White Elephant gift exchange [Meeting Report of 2022-12-13]

For many years our club has had a tradition of doing a “white elephant gift exchange” at our last meeting of the year. This celebrates the season and is a fun way to give and get from each other. This gift exchange is a chance to get rid of something you don’t want any more. You might say: one person’s junk is another person’s treasure.
Poorana introduced the white elephant tradition to our guests Chris (from TM Heidelberg), Altun, Simon and Lena who participated for the first time in a Toastmasters meeting.  He introduced the team of the evening: Chris jumped in as Grammarian, Gabi took the important timer role and Katharina functioned as General Evaluator.
The word of the evening was kismet – destiny or fate. Example: “Let your kismet decide what gift you will get this evening.”

The table topics session was based on the white elephant gifts. Once the members get their gift they have 1 to 2 minutes to tell what is so special, great, fantastic about the gift.

  • Oliver received a big paper sun. He described how important it is to have the sun in the dark season of the year.
  • Chris picked a thermal cup. She uses it as a reminded to drink more and elaborated about health issues.
  • Lena received a gift in a bright orange color, usage unclear. She saw in it a perfect match to many things and was very enthusiastic about the gift.
  • Gabi got a piggy bank in the shape of a washing machine. For her a perfect reminder to save money when washing.
  • Simon received a gadget with three ugly dwarfs. He seemed to be happy about new flat mates.
  • Katharina received her own gift back. It is kismet she cannot get rid of it but she will try again next year.

We had two prepared speeches.
Nadine did her Icebreaker with the title “A year without alcohol”. She explained her motivation to refrain from alcohol and described her experiences. Her speech was evaluated by Oliver who praised the speaking skills she showed already in her first speech.
Shruti did her second speech in the path Presentation Mastery. Focus of her speech was body language and vocal variety. In her speech, “my experiences in Germany”, she gave us personal stories about public transportation and hospitals and compared these to her life in India. Sybille evaluated her speech and suggested a more catchy title to the speech and to check the unintended body movement which made it a bit hectic.

The GE Katharina rounded off the meeting with her evaluation of all roles. All in all an enjoyable and inspiring evening according to our guests.

The awards went to Katharina for the best Table Topic Speech. Nadine was the best speaker of the evening. There was a draw between to two evaluators Sybille and Oliver.

Thanks to Sybille for this great recap!

Have a peaceful and fulfilling holiday season, best wishes, 

Jeff, Mannheim Int. Toastmasters

Remember: The next meeting will be on January 10, 2023 – Online!

Here is a photo of the group this evening:

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