Wow, what a great evening! On our meeting on November 27th we welcomed 8 guests in total. Zarna and Katjusha each visited us for the second time, Renate and Michael for the first time. And I am very happy to mention that we had four guests from Mannheim Business School who visited us for the first time and are very eager to start their own club! What a great plan! We will do our best to support them! Thank you Jia, Ankur, Aniket, Viraj for visiting us.
After Hope started the meeting and got everyone accustomed, René introduced Toastmasters very well as a peer group where we help each other and have fun. Alexander, our Toastmasters of the Evening, explained the structure of the evening very clearly. Then Ombretta gave us the wonderful word of the evening: “exigent” which can mean urgent or demanding. It was used quite often during the meeting.
After explaining the meeting theme “Confident Humility” neither being arrogant nor self-deprecating, Alexander also gave us the joke of the evening. Martin S. presented the thought of the day (with credit going to Sophia): “Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less”.
Then it was time for fun! Lorna gave us a challenging Table Topics Theme coming from her scientific background on what makes us human. Hope, talking about what makes us intelligent, contrasted the value of school in our society to the value of learning about yourself in our societies and gave her own opinion on this. Zarna explained that while we might only use 10 % of our brain consciously, the important thing is not only to gather information, but also to apply the information and to act on it. Bernhard started his thoughts on whether men and machine will merge with a brief historical story on the development of artificial intelligence which he used as the reason for his conclusion that machines may always get better but will never replace us. Ankur gave predictions about the potential consciousness of the internet stating that computers will become better in understanding people and in turn communicating better with us.
After our break we continued with prepared speeches. Diego gave a well-organized speech for his second project, talking about principles of business. He contrasted the principles of Goldman-Sachs with that of a Finnish Retailer in a very entertaining way, stating that he prefers the honest statement that companies are there to make money, quoting Milton Friedman: “The Business of Business is Business”.
Hyejin did a wonderful job using rhetoric devices in her fourth speech project. She talked about her memories of Cambodia. From the rising sun in Angkor Wat to finding a four leaf-clover, she explained to us that the Cambodians are happy people. That was well shown by her story about two girls who she made very happy by taking a picture of them.
Martin’s speech focused on fear. The explained to us the matrix of fear by Jeff Wise and drew a matrix in which he told us there are things we fear that are dangerous, but also that are not dangerous, and that there are things we could be more afraid of because of their danger. But he concluded that everyone loves Teddy Bears and they can really help people when they are sad.
René presented an award to Walter Isaacson for his biography to Steve Jobs. He explained about all the achievements and details and the history of the recipient and in the end handed the award to Martin E. as Walter’s representative.
Perrine led the evaluation team. Ombretta, Rolf, Martin E. and Günter all gave wonderful evaluations and helped all the speakers improve. Lale gave the Ah-Counters report which demonstrated her great listening skill. JP reported on the use of the English language as the Grammarian. Our guest Aniket took the responsibility of serving as timekeeper, thank you! Perrine then gave very detailed feedback to everyone and did a superb job as General Evaluator.
René announced the upcoming spring conference in Antwerp during club business. Here is the link: http://www.connectshare2013.com/ We formally welcomed Lale in our club as a new member, what a great addition to us! Ombretta received the sponsor award for introducing a new member into our club now that Lorna has given her Icebreaker. And finally, the awards went to:
Best Tabletopics-Speaker: Bernhard
Best Speaker: Martin S.
Best Evaluator: Martin E.
What a great evening! I hope to see you soon and remember, in January we will try a bigger room. More people, more fun 🙂