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2019 National AGM/Conference

The New Zealand Speak Easy 32nd AGM and Conference was held on 22nd September in the Kiwi Room at the University of Canterbury.

The day started with a relaxation followed by the AGM. After morning tea the Annual Oratory Competition was held with impromptu speeches. All participants used good technique. First place was achieved by Monica with Nina second and Angela in third place.

After lunch Ellen Nijhof, a speech therapist facilitated the conference booster course. This began with Ellen asking Speak Easy members to visualise their favourite place, where we felt relaxed and at ease, before practising Naturalness9, in unison with Mark Onslow’s recording. We split into smaller groups to engage in speaking activities, where we altered our naturalness rate in mid-sentence, to practice what is necessary for us to do in the real world, i.e. to use more technique when in difficult situations. This is to avoid blocking or repeating single sounds, words or sentences. We then had a discussion where everyone was keen to express their fears in various speaking situations, and what we would do to overcome such anxiety. To end the session, we had an Open Forum, where everybody spoke about what they had gained from the day.

To round off the day we gathered at Papanui Club for a lovely meal with good company and great chatter. This day is planned again for next year.
Nina Clark-Whitfield