Keynote Speakers

Saturday 13 May 2023

Kingi Biddle

Kingi Biddle is from the pride-lands of Rotorua. He was raised alongside his elders where his love of storytelling began. Storytelling to keep his history alive, storytelling to help him deliver messages to be heard and understood.
Kingi started his Toastmasters journey in District 72. When he began in March 2010, all of New Zealand was District 72. On three separate occasions 2011, 2013 and 2014, Kingi has been District 72’s International Speech Contest Champion. On two of those occasion, 2011 and 2013 he advanced
to the World Championship of Public Speaking.
In 2013 he took 1st Runner Up in the World Championship of Public Speaking.
In 2019 Kingi became Inaugural District 112 International Speech Contest Champion. His home club is The Taniwha Hunters from Rotorua but his greatest love is his whānau. They fill him with pride, joy, and a huge sense of belonging.
Kingi is elated to be joining his District 72 whānau.

Sunday 14 May 2023

Kevin Nelson

Communication and presentation has been key throughout Kevin’s career. In his work within Freemasonry, which he joined in the mid-1970s, through Bag piping as a Pipe Major for over 30 years and in his vocation as a Celebrant.

In his earlier years, he worked for the National Film Unit in production planning, marketing and voice over roles. He liaised with visiting VIP’s, briefed Overseas NZ Diplomats. As a Freemason, he has held numerous high ranking and venerated roles including Deputy Grand Master and Grand Director of Ceremonies. He has served the community through Freemasonry and through ceremonial roles being called on for television interviews, lectures and presentations. He has been Master of Ceremonies at diverse events from Burns nights to University Scholarship Presentations.

In his vocation as a Celebrant, he has bought his life experience to enable him to guide couples and relate to families across all sections of society in their time of joy or loss. This might require relatability, empathy, organisational, counselling, presentational and ceremonial skills. It also is an ability to develop eulogies and life stories with an understanding of the history of the times through which they lived and within a tight time frame.

Kevin will share some of his own story and the things he has learned over many years of public speaking and performance.


Saturday 13 May 2023

Discover YOUR unique Leadership Potential

Sabine Parry

Would you like to learn: What it means to be “emotionally intelligent”? What it takes for you to break old habits that are no longer serving you? How you can excel in any leadership role using practical, easy to use tools? 

 Sabine’s motto is to Engage – Empower – Elevate. She stands for conscious  and compassionate leadership. She loves sharing her passion for a holistic leadership approach, combining everything she learned about conscious & subconscious mind, health & fitness with practical hands-on business advice from her own experience.

If you would like to dive deeper into how you are perceived by others when you’re  at your best and what you can do to utilise self-awareness to become a better leader, this workshop is for you 🙂 

If you are on the Motivational Pathway: Bring your diary/homework on Project Level 3 “Understanding Emotional Intelligence” along!

About Sabine:

Sabine lives and breathes a unique holistic approach to leadership: She studied Business Administration and Management, founded and grown businesses in Germany and New Zealand (Business). She is also a certified NLP-coach and Hypnotherapist (Mind & Subconscious/Energy) as well as a certified Personal Trainer (Health & Wellness). For the last few years she has been focusing on board roles and being a leadership consultant and team communication facilitator.

Sabine as been with Toastmaster almost 8 years, becoming a DTM in 2021.

Saturday 13 May 2023

Circle of Confidence


“Circle Of Confidence” is fun, active workshop in which Andrew helps you to focus on finding and unleashing the most confident version of yourself. At the Toastmasters Conference, Andrew will show you how to apply this confidence and focus to your own Toastmasters journey.

About Andrew:

Professionally, Andrew is known as “The Habit Change Wizard”, from his work as a Professional Hypnotherapist & Hypnotherapy Trainer, a Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT – aka Tapping), a Life Coach, Tai Chi Instructor and Speaker/Presenter, offering all the above both in-person and online.

