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Recap: “resurrect​ion and renewal” Meeting on Apr.22 2014

The last meeting for our outgoing VPE Alexander brought lots of surprises and improvisation. Especially since we were on a “special agenda” with a total of no less than six table-topic speeches. Alexander himself led through the evening with a theme of “resurrection and renewal” fitting the Easter Holidays, which he also incorporated into the table topics. The first prepared speech was given by Bikash. As his Icebreaker speech, he not only explained how his becoming an engineer was preordained from birth so strongly that he succeeded in becoming one even though he studied at the best place for doing everything BUT study, but went on to win best prepared speech of the evening – way to go! As the first table topic speech, Oliver speculated on what the traditional color of Easter eggs was and how they came to be so colorful nowadays. Alexander then revealed that they originally were red as a reminder of the blood of Christ.

Wenrong explained some key differences between German and Chinese culture in the second prepared speech. In the following table topics, our guest Farzana sought for an explanation of the origin of the Easter Bunny and added some parallels from her own culture.

The last prepared speech by Christian was from an advanced manual. Christian presented us a laudation for a colleague in which he used the metaphor of fire to illustrate warmth, energy and enlightenment that his colleague had shown. In the following table topics, Pieter was asked what the story of the resurrection meant to him. He suggested that even though we may sometimes reach points where we cannot know what’s ahead of us or see no way to go on, we should never give up.

Evaluations were introduced by Jazzmin, who was general evaluator for the evening. Yinqi praised Bikash’s speech and, referencing a quote from it, suggested that he had the abilities to “aim high” as a speaker. In the ensuing table topics speech, our guest Bea was asked by Alexander to explain some pastry he brought and what its connection to the occasion is. He later revealed it is called “kozunak”, a Bulgarian speciality for the Easter Holidays.

Pieter evaluated Wenrong’s speech, relating it to his own meeting Chinese people. Jazzmin had just handed the floor back to Alexander for the next table topics speech when he called her back for the speech to tell us about her time in Cape Town.

The last evaluation was given by JP, who praised Christian’s use of a metaphorical framework and opening and closing the speech with famous quotes. He, too, had barely returned to his seat when he had to come back and, as the last table topics speech of the evening, had to tell us about the meaning of the light of resurrection. It was all worth it, though, given that he was awarded both best evaluation AND best table topics speech of the evening.

Finally, our president Martin Sturm presented a farewell gift to Alexander, who in turn distributed the kozunak under those attending.

All in all, it was a very rejuvenating meeting. For the club, with an Icebreaker winning best prepared speech, but especially so for Alexander, who has lots of changes coming to his life in the coming days. We wish him all the best and good luck in Oxford!

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Oliver Hauss

Freshly made! Group photos 2013!

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Recap: “Fir and Ice” Meeting on Nov.12th

The last Toastmasters meeting from Mannheim started with Jeff’s friendly warm-up as usual, then followed by Martin.S’s welcome speech. We had embraced a lot of new friendly faces again: Michael, Muralidharan, Wei Xiang and Dominicor . Our family is really getting bigger and more diversified. What a great progress!

Doozy, a word that looked nice and was not known to Sophia as she mentioned,meaning something outstanding or unique of its kind, was chosen as the “word of the evening”. Martin.S has spontaniously applied to be the joker of the evening, who told us the hilarious psychology related joke that he has always liked. “Fire and Ice”, the same topic as the theme of the meeting evening, was picked by Oliver for table topic round. Several new guests as well as experienced TM members have accepted the challenges to give impromptu speeches, from whom Jeff, thanks to his impressive talk about “why hatred is meant to be ice instead of fire”, has won the best speake r award.

During the second part of the meeting, the prepared speeches, we welcomed three speakers, Wenrong, Sophia and Guenter. Wenrong shared her recent experience when her mother visited her from China; Sophia told us one interesting story plot of Alice’s Adventures in Philosophy-Wonderland with very vivid mocking voices; then, Guenter read a really funny novel abstract, the arrival, from one of his favorite books. It was regarding a journey to India as a tourist. Guenter used different paces, passions and voices to succesffully recreate the exact environment of the story to all audience. No wonder he won the final best speech award of the evening!

Evaluation was led by Alexander again with his team members Steven, Diego and Martin.E. All of them have excellent performances and Martin.E was chosen as the best evaluator in the end.

When members and guests almost finished the beverages and snacks carefully prepared by the officer team, the evening session was also over. Though winter was approaching, Toastmasters members continued to have good modes and therefore Mario’s restaurant became the next house for us to chat…

Recap of Humorous speech and Table topic contests on September 24, 2013

The toastmasters evening on September 24 was special, not only because we hosted the annual club contest but also because of the “gift” shown by Rene at the end of the meeting. In addition, we welcomed four guests, Stan, Judit, Luefing and Matthias to our club! Big applauses!

