Toastmaster Kim Harris was recently involved in helping to organise the recent Art of Speech festival in the Yarra Valley. We caught up with her and asked some questions about the event.
- Around how many people from how many clubs were involved in running the event?
25 Toastmasters were involved in running the event from all over District 73. 48 Toastmasters attended the festival to perform important roles. It is difficult to determine which clubs were represented as certain helpers belong to numerous clubs.
- How many non-Toastmasters attended the Art of Speech festival over the weekend? And how many people in total?
Activities relating to the festival were held over a six week period, not only on the weekend. The majority of attendees were non-Toastmasters (605). In total 653 people participated in events connected to the festival.
- What was your main purpose for running the festival?
The main purpose was to promote Toastmasters, and to educate people that if one must speak, why not make it artful? Considering we engaged 605 non-Toastmasters, I believe we achieved the purpose of promoting Toastmasters to the wider community. The place to practice and improve your communication skills, is Toastmasters, and Toastmasters teaches us much more than just the technical skills of speaking – we wanted to showcase that speech is more than stringing words together in a logical sequence. Words spoken artfully in order to captivate your audience, is the true vision of any aspiring speaker/leader.
- What parts of the festival worked the best?
Engaging the artists and community groups worked the best, as well as the Comedy night (which was sold out).
- What would you change next time?
We would change multiple things. There were many challenges, some we created, some beyond our control, and thus many opportunities for improving the event. Some key changes would include: dates/timing, format/scale of event, promotion and engagement of key people/volunteers.
- Will there be a next time?
As the post event wrap up is not yet complete, we are undecided. If we decide to play again, you will be the first to know:)