Right now more than 100 Toastmasters from around New Zealand are attempting to break the Guinness World Record for continuously talking.
Among them are three of our community members, Toni Sharp, Kylee Maloney and Carolyn Peat, who are blind or have low vision.
The record to break is five days, six hours and 28 minutes and the reason they are attempting to break it is the confidence gained from achieving a goal.
“This challenge is all about confidence,” says Kylee, “the confidence to stand up and speak, the confidence to be part of such a challenge and the diversity of the speakers.”
It’s happening at the Waipuna Hotel in Auckland. It began on Sunday 21 April, 11am and is expected to go until Friday 26 April. Each speaker has to talk for at least seven minutes with a maximum of 30 seconds between speeches.
Part of the requirements to complete the challenge is having an audience and they encourage anyone in the area to go along and support them.
“Toastmasters is an inclusive club who welcomes everyone.”
“This is absolutely the only group to which I’ve belonged in which I’ve been expected to participate equally, rather than having to clamour to be included. That kind of feeling, particularly for someone who’s blind and mildly mad, can’t be bought or put into words,” explains Kylee.
Toni, from Taupo, is the third blind District Director in Toastmasters’ 95-year history. She joined in 2002 with the goal of being more clear and concise in presentations and getting messages across in a time efficient manner.
After achieving her goal, the motivation for staying was being a mentor for others. She would recommend anyone join to increase their confidence.
“I highly recommend Blind Foundation members join a Toastmasters club. The confidence that is gained in a positive and supportive learning environment is second to none. The new Pathways Experiential Learning Programme has an accessible format which enables materials and resources to be obtained by anyone who has a computer and internet access.”
Kylee works with Toni on the senior team. She says Toni’s faith in her abilities and the comradery she gets from the group is one of the reasons she loves it.
“That’s how we help one another in Toastmasters; by believing in one another, never criticising but constructively evaluating, encouraging and supporting.”
Congratulations to Toni, Kylee and Carolyn for their part in attempting to break the Guinness World Record – show us how it’s done!
Inspired by Toni, Kylee and Carolyn’s story? Learn more about joining a Toastmasters club in your area.