Festivals [Meeting Report of 2021-10-26]

“Festivals”, theme of the Toastmaster Meeting on 26th October, 2021


“Festivals are happy places, and you don’t really want to enjoy them on your own”, by Christine and the Queens. Our presiding officer Poorana started off the meeting with a round table on the best festival the members had experienced. Also our guests – Harriet and Ulrike who were with us before and two new guests Kevin and Gaurav – took the chance to talk and contribute. Thanks a lot.

Prior to the warming up phase the roles were filled spontaneously, Poorana did the timing, Ulrike took up the role as Ah-counter and had an eye on the filler words, Harriet – as a native speaker – focused on the use of the English language the Grammarian of the evening.

As Toastmaster of the evening Sybille referred to the theme with a quote by David Binder” Festivals promote diversity, they bring neighbors into dialogue, they increase creativity, they offer opportunities for civic pride, they improve our general psychological well-being. In short, they make cities better places to live.”

Jeff started the warming up phase with the word of the evening “revelry” – example “The lottery winner was exhausted after a long night of revelry.” The word was used twice in the course of the evening. The joke explained the difference between wit and a joke:

        A young filmmaker, excited to be part of his first film festival, is attending a talk between a director and a writer. At the end of the talk he asks the question:
        What is the difference between wit and a joke?
        The writer looks at him for a second, picks up his glass of water and pours it over the filmmakers head and says “this is a joke.”
        Surprised by this sudden act the young filmmaker stutters, “and what is wit?
        The writer responds, “Wit is dry.”

Eloisa was the Table Topics master of the evening and asked four questions:
1. In festivals we are surrounded by delicious food. Which is your favorite food when you are celebrating?
    Gaurav talked about Indian festivals and made our mouths watery describing all the delicacies offered there.

2. Festivals are sometimes spooky like the Mexican way of celebrating the “day of the dead”. Kala depicts an Indian festival not at all like Halloween when families reunite and say good bye to their loved ones who passed away.

3. Which is the best gift you have received at a festival? Kevin remembers Easter times when he and his brother were looking for Easter eggs.
    For him the memory on spending time with his brother at this occasion was more important than the eggs.

4. Festivals and holidays can be stressful. Can you give an example? JP mentioned that shopping for presents can be annoying, especially when the people say they don’t want anything.

Thanks to the commitment of our guest Joy from the Spa Speakers, Leamington Spa, England, we had one prepared speech “Growing with gravitas”.  Joy referred to a book by Caroline Goyder called Gravitas. Caroline is a renowned voice coach and speaker in England and around the world. Her speech was evaluated by JP. He praised her great presence and charisma, especially the way Joy smiled and took us in to her speech. Her speech would have even been stronger with more personal examples and less focusing on the book.

Finally, Jeff as General Evaluator, asked for the reports of the Ah-counter and Grammarian. Both did an excellent job. All in all again an excellent meeting. For the round table he suggested to give a time limit because the contributions tended to be a bit long.

Since there was only one speech we only voted for the best TT speaker. The award was given to our guest Kevin. Congratulations!

Thanks to Sybille for this great recap!

Best wishes and hope to see you all at our next meeting on the 9th of November.

Jeff for the Mannheim International Toastmasters.

(ps: if you are looking for a Toastmaster Halloween treat, I recommend the Vancouver club that I have mentioned previously.

Saltspring Canada TM Online; https://us02web.zoom.us/j/984893810    Meeting ID: 984 893 810 . They have a Halloween themed evening on Sunday, 11 o’clock Vancouver time.

Please check the time because Mainland Europe goes off Daylight Savings-time tonight, so instead of a 9 hour difference there will just be an eight hour difference from Germany, etc..)

Here is a photo of the meeting:

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