I started my Rostrum membership at Malvern Rostrum Club 45 Victoria and am Club Training Officer and coach. My extended Rostrum responsibilities currently include Victorian Assistant Secretary and Membership Secretary.

Other roles have been member of the Strategy Committee, Treasurer, Membership Secretary and developing Coach training videos.

Happily, I was able to be part of re-establishment of a Rostrum club in Werribee. Rostrum has taught me about structure, impact and most importantly, purpose. Knowing my purpose when speaking to groups or individuals invariably led to positive results. 

 It all began with a question from my dear friend Jenny Blain in 2003. “What are you doing at 7.30 on Tuesday mornings?”. 

debbie“Getting ready for work. Why?” She then told me about a breakfast club she had joined in Malvern called Rostrum. I joined and learned a lot about effective speaking and meeting procedure. 

Jenny explained what Rostrum was about and my ears pricked up when she mentioned meeting procedure. At that time, I was working at a not-for-profit and had been co-opted as Minute taker for Board meetings. Our Board was largely composed of business leaders and I was not always sure that they followed correct meeting procedure. 

While my opinions were unappreciated by the members of that 2003 not-for-profit Board, my enhanced speaking skills allowed me to “tell the story” of the work done by our not-for-profit at black-tie functions for grant givers, to groups of social workers and in radio interviews. 

In my current work as a Financial Counsellor, I have continued to use my Rostrum skills. So challenged have I been by presenters’ “ums and ahs” in our professional development courses, that I ran an oral communication session for my colleagues which has raised their skills considerably.

Rostrum never leaves you. Make sure you spread the word and always use your skills for good and not for evil.

Debbie Welsh

Member, Victorian Malvern Rostrum Club 

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