Andrew Hardwick first joined Toastmasters in 2017, when he was briefly a member of Miramar Toastmasters. Much better known for his association with Upper Hutt Toastmasters, he is currently both Immediate Past President and Secretary. He has also had a stint as Sergeant-At-Arms

Initially joining at a time when the old books were in play, Andrew completed his Competent Communicator manual and Competent Leadership manual. An early adopter (and big fan) of the online Pathways, Andrew has since completed 3 Pathways, and is targeting a Distinguished Toastmaster Award!

For leisure, Andrew practices what he preaches, exercising his mind and body daily, through a combination of self-hypnosis, reading, walking, tai chi, gym workouts, swimming, aqua-jogging and pickleball.

Saturday 13 May 2023

The Fun Factor

Rob Julian

At Club Officer training, and Area Director visits clubs are rightly urged to ensure members progress through Pathways and achieve awards, and to complete the Distinguished Club Programme.

But what about having fun? Has your club spent a weekend white water rafting, or challenged another club to a debate, or a Sunday afternoon softball match and picnic? What about a Soapbox Oratory session in the Shopping Centre on a Saturday morning? Have you ever had a speech where the whole meeting hopped around the room pretending they were frogs going ‘greebit greebit’ and singing the ‘frog song’ for a speech celebrating the Norwegian Constitution Day? Did you have a riotous end-of year meeting?

Sometimes we can be a bit too serious.

This session will look some of the ideas and events clubs have done, just to have fun and be slightly, or excessively crazy. What ideas can your club come up with?

About Rob:

Winner – District 72 (NZ) – International Speech Contest, Evaluation Contest, Humorous Speech Contest

Award for Most Successful Division Governor of District 72

A grade Debater in Wellington Debating Society, Coach of Newlands College Senior A Debating Team

Toastmaster Workshops run at National Conferences

  • Techniques of Evaluation
  • Spice up your Speeches
  • Avoiding Reductionism in Judging
  • Chairing Committee Meetings
  • Writing the Instant Speech
  • Techniques for Increasing Club
    Membership Using Humour in Speeches

Mentor in the Formation of

  • Johnsonville Toastmasters
  • Island Bay Toastmasters
  • BNZ Toastmasters
  • Ohariu Toastmaster 

Presently running a Youth Leadership Course for 34 Yr 8 Students at Wadestown School for 10 Tuesday afternoons, and Speechcraft and Leadership Courses for 8 two hour sessions for Staff at ACC Wellington.

Watch Rob speak

Saturday 13 May 2023

From Speaker to Stand-up

The tips, tricks and techniques any Toastmaster can use to make their stand-up comedy debut

Laura Bruce

In just a few years, Laura Bruce went from beginner Toastmaster to professional comedian. In this workshop, you’ll discover exactly what you need to do to make your stand-up comedy debut. Laura will share her secrets to success including:
* 3 things you must never do!
* 4 things you must always do! And. . .
* 5 simple comedy formulas that will help you generate material for your first 5-minute set!

If you’ve always wanted to give stand-up comedy a try but didn’t know where to start, you won’t want to miss Laura’s workshop!

Photo: publicity shot from Laura’s solo comedy show “How to Cook a Kiwi: Laura Bruce’s N to Z of Aotearoa”

Saturday 13 May 2023

Oh the Drama!

Rachel Main

Rachel Main, founder of the Award-winning performing art school ‘Arts a Go Go’, shares lessons from the stage to increase your dramatic ability. Areas covered will include: exploring what sounds your voice can make, breathing for nerves, projection and clarity and building speaking confidence with improvisation. An interactive and fun workshop!

Sunday 14 May 2023

Creating Safe Spaces

Panel Discussion

Tangata whenua and multi nationalities, accessibility or physical challenges, nuerodiversity, LGBTQI+ or other needs we haven’t considered for our members.

How do we create safe, inclusive and accessible spaces within our toastmaster clubs. Join this panel discussion with audience Q&A to talk about diversity and inclusion within Toastmasters.

Panellists are:

  • Kingi Biddle
  • Irene Praises Gwasunda
  • Blake Reid
  • Genevieve Mclachlan

And the panel will be moderated by Erin Rose


Have a question? Email us at


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