First Impressions Count – Free Workshop

First Impressions WorkshopPlease visit our new website for full details

Merry Christmas & Best Wishes for 2018

IMG_6235aOink, oink!  Oink, oink!  Personality traits were uncovered as we all participated in the “Pig Personaltiy” test.  It all depended on whether our pig had large ears, or four legs or a long tail.  What a fun evening for the last meeting of the year!  Everyone entered into the Christmas spirit with Santa and his elves giving entertaining speeches.  Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and a happy, healthy and successful 2018.

Confident & Creative Impromptu Speech Contest

AD Y W A SaConfident and creative is the best way to describe the evening’s speakers.  Contestants in the biennial Impromptu Speech Contest were each allowed 5 minutes to prepare an off-the-cuff speech to last between 3 and 5 minutes.  All contestants reached the target time with subjects ranging from “A Forgone Conclusion” and “Fight Tooth and Nail” to “Colour.”

Congratulations to 1st place Wendy, 2nd Annett and 3rd Sally.

Next meeting:  Wednesday, 18th October 2017, 7pm-9pm @ 360 Annesbrooke Drive, Stoke, Nelson

New members and visitors always welcome.

Guest Speaker Inspires Audience

Firooz 2aLast night, Powertalk Waimea was honoured to host guest speaker, Firooz Zadeh, an American Kiwi born in Iran.  Firooz entertained members with his humorous stories of mastering the English language – down under:  the use of “oxymorons” was a hurdle in itself.  How does a person who is learning English understand something that was “found missing” or a “minor catastrophe” or something that is “pretty ugly?!’  His relaxed manner of presentation was warm and inviting as he shared his many experiences as an immigrant from Iran to America to New Zealand.

Firooz spoke about his life as a poor child, lost from his parents, in Iran to his rise as firstly a professional football coach, then to an internationally acclaimed author and educator around the world.  His award winning books, some with a cheeky look at understanding English and others about the education and understanding of Islam and the Culture of the Middle East, are informative, interesting and entertaining.  His dream is to return to Iran and open an orphanage to educate and help children.

The audience was inspired and moved by his amazing life – a truly remarkable man with a truly remarkable life.  Website:

Powertalk Waimea invites visitors to attend club nights at 7pm on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month at 360, Annesbrooke Drive, Stoke, Nelson.

Years 7 & 8 Inter-schools Speech Contest 2017

Year 7 and 8 students, all winners at their own schools, presented outstanding speeches at the 2017 Inter-schools Speech Contest, organised by the Richmond Lions and Powertalk Waimea clubs, enthralling audience and judges alike.  Judges commented on the maturity and diversity of the speeches as well as the excellent speech construction and use of the 4 Ps in public speaking, pitch, pace, pause and projection.  Special congratulations go to:

Year 7:  1st Leilani – Nelson Christian Academy,  2nd Bronte – St Joseph’s,  3rd Nicholas – St Paul’s

Year 8:  1st  Flo – St Joseph’s,  2nd  Millie – Nelson Christian Academy,  3rd  Lucien – St Paul’s

Year 6 Inter-schools Speech Contest 2017

IMG_4451 (3)Monday night, the first night of Interschools Speech Contest for 2017, was as spectacular as ever with seven year 6 students competing with speeches that showcased the schools in the district.  Judges had a very difficult job to be able to select a winner from the very professional and talented line up.  Speeches inspired and informed the large audience of very proud parents, grandparents and teachers; topics included the future, earth disasters and the inspiration of our NZ athletes to being rich and the disasters of siblings. The ability of the students was outstanding and the standard of the competing extremely high.

Congratulations to the winner, Amelia from Appleby School, with her speech “Life in the Future.”  Congratulations also go to Mia from Richmond School was awarded 2nd Place and Brooke from Ranzau School gained 3rd Place.


Young Leaders Seminar comes to a close

Monday and Tuesday nights saw the 2017 Young Leaders Seminar come to a close.  But what an amazing two nights of speeches it was.  All students who completed the course were presented with a certificate to be added to their CVs.


The students on the Monday night spoke from the heart, and presented strong speeches with passion and emotion that brought tears to the eyes of the presenters and audience alike.

