Meet Our Executive

Club Executive

President: Scott Donaldson
Vice President Education: Johnny Quinn
Vice President Membership: TBC 
Vice President Public Relations and Immediate Past President: Eva Hooper
Sergeants At Arms: Kymberley Kennedy / Steve Gurney
Treasurer: Richard Muth
Secretary: Wayne Christensen

Scott Donaldson, lawyer

Club 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.”

Johnny Quinn, Presentologist

Club Vice-President Education

Johnny became a Toastmaster in 2015 and describes himself as a Presentologist. He travels internationally, training corporates and individuals on presentation skills, and also is passionate about getting kids presenting from an early age.

Johnny’s best advice for overcoming public speaking nerves: “Know and be passionate about your subject. Fear dissipates when your passion takes over.”

Eva Hooper, Celebrant

Club Vice-President Public Relations and Immediate Past President

In 2015 Eva left Germany to improve her English speaking skills and joined Toastmasters for help. Since arrivingin New Zealand and joining Queenstown club, Eva has developed a career as a wedding celebrant.

She loves mountain biking, trail running and skiing, yoga and recently started weightlifting, aka carrying her baby boy to all the music and baby groups in town and climbing mountains with him in the front pack. Eva’s public speaking goals include working on storytelling, spontaneous speaking, using less filler words and varying her pitch. “Being German I’m trying to sound less robotic and more melodic.” A top tip from Eva for others to overcome nerves is to be scared but do it anyway! “Be patient and kind with yourself. You are not going to change your way in one day.”

She describes her most difficult speech as officiating at her sister’s wedding. “I had to hold myself together to not be a blubbering mess. It was such an honour though!”

Kimberley Kennedy, Assistant Project Manager

Club Sergeant At Arms

Kymberley became involved with Toastmasters to become a more confident speaker in her workplace. She describes her hardest speech: “I had to do a presentation of a new system to a group of managers, and there were a lot of (doubtful) questions that I had to be prepared to answer after the presentation. It was very intimidating. That said, presenting any new material for the first time is rather daunting!”

Kymberley’s top tip for others to overcome public speaking nerves is, “Use the nerves! The centre of the brain that ignites for nervousness is the same centre of excitement.”

Steve Gurney, Professional Speaker

Club Sergeant At Arms

As a professional athlete, Steve was with Toastmasters in Christchurch for 10 years. After relocating to Queenstown, Steve “felt a little rusty” when giving his professional presentations, so joined the Queenstown club.Steve continues to be in demand as an international speaker, and with Covid is currently fine-tuning the skills required to present via video, and Zoom.

“Practice, practice, and more practice!” Steve says. “Take every opportunity to speak, whether it’s proposing a toast at a wedding, introducing a visitor at a club meeting, speaking at the school parent’s meeting, asking a question at a film festival, thanking the gym instructor on behalf of the class, or even speaking at a Rotary or Lions club.”

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Richard Muth, Taxation Specialist

Club Treasurer

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.”

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Wayne Christensen, Author

Club Secretary

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.”

We look forward to welcoming you