Meet Our Executive
President: Wayne Christensen
Vice President Education and Immediate Past President: Scott Donaldson
Vice President Membership: Richard Muth
Vice President Public Relations: Anant Govil
Sergeants At Arms: Lenny Ng
Treasurer: Jaroslav Jarek Jelinek
Secretary: Paddy Turnhout
Wayne Christensen, Author
Wayne joined Toastmasters a long time ago, when he was a young copywriter in an advertising agency and suffered from extreme nerves when presenting creative concepts to clients.Wayne credits what he learned Toastmasters with helping him build one of New Zealand’s most successful advertising agencies. His suggestion to improve your presentation skills: “Don’t wait trying to find the confidence. Just find the courage to have a go.You’ll learn that the more you do, the easier it gets. You’re not stuck where you are, unless you decide to be.” Wayne stays involved, he says, “Because, like the gym, you get no benefit unless you keep going.”
Scott Donaldson, lawyer
Vice President Education and Immediate Past President
Scott says when he had to make a speech at an event he realised he needed to improve. “I’d like to be relaxed when speaking. I still get quite tense and self-conscious. It gets better the more I practise. After being with Queenstown Toastmasters for less than a year, I made a very good speech to get voted onto the Queenstown Chamber of Commerce Board. The odds were stacked against me but I managed to pull it off.”
Scott says the secret to success is to just get up there, talk, and try to learn. “As with everything worth learning, you have to be prepared to look like a fool first and just laugh at yourself when things go wrong. You can learn more from your failures than you can from your successes.”
Richard Muth, Taxation Specialist
Vice President Membership
Richard says he joined Toastmasters to learn to stop talking. “Learning to be succinct and structured. It has helped with multiple presentations at work and at other events.”
Richard’s work role has always involved a lot of phone calls, but using video has brought a whole new level of engagement. “Recent video training sessions at Toastmasters has vastly improved the experience.”
Richard has advice on how to overcome public speaking nerves: “Fake it until you make it is an old saying, but has a lot of truth. Chances are, unless you tell us you’re nervous, we won’t be able to tell, so don’t tell us.”
Anant Govil: Customer Service
Vice President Public Relations
Anant is new to the Toastmasters community but not to the realm of public speaking. During his college days, he was a part of a street theatre team, where he overcame the fear of public speaking. However, he soon realised that there are more elements to learn, apart from overcoming the fear, to become an effective leader and a public speaker. He took on some responsibilities as soon as he joined the community to not only learn new skills but also to learn from the experiences of other members. Anant is passionate about the outdoors and is always looking for a reason to be in nature. He believes that ‘he hasn’t seen his best yet’ and this encourages him to be better himself every day.
Jaroslav Jarek Jelinek – Civil Engineer
I cannot believe that I have discovered toastmaster by accident. I was not looking for a place how to learn public speaking. At first, I joined toastmaster to improve my English but what I have discovered in Toastmaster went far beyond my expectation. I always thought that great communication skill is something that you have to be born with rather than something that you can learn. It sounds like a cliche but thanks Toastmasters! In one year my confidence to speak has risen which help in all areas of my life. I still consider myself a bad speaker but now I know where I want to get to. It is a joy not to be afraid.
Lenny Ng – Hotel Duty Manager
Sargeant at Arms
Being a fresh member of Queenstown Toastmasters, my initial intention was to improve leadership and public speaking skills. I still vividly remembered the first time I joined the Club meeting as a guest, I absolutely love the professionalism, friendliness and humour surrounding it. The club has taught me the power of speeches, actions and presentation skills. Being born and raised in Malaysia which is a multination and cultural country, complement with work experience in difference countries and visited to over 25 countries, and now reside in NZ, I finds it easy to adapt and align with the Club’s objectives, values and the multicultural learning environment provided. I am looking forward to my growth with the Club, challenging myself to improve my public speaking, enjoy the social side and embrace Leadershift – “Suck it up and Just Do it”.
Paddy Turnhout – Personal Trainer & Coach
From travelling different parts of the world to tiki touring around New Zealand in a van I have always loved public speaking but never known how to improve. When moving to Queenstown early 2021 I was told about toastmasters and since then I have learnt much more than just how to feel comfortable on stage. With this great community I have made friends, mentors and networked with a variety of different people which I don’t think would have happened otherwise. 8 months in and I can’t wait to be around longer.