IMG_5745aSubjects ranged from a cheeky play on words from nursery rhymes used during the course to help students with vocal effectiveness to an amazing speech of personal experience in saving the life of his father, to  Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and how it helped one student recover from concussion; human trafficking in NZ and torture were also harrowing subjects.

All of the speeches were of such a high standard, with students all taking the opportunity to showcase their newly acquired skills, that this made for a very tight decision in selecting the male and female speaker of the night.  All students were worthy of an award for their commitment to the course and the extra training.

Speakers of the seminar, Rachel and Taine, both spoke with passion on serious subjects and both showed a maturity and professionalism well above their young years.

IMG_5751bThen on Tuesday night, the young students again spoke on subjects drawn from  personal experiences, from badminton to hunting,  adventure camp and animals: the standout speaker for the night, Sam, spoke with passion and wisdom on drugs in sport, with riveting and interesting reasons why not.

Overall, students started in week one being a little quiet and unconfident in the art of public and effective speaking and graduated in week four as young men and women with a real stories of passion and emotion to share with pride, using the 4Ps of effective speaking; pitch, pace, pause and projection, along with content and connection.

John Ford said, “you can speak well…… if your tongue… can deliver the message in your heart.”

“Why Hello!”

IMG_5689aGesture and body language was full of fun and interaction as the students, in week three of the Young Leaders Seminar, developed the skills to match their body language with their speech and presentation skills.  To warm them all up on a cold night presenter, Nissa, took them to the WHY HELLO! conference, a fun way to warm up and get in some practice while filling their lungs with air and demonstrating the importance of good posture.

Students learned the power of the  Ultimate Universal Gesture  which can never be misread…. The simple  smile and then the difference between a conscious and unconscious gesture which drew a number of laughs when demonstrated.

Linda Bergman took them through the module on speech construction and important tips for presenting yourself in an interview.  Next week all students will present a prepared speech of 3-5 minutes, using all their newly acquired skills on effective speaking.


YLS Week Two

IMG_5519aStudents Seminar week two was a lot of fun as students faced the importance of Vocal Effectiveness and Active Listening.

Presenter Linda Bergman took students through the techniques to master the “PC” of Public Speaking: Pitch, Pace, Pause and Projection along with Content and Connection with the audience. The first connection with your audience is your voice.  To have great vocal effectiveness is not just about your talking but what you need to do to give your voice strength and variety and the tips to bring out your own uniqueness and the X factor to be a wonderful presenter.

Giggles and laughter ensued as YLS students learned how making a growly face tiger and sour lemon puckered lips helps to warm up speech muscles prior to presenting a speech . . . organs of speech need to be warmed up before a performance just the same as any athlete or dancer . . . after all the Royal NZ Ballet wouldn’t dream of performing on stage without warming up their muscles first and the same applies to giving a speech or presentation.

IMG_5539aWho’d have thought that “blowing breath” through a straw is a practical exercise for warming up our organs of speech? YLS students were amazed and intrigued to discover that “blowing” through a straw is not as easy as it looks!

The need to have strong vocal cords saw students practise blowing through straws as an exercise to have control of their vocal cords by gentle blowing going up and down the scale2-3 times along with lip trills and creaky door exercises and some tongue twisters to practice good pronunciation, along with the need to have good posture. John Ford said “you can speak well when your tongue can deliver the message in your heart”

IMG_5542ACTIVE LISTENING was also part of the overall YLS seminar with students having to close their eyes and listen to instructions on how to fold and rip a piece of paper: they all received the same instructions yet each piece of paper was very different when unfolded…. The moral of the story is that we all need to have two way communication and to ask questions so that we are all on the same page and not assume . Active listening is not just about hearing but about really listening; most of us are born hearing…but we have to learn to listen.

A Truly Memorable Evening

IMG_5564The evening’s guest speaker, Alan, is passionate about the value of quality training and has wide experience in training sales people.  Alan emphasised it is not so much what we say but how we say it.  He suggested that if we tune our words to emotion we will have more success.  For example, telling his wife she looks nice in that dress vs saying that she looks delicious in that dress…you have to agree he has a point, the latter is an attention grabber.

