Showing up at Toastmasters meetings is 80% of life ;-)

Fellow Toastmasters and honored guests,

After greeting our three distinguished guests Zoe, Jan and Dirk, we started our meeting on the 25th October with a round-table talk on what everyone would like to see on a Toastmasters Club homepage. I got a lot of great input, thank you very much! Our Toastmaster of the Evening Tony then swiftly took very much care of staying in time, so that our schedule would not become an epic fail (word of the day by Arne).

Jazzmin provided the joke of the evening about the rivalry between England and Ireland with an Englishman, an Irishman and a beautiful girl on a train. Calvin gave the thought of the day by Confucius: “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work”.

The spontaneous and impromptu speeches were led by our Table Topics Master Jeff. His theme was aphorisms and sayings which the speakers had to comment on. First up was Rolf talking about “if life hands you a lemon, make lemonade”. He explained to us that this quote is about seizing opportunities and really seeing what kind of juice the lemon contains for us.

René’s impromptu speech concerned Woody Allen’s quote “showing up is 80% of life”. René strongly agreed on this issue as people who just try things don’t have that much competition and that you should just try and see how good you really are! For example at public speaking 😉

Pradeep spoke about the aphorism that “not those who have the most are the most happy, but those who are most thankful”. He explained that rich people have to look after a lot of things and worry a lot. Very poor persons on the other hand have nothing to lose, but a lot to gain and they really value even small things.

Günter was very happy to talk about a quote by Tagore “God respects me when I’m working, but he loves me when I sing” as he had just visited a Tagore museum in India. He expressed his agreement to the statement, saying that work gets you respect from society, but there is more to life than money and singing definitely gives him particular pleasure.

After the break our public speaking session continued with the prepared speeches. Yafang started by giving her ice-breaker. She explained her own character by telling us a story about a small dandelion seed which left home, said goodbye and flew far away. It then found a small nice place for itself. After explaining how she is the small dandelion seed being curious, independent and long-term oriented, she used the great rhetorical device of singing for us at the end!

The second speech was given by me on the topic of body language in order to let my body speak. I talked about gestures that could convey authority and conviction with the purpose of climbing the career ladder. Third came Martin E.’s competition speech “Cycling in the City” which he is going to gave at the Division Contest in Bensheim on Saturday, and won him second place!

Our final speech of the evening was Martin S.’ ice-breaker. He talked about the decisions you have to make in your life, especially career-wise. We learned how he stayed on his path without asking whether this helps his career and after having been a teacher at night school and a normal teacher before finding out that he really wants to be a psychotherapist.

Tony also took over the role of the General Evaluator and introduced our great evaluators Jeff, Katharina and René. Martin E. received a special evaluation by Calvin, Jeff and me on specific issues to improve his speech even further for the competition. Pradeep gave the report on our usage of filler-words, Thomas displayed his knowledge of the English language by giving a very detailed grammarian’s report with a lot of positive suggestions and Calvin took care of the timing.

René won the award for the best Table Topics speaker, both Yafang and Martin S. were decorated as our best prepared public speakers and Jeff won the best evaluator award. Our next meeting will take place on the 8th of November with more practice on rhetoric, I hope to see all of you there!

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