After standard opening of the evening, the contest was started by table topic contest. The four contestants, Marting.S, Jazzmin, Jeff and Rene, were very excited about the upcoming topic to be given. The topic chosen by Wenrong was , “if tomorrow is the end of the world, what will you do tonight and tomorrow?”. Each contestant has different angle to interpret the topic: Martin expressed her kindness and love to her sister, whom he definitely wanted to spend the last day with; Jazzmin would rather enjoy the nice food and drinks and make the day as perfect as possible; Jeff slightly converted the topic, based on his situation, to “how will you spend your days most meaningfully for the next day to next 30 years”; and Rene, as coming last, wanted to make some relaxing excursion and observe the special day.

Although four contestants were all performing fantastically, Rene in the end had won the first price. Congratulations!

After short break, the second part of contest, the humor speech, started. The first speaker, JP, presented us with an interesting fantasy story about how he, a 1.98 meter tall person, was actually judged as “tiny” from his “Tighten” tribe. Ensuing that, Rolf as second speaker told us the funny story between him and his daughter regarding “never to lie” rule in a child’s eye, when booking a flight ticket. Afterwards, Jazzmin came to the stage and delivered a vivid speech in German about the comparison between men and women when being in the car. As agreed, in the end Rolf was sent to the next level of area contest for humor speech contest.

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The grand finale of the meeting was when Rene opened an evelope and showed everyone a shiny purple ribbon. On the ribbon it says “president’s distinguished club”. Wow!!! After long efforts contributed, our club has finally reached this award! Big claps! The present toastmasters and guests then all gave some congratulating words to the newly achieved award. The scene was most touching.

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What came more exciting was that afterwards Stan and Judit announced that they have decided to join the club officially! What a happy ending of the evening!

With full of joy and gratitude, the meeting dismissed at 9:30pm where most of the attendants went on to have fun at Mario’s.

Recap: Our Meeting of August 13th, 2013

This week we welcomed SEVEN guests in our MITC gathering! Wow, that is one of the biggest guest group ever in our club. Thanks to Gala, Isaac, Lars, Richard, Stan, Till, Paul and Tobias who visited our club and participated actively during the meeting. Let us all give them a big hand!

The theme, “heat of passion”, was adapted almost everywhere during the meeting. To start with, Jeff presented us the word of the day as “Fervor”, a very popular one which was quoted by most speakers in the evening.Then after the hilarious joke from Martin.E regarding three engineer nerds, Jeff shared the thought of the evening with us “You don’t have to know how to dance before you try, just dance” – with a wise complement that “It’s also the same for toastmasters”.   During table topic which Jazzmin hosted, five persons were asked about “what is your passion of …”. We are honored to invite not only regular members, but our special guest of the evening Paul to participate.

After quick break, the most interesting speech part began. It started with an excellent speech given by Oliver, who talked about his reflection on the topic “The Internet: The better university?”.The topic was very carefully chosen, and Oliver has given us a clear structure of how he preceives as the advantages and disadvantages of internet education.

Then, as Martin.E evaluated later, the speech round turned to a “story-telling” night! We had the pleasure to listen to three different stories:

JP dance with a Vampire?! Relax, it is just a story of 90% truth and 10% imagination from JP. He did attend the dancing event with an attractive lady, who has long and beautiful hair, but he turned her down by rejecting her invitation in the end. What a poor girl!

Then, with the same name of the famous American TV series, Alexander revealed his secret about how he met his daughter’s mother. The title, “how I met your mother”, already attracted everyone’s attention. During speech, Alex talked in a very personal and intimate way regarding the romantic moments between him and his wife(or girlfriend at that time). Well done Alex!

Last but not least, we heard a most touching story from Grünter. It is about the tears from a special sheep in Capetown which had a huge impact on the butcher, who decided to do no killing anymore. When the climax of the story came, all guests were deeply moved.

The third part of the meeting was led by Ombretta as General Evaluator. She introduced Steven, Paul, Martin.S and Martin.E as evaluators and had some valuable compliments and suggestions for improvement for those members who had roles.

As closing part from President Martin.S, Martin re-emphasized the spirit of the MITC -friendliness. He wished that we can all improve the speech skill under a friendly environment. With that said, we closed the formal meeting and continued the evening cosily on Mario’s terrace.

The following dates to mark on our calendars where announced:

August 27th –> next MITC club meeting

November 15th – 17th –> “District 59 Fall Conference” in Budapest