IMG_5561Alan kindly agreed to share his extensive experience and valuable insights with us.

The interactive workshop on how to train your memory was truly memorable.  Alan, taught us that our memories rely on pictures, not words, and shared with us a memory method that he came across as a teenager and which he has used to great success ever since, including presenting the evening’s workshop of over an hour with no notes whatsoever!  Thank you, Alan, for a most enlightening session.

Members Honour DC Achievement

Powertalk Waimea Club members proudly honour life member, Linda Bergman, for her outstanding success at the Powertalk International convention held in Seattle, USA last month.

Linda, a member of Waimea club for over 25 years, was awarded the highest achievement available worldwide within Powertalk, that of Distinguished Communicator (DC).  Linda has joined the elite of our organisation with only 3 others in NZ Region and 36 worldwide who have achieved this highest distinction.

Linda achieved this accolade both through passing an international exam and the many ways in which she has served the organisation and our community.  Linda regularly visits local schools, educating children in being safe around dogs; she organises the local primary schools’ speech contests in conjunction with the Richmond Lions Club and has also runs the annual effective speaking seminar for senior students at Waimea College as well as making presentations to local businesses that wish to encourage and teach staff how to boost their confidence and present themselves well to the public.

Young Leaders Seminar off to flying start

IMG_5486Young Leaders Seminar off to a flying start with 23 students from Waimea College attending the first nights of the 4 week course. The “Young Leaders Seminar,” in its 17th year, is an introduction to the internationally acclaimed  POWERtalk International Short Course on Effective Speaking.  IMG_5510Students are given the opportunity to gain a hands on approach and build personal confidence through articulation and impromptu speaking skills, platform presence, vocal effectiveness, listening skills, interview tips and the opportunity to write and present a formal speech.   The course concludes with the students presenting their own formal speech.  Each student is presented with a certificate of participation and a written personal evaluation, and a speaker of the seminar is a selected.


Exciting News: Conference 2018

We are delighted that Powertalk Australia will be joining Powertalk New Zealand for a combined conference here in Nelson in May 2018.  Planning for the Masked Ball, Trans-Tasman Debate and Australasian Speech Contests is well under way.

NZ-AU Flyer 1

Charades and Public Speaking?

Fantastic_PresentationsCharades are fun as members discovered with enthusiasm last night.  Whilst it was a bit challenging to begin with, we soon got the hang of the game and were able to portray the film, book or play titles in super quick time.

Charades are fun but there is a practical benefit to public speaking.

Body language is unspoken communication and includes movements and gestures, such as waving hands, and even more subtle movement that we may not even be aware of, such blinking, smiling or nodding your head.  Experts tell us body language accounts for between a staggering 55% to 65% of our communication.

All of the physical gestures we make are subconsciously interpreted by others, and there are many books on the subject, such as, Body Language by Alan Pease.

According to Dr Joseph Braysich, understanding body language is . . . “the art of seeing what others are thinking”.

Charades provides an enjoyable way of honing your skills relating to facial expression and body language.  Carriage, facial expressions, eye contact and gestures, all go into making a connection with your audience, maintaining audience interest and increasing the credibility of your message.

Next evening meeting:  Wednesday, 16th August, 7pm-9pm @ 360 Annesbrook Drive, Stoke.  Come along and see how we can help you.

Next afternoon meeting:  Tuesday, 8th August, 1pm-3pm @ Richmond Town Hall, Cambridge Street, Richmond.  Cost $10pp for non members.


Seattle Convention Success!

IMG_4562IMG_4567Distinguished Communicator (DC) is the highest level achievable and only a very few members worldwide can boast of reaching this standard in public speaking.

Congratulations to Linda Bergman on achieving  Distinguished Communicator, Level 5, on the POWERtalk International Accreditation Programme.   Linda, you are a star!

POWERtalk Waimea can also be proud of receiving the 20/20 Award for increasing membership by over 20% during the period 1st August 2016 to 31st July 2017.

Crazy English Language!

twitter speakWhat a challenging and fun meeting!  With so many members away on holiday or at Convention in Seattle, doubling up was the key to the evening’s success.

