Presentation skills

Interview with a Champion

In the lead-up to the Spring Contest season, we present an interview with our club member and big star of the Fall Contest Season, District 95 Champion of German Language Table Topics, Martin Sturm. Martin has been a long-time member of our club, club president and area governor.

Martin Sturm

2015 District 95 Champion of German Language Table Topics Martin Sturm

Thanks for agreeing to this interview. First of all, congratulations again for your victory. I guess the first question should be – though I am not sure if that can be definitively answered for Table Topics, being impromptu – “How did you do it?”

 

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Open up for summer action but be aware of grandsons with pillows [meeting report of 2014-05-27]

457102_Rainer Sturm_pixelio.deWhen opening the meeting on May 27th President Martin S got us into the perfect mood. He asked the really relevant question to find out this season’s favourite ice cream flavour. Toastmaster of the evening Christian managed perfectly to keep track of the meeting. After introducing all the supporting roles he started the warm up session.

“Torrid” was suggested by Jeff as Word of the Day; the expression means exposed to great heat and also hot in temper or passion. Women sometimes tend to comment on the driving style of their husbands intensively. What would happen if a man did the same with the cooking of his wife? This was lively described in Jazzmin’s joke. Inspiration for summer activities were given by Martin — drinking lemonades, fishing or counting stars. He quoted a little poem as thought of the day.

To describe the best places for vacation was the challenge for the Table Topics. Chairing this part of the agenda Martin S had prepared photos of holiday destinations. Living on the beach, swimming in the sea and watching fish — for Katharina the Caribbean is the place to be. Heidi felt comfortable spending some time in Palma de Mallorca, though belonging to Spain almost everyone would understand German too. She was almost succesful to convince the Table Topics Master to pay for the trip. Monty Python’s dead parrot sketch was the reason why Guenther wanted to go to Norway; the lifeless bird is said to come from there and the Scandinavian country is ideal for some reflection in the nature.

681848_Lupo_pixelio.de_.jpgAlthough she had already visited Asia Judith wished to go again. Keen on river rafting and nightlife she talked about a perfect time in Nepal. Jeff vividly described how the Baltic Sea and the horizon on the island of Ruegen would inspire him because “If you travel with an open heart you’ll never come back as the same person”. Heading to the Maldive Islands Jazzmin wasn’t sure if spending 4 weeks on her own would be fun. So she invited every Toastmaster to join in. Martin E’s plan was a holiday at home. He recommended a staycation and wondered why his grandma used to go to the mountain’s with her three sisters every year in a small VW Beetle.

After the break JP continued in the session of prepared speeches. He assumed the role of a grandson with serious money problems. Though he hadn’t seen his grandmother for a long time he suddenly became very worried when the elderly lady made acquaintence with “Rosie” — a man who was 25 years younger than herself. The entertaining presentation finished dramatically when grandma drew her last breath because of a pillow pressed on her face.

Alexander powerfully persuaded the audience not to dedicat oneself just to big projects in life. He stressed out that taking care of everyday issues — simple things like health or eating and drinking — is important too. He included a personal experience about his recent relocation from Mannheim to Oxford.

489992_Konstantin-Gastmann_pixelio.de_.jpgIn the 3rd speech Sophia demonstrated how to get a message across without sayinga word. Non-verbal communication is even more important than verbal communication, what an interesting topic for every Toastmaster! Supported by excellently chosen photos she figured out main aspects of confident body language: take up space, remove barriers and maintain eye contact. She will continue talking about the subject in another presentation.

Being the General Evaluator Guenther introduced the feedback speeches by Katharina, Jazzmin and Martin. As an experienced Toastmasters he furthermore had carefully observed the meeting. So he was able to make some fundamental suggestions to improve the meeting’s procedure and atmosphere.

Finally it was President Martin S’s duty to hand over the awards for the best speeches to Katharina (evaluation), Jeff (speaking of the cuff) and Sophia (prepared speech). Before the crowd finished the meeting he announced upcoming Toastmaster’s activities like the meeting of the Rhetorikclub MannheimBASF Toastmasters and the conference of the new District 95 in Frankfurt.

pictures:
Rainer-Sturm / pixelio.de
Lupo / pixelio.de
Konstantin Gastmann / pixelio