business/professional person’s Facebook. It does exactly what its name says by linking you to old school and business associates. It is a powerful worldwide network site that can assist you to grow your business contact base. You can join/register for free and it is amazing how quickly you can build and develop a network of contacts…so what are you waiting for? I look forward to connecting with you soon. Good luck.

“Position yourself as a center of influence – the one who knows the movers and shakers. People will respond to that, and you’ll soon become what you project”. Bob Burg

UPBEAT – Communication is to relationships what breathing is to life

Keeping up with the Joneses

UPBEAT Edition 82 – First published 21 March 2010
Clinton Jones, Centralpark Toastmasters President

Hi, “Clinton Jones…you are a triathlete!”, yes ladies and gentlemen the mid life crisis tri career has been officially launched! On Sunday I woke at sparrows and joined hundreds of others at Maraetai in East Auckland as a perfect day for destroying old bodies, reputations and ego’s dawned.

The water was crystal clear and flat calm as the hooter heralded the frenzied start of the swim. 500 frantic metres later I emerged like a creature from the deep making my way awkwardly like a fish out of water,a tad disoriented, trying desperately to remember where I had racked my bike! Having perfected my wetsuit skin peel last week I was soon cleeted unnervingly to the bike pedals cranking along trying to remember the expert advice I had about the 20km cycle? It went something like 5km spinning, 5km building, 5km sprinting, 5km spinning and above all stay hydrated. Well, I forgot it all but can confirm my head and both wheels were definitely spinning and I was thirsty! Having disregarded this advice led to an amusing transistion from bike to run as I fell over and then wobbled along like rubberman unable to feel my legs for most of the 5km run!

Apart from the varying degrees of panic (and pain) I was in from start to finish the day was an adrenaline pumping buzz and I will never forget the feeling of total euphoria at having finished my first event. It was a great experience and one I plan to repeat again at Mission Bay next month once the feeling returns to all my muscle groups! I hope you all had a happy weekend, Cheers Jonesey!

Harry the hound had a happy weekend running riot with Oscar and Kate staying over!

Selling the sizzle

“My father gave me these hints on speech making: Be sincere…be brief…be seated.”   James Roosevelt

I have always believed that the level of success in our business or private lives can be directly attributable to how effectively we communicate with other people. This might sound obvious but how often do you hear people say the biggest problem at work or home is ‘lack of communication’. This can be between departments, divisions, branches, management and customers at work or between family members at home. So how do we improve our communication skills?…

I have always liked the sound of my own voice so I joined Toastmasters 20 years ago, what I didn’t realise was that this organisation teaches you to listen twice as much as you speak (a good skill to have at work and at home don’t you agree?). Toastmasters was foundered in 1924, there are thousands of clubs all over the world including hundreds meeting here in New Zealand every week.

I am on my Toastmasters soap box again because last week we organised and ran a demonstration meeting to showcase our club to guests and prospective members. The meeting came at the end of an extensive 2 week Toastmasters advertising campaign that generated unprecedented interest nationwide. NOW is a good time to look up your closest local club and find out what the excitement is all about. Take a positive step toward overcoming one of the biggest fears people openly admit to having, the fear of public speaking. Along the way you will improve your communication and leadership skills whilst meeting like minded, motivated people that will enhance your career and private lives, CRIKEY what are you waiting for visit a club this week!

“Communication is to relationships what breathing is to life” Virginia Satir