The New Year [Meeting Report of 2021-01-12]

The theme of the meeting on the 12th of January was “the new year”.  Our club President and Toastmaster of the Evening Poorana opened the meeting with a warm greeting to all, and especially to each of our 10 (yes 10!) guests. We are always delighted to have guests, and tonight 9 of our guests were from Poland. They are all members of a new club which will have its first meeting on Monday 25th January. The clubs name is: University of Rzeszów Toastmasters Club. Our Toastmaster friend Mindaugas Račkaitis is their club mentor and suggested they visit us in order to get some ideas on running their meetings. Thanks Mindaugas, it was great getting to know this group of smart young people.Sybille gave the Word of the meeting, which was fitting for the meeting theme of the new year: ameliorate. It means make (something bad or unsatisfactory) better, which after 2020 we all could use.

Jan-Philipp gave one of the two speeches on the topic of “My Toastmasters Officer Experience”. JP is a very experienced Toastmaster and it was inspirational to hear of his learning experience as a club President, Area Director, and currently as club Treasurer. I (Jeff) gave the second speech on the topic of how to “Make Habits Stick”. This also fitted perfectly with the theme of new years, since the go-around and Table Topics centered on questions of our own resolutions for 2021. The main message of my speech: one changes habits by making it easy to do what you want to do.

The winner of the Table Topics was our guest Amrith, best evaluator was Martin, best speech, Jeff.

And here is a photo of our great meeting group:

Our next meeting is on Tuesday, January 26th, 2021 at 19:15. Be sure and save the date. 
Best wishes till then,
Jeff, Mannheim International Toastmasters

The Holiday Season and (virtual) White Elephant Gift exchange [Meeting Report of 2020-12-22]

Our last evening of 2020 was a special one. Oliver as Toastmaster of the evening led us through the virtual White Elephant Gift exchange. Six gifts were presented and six members and guests delivered an off the cuff speech explaining why this gift is really special to them. The gifts were a frog which can make noise, a lilac cow, a bottle of mulled wine, a pig, a box to put stuff in and a little statue of Mozart. The winner was Poorana with an excellent speech on the frog.

The word of the day was elated, meaning jubilant, thrilled, enthusiastic, extreme happiness. For example: “Her success elated the family”. The word of the day was used twice in the course of the evening.

We had two prepared speeches. Julian spoke for the first time and delivered his Icebreaker speech. Icebreaker speeches are always interesting for the audience because they are a good way to get to know the new member better. Julian spoke about his passion for the English language and how he has changed his approach towards learning it. Poorana delivered an interesting speech about finding fulfillment in life.

The evaluations were given by Fangfang for Poorana and by Sybille for Julian. The best evaluator award was given to Sybille.

Again an inspiring evening with lots of fun. The officers thanked Jeff for all his commitment, effort and dedication he has contributed to the club in his function as president for the club. The members wished Poorana good luck and every success for taking over this role in January 2021.

We ended the meeting wishing everybody a happy and elated holiday season, hoping for a good and prosperous year 2021 with many elated moments.

Passion [Meeting report of 2020-12-08]

Dear friends,

What a great evening again. Poorana passionately led us through the evening as Toastmaster of the evening focusing on the meeting theme passion with many quotes. In a round table talk participants vividly expressed their views on passion, a good way to getting to know each other better.

Our table topics master Julian also centered his questions around the meeting theme and called up our president Jeff and our guests Marcus, Aidora and Johannes to speak off the cuff:
– How does passion develop?
– Can passionate leaders have an advantage?
– What are you passionate about?
– Can passion make a difference in one’s life?
Jeff won the award as best table topic speaker.

It is always a great pleasure to have guests in our club meetings. We were happy to welcome Marcus Bonsiepen (President of Toastmasters Witten) again, Aidora Kebo joined us from Belgium and Johannes from Mannheim participated for the first time in a Toastmasters meeting. They enriched the meeting tremendously.

We had two prepared speeches. Fangfang is working on the path dynamic leadership and spoke about “leading in any situation”. “All you need is laugh” was the title of Sybille’s speech. She pointed out the importance of laughing on our mind and body. This is especially important in these Corona times.

This speech sparked off a little round up with laughter which made us all feel joyful. So the meetin犀利士 g did not only show how passionately dedicated our members are but also boosted our minds positively.

The best evaluator award was given to Jan-Philipp, the best speaker of the evening was Sybille.

(This recap was written by Sybille, our club Secretary. Many thanks, Sybille!)

Our next meeting, and the last meeting for this year, is on December 22. The meeting theme will be “the Holiday Season and (virtual) White Elephant Gift Exchange”.  Do save the date and plan to join us for this Holiday Special!

Here is the zoom link to join us:

Here’s a screenshot of our meeting:

Best wishes, Jeff Gordon, Mannheim International Toastmasters

Thanksgiving and the gift of gratitude [Meeting report of 2020-11-24]

Dear friends,
I came