The Nightmare of the Toastmasters timekeeping lamp

We once again had a very funny and entertaining meeting on the 13th of December. With a bit of gingerbread brought by Jeff we set a kind of Christmas atmosphere. During the round-table we all talked about the highlights of this year which for many people included things as travel, job changes and of course winning awards at Toastmasters meetings!

Li did a great job as the Toastmaster of the Evening for the first time and began by explaining the meeting to our guests. Mauro delivered a joke about a bear and a very creative rabbit who were each granted three wishes by a fairy. The word of the evening was brought to us by Jeff who taught us that “peruse” is a great way to state that you are “looking something over”. Martin E. gave us the three very appropriate phrases that sum up Christmas by an unknown author: “peace on earth, goodwill to men, batteries not included”.

The table-topics theme that was set by Hyejin was motivated by the experience that her parents who do not speak English could now use a translation device, so knowing foreign languages becomes less important. This inspired her to let us go to the future and let us go back and say what was important now in 2011 but not important any more in 20 years.

Stefan stated that the iPhone was really popular once, but of course concluded that it was not important any more as Android device really came out and surpassed the iPhones. Katharina told us that the train-car traffic system is not used any more as poor people are using flying cars and rich people are making use of beam machines.

Zoe informed us that in 2031 a healthy lifestyle is strongly promoted and McDonalds and Burger King are just relics of ancient times. Erich surprised us when he told us that oxygen could not be replaced so easily and people still need it to breathe. A great relief was given to us by Arne when he told us that the Toastmasters timekeeping lamp is not actually in use anymore in 2031, so this nightmare was removed.

After the break, René gave us a great educational about using a camcorder as a feedback device. We are now using this great tool to record our own speeches, so we can look at the video on our own and see with our own eyes how great we are!

Then Calvin gave his ice-breaker speech in our club. Following the title of his speech “Wherever I lay my head is my home” he told us about his family, his travel and moving throughout the US a lot and that he considers himself a journeyman. He has worked in various jobs and finally began the actual journey to becoming an educator and gave us the inspiring thought that fear is just “false illusions appearing real”. What a great ice-breaker!

The second speech of the evening was given by Martin S. whose task it was to “organize his speech”. He clearly laid out his three points when introducing us to “the science of happiness”: Giving yourself permission to be happy now from the inside even as you are feeling sad things, the subjective happiness scale from 1 to 10 that you can easily change for yourself just by changing your posture and finally the now exercise in which he demonstrated to us how it is done with a breathing exercise and made us very happy.

In the evaluation section that was led by me, Jeff and Martin E. gave two very competent and helpful evaluations of the two speeches. Thomas provided a detailed account of our grammar, Helen counted our usage of filler words and Volker took care of the time and the Toastmasters timekeeping device.

This was actually our last Toastmasters meeting of 2011. The next meeting will take place on the 10th of January. I wish you a happy Christmas or Holidays and a great start into the new year!!!

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