Annual Rostrum Convention Queensland

Today is the Annual Rostrum Convention in Queensland.  I have arrived a bit late, so I am sitting outside in the coffee area blogging.  In my defence, I was up until midnight reviewing a student’s literature review submission for UQ prior to having to mark it.  

Rostrum is all about public speaking, so today’s discussions should be pretty good – given that I like that kind of thing.  Since I arrived late, I haven’t gone into the venue yet.  I am running a hypothetical later in the day – hmm, apparently for 45 minutes.  Given the last one went for two hours, I suppose this one will be a bit less taxing.  How does that sound?

All at the Brisbane International Hotel – at Windsor.  A cosy little venue.

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Liveblogging Rostrum Convention 2016

Might live blog today’s Rostrum convention, I think.

Started with a Facebook live with Marcela Ramirez from MRPR.

Marcela has the first session on ‘Selling the Sizzle’ at the Convention.  Marcela (@tweetmrpr) does a ton of good work in the community is very socially aware, and is a great presenter as well.

Oh, and just a terrific person.  Catch her podcast at

Then, after I was Chairman of Adjudicators of the Rostrum Freeman Frank Smith speaking competition – for novices – and that of course was a good competition to see fro Rostrum novices.

The next speaker was Maree Clancy of Say It Now Voice Consultancy.  Now, I have to say it’s the sort of thing I sometimes think is a litle fluffy.  A little woolly.  But Maree grounded it in the science and gave actual takeaways for the audience.  A very good speaker, and a very good understanding of what it takes to be a good speaker.  Very useful I think…

Presentations and public speaking for managers

Last week I did a morning session with practice managers with the Institute of Urban Indigenous Health through UQ Executive Education.  A very switched on group of of women who are doing terrific things – if perhaps drinking a bit too much V to get them through the day.  Anyway, it was a really good half-day – they were presenting their work later that day – and we got to discuss things like what to watch in an audio-visual presentation as well as those five magic things that are important in the world of Rostrum:  Purpose, Content, Structure, Voice, and Body Language.  


This was in the city – and I don’t get to go into Brisbane too often, so here are a few photos of me returning to my old haunts:

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And finally, here’s me with the graduating class.  The ladies are (L-R):  Imogen, Marti, Julie, Camile, Alison, Ray, Cassie, Noelene, Leila, Belinda and Samara.  A wonderful group – though it might be time for me to get a haircut and lose some weight.  Hmm.  

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Kate Moss is a cocaine-hoovering trollop on a catwalk

One of the fun things I do regularly is Rostrum – a public speaking club. The other night we had a balloon debate and at the last minute I was drafted in.

A balloon debate is where there are three people in a leaking hot air balloon who are arguing over a single parachute. The audience has to decide who gets the parachute based on a three-minute speech, and a 1-minute rebuttal, from each of the people in the balloon.

In this case I was Angelina Jolie, as the scheduled speaker was unable to make the meeting.

Anyway, I was Angelina Jolie, and I was competing with Kate Moss and David Beckham for the parachute. In the course of discussion I may have described Kate Moss as a cocaine-hoovering trollop on a catwalk, and said that David Beckham was washed up with a dicky knee.

Both of which I am sure is true.

In the middle of the speech, two guests came into our meeting, just as I was describing how, as Angelina Jolie I was ‘up for it – you know what I mean boys’. Complete with a lusty wink, patched jeans, and a fat-lipped smile. To this day I’m not entirely sure that our guests knew exactly what was going on :).

It was a lot of fun, and Angelina Jolie won the debate. Yay me!