Ever looked up the word “UP?”  There are over 50 different meanings and uses of that little word, including opposite meanings, such as, “a drain must be opened UP because it is blocked UP!”

It seems, too, that we’ve all noticed that adverbs and adjectives are no longer is fashion and that spelling and punctuation are things of the past.

Our motto is: to use our language with grace and facility but, sadly, unlike years gone by when the English language was dynamic and absorbing words and phrases from other languages, it now appears to be shrinking: “affect and effect” are no longer used, just “impact,” “alternate” is used instead of “alternative” and texting is reducing our vocabulary and spelling ability even further.

The Merit Cup was awarded to Jenny for her innovative and stimulating Word Power Quiz; fortunately, the answers were multi-choice!  Do you know what any of the following words mean?  Cerumen – Eructate – Paraesthesia – Sternutate – Borborygmi.

Next evening meeting on Wednesday, 2nd August, 7-9pm @ 360 Annesbrook Road, Stoke.

Our Future World

IMG_4931aWhat a fabulous meeting – members buzzed with energy and enthusiasm! The theme for the evening was “Our Future World” and the word for the night was “Conservation.”

What an amazing and talented group of members we have: all members spoke with passion and knowledge during our “off-the-cuff’ session with table topics ranging from ‘the benefits of trees’ and ‘is nuclear power our future?’ to ‘what difference can we make?’ and ‘saving our rivers and waterways’. Annett gave a passionate and inspirational speech about how every little bit that we can contribute to conservation now, will benefit all of us and our world in the future – everything from not buying processed foods and reducing the use of plastics to turning off lights and recycling everything that we can.

Come along to our next meeting and see what we do.  All Welcome.

Date:  Wednesday, 2nd August 2017

Time:  7pm-9pm

Venue:  360 Annesbrook Road, Stoke

For more details, please Contact Us

Winter Winner

WinterWinning raffle ticket number 23 brightened up the beginning of Winter for one lucky Brightwater resident.

A basket of goodies containing all sorts from vacuum flask to photo frame, mugs to microfibre and chocolates to cookies, something for everyone, was delivered to the lucky winner.

Thank you to everyone for your support.

Breaking News!

05 Call to Conference 2018We are thrilled and excited to announce that the next POWERtalk International New Zealand Region Conference will be held here in Nelson in May 2018 and we are proud that our very own Linda has been appointed conference co-ordinator; she is already buzzing with ideas to make this the best NZ Region conference ever!

The Waimea Club contingent to the recent NZ Region Training Weekend in Wellington presented particpants with a very entertaining “Call to Conference 2018.”

Members and clubs have already been put on notice that each club is to bring along a WOW-ee creation to model and be judged.  Nelson is the birthplace of the world famous World of Wearable Arts show that is now an international event which is held in Wellington.  However, Nelson is still the home of the WOW museum where many of the winning creations are on display.


Speech Contestants give personal best

03 Sally & Wendy Speech ContestantsWendy competed in the NZ Region Speech Contest  representing Waimea Club; although not placed, Wendy gave a personal best performance and the judges said it was one of the most tightly contested contests for many years.

Wendy’s speech, “You can’t live a positive life with a negative mind,” was powerfully emotional and resonated with all of us as her subject was based on looking forward and not to the past, giving us valuable tips (Marc Chernoff):

  • 02a Rose Bowl Trophy Linda BergmanLearn from the past and then get the heck out of there!
  • Focus on what’s truly important
  • Focus on being productive, not being busy
  • Give what you want to receive
  • Let things be less than perfect
  • Let go of needless drama and those who create it
  • Forget what everyone else thinks and wants for you

Sally Ma competed in the Cosmopolitan Speech Contest (which is for speakers of English as a second language) and has been chosen to represent NZ Region at the International Convention to be held in Seattle in July.

Sally’s speech was full of humour and backed up by scientific research on the dangers of clutter.  We could all relate to her Chinese proverb:  “When we live in an orchid house, we no longer smell the fragrance.  When we live amongst mess and clutter, we no longer notice it.”

POWERtalk Waimea Club won the Rose Bowl Trophy for the 4th consecutive year for the “most outstanding club”

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