The power of appreciation [Meeting Report of 2021-09-14]

Dear friends of our club,

I had the pleasure this evening to be the Toastmaster of the Evening and General Evaluator. Our President Poorana had to miss the last meetings, so we were especially glad to welcome him back tonight. Because Poorana was a bit late (definitely a case of “better late than never”), Oliver opened the meeting as our presiding officer, warmly welcoming our two guests back: Kala and Isabelle, both of whom have visited a few times.

I think that we all appreciated having appreciation as a central theme.  Even the Joke of the Evening touched on this theme:

The Boss of a small company was complaining during a staff meeting that people didn’t appreciate him enough. Trying to change the attitude in the office he came in the next day with a sign for his door it said, “I am the boss”. One of the employees apparently not appreciating the change posted a post-a-note on the sign it said “your wife wants her sign back”

The following was the Thought of the day: “You will never have enough, do enough or be enough, until you see yourself today as enough.” – Cindy Keating

Oliver led the Table Topics, again with the technical help of great slides illustrating his questions:

Poorana was asked to talk about a situation where he was not appreciated. He spoke movingly of how difficult it was to change to an English language school when he did not yet speak English…….with a happy ending of eventually getting a best grade on an English exam.

Kala was asked to talk about an experience of being empowered though being appreciated. She shared a very personal story of how her husband’s support helped her get so proficient in German that she now has a great job in a German speaking company.

Ayo was asked about when he experienced a false appreciation. He told of a superior in a job he had that faked being friendly, and how terrible this felt.

And lastly, Isabelle was asked if she ever had the experience of not being able to accept appreciation because maybe she felt she didn’t deserve it. She explained that she doesn’t have this problem because her main interest is being kind to others, and encourage us to remember that it is not about us, but about the other in our communications.

Sriram did the one speech project, working on Presentation Mastery #2-1 – Effective Body Language. The speech title was Do you have a diaper? Sriram talked about having a chance encounter with a stranger last week who had an unexpected question, and the interaction inspired Sriram to look at his many life experiences, all of which were connected by an invisible thread.

His Evaluator Jan-Philipp pointed out the many strengths in this entertaining and well constructed speech, specifically giving examples of how Sriram used staging and gestures to make his body language effective and appropriate. He also added a specific point for improvement, dealing with the lack of clear transition near the beginning of the speech.

It was an enjoyable and quick moving evening. Poorana announced the winner of the Table Topics, and our two guests (hopefully soon to be members) Isabelle and Kala were delighted to hear they were tied for winner!

Our next meeting is on the 28th of September, we would love to have you join us!

Best wishes to you all, Jeff

Here is a snapshot of the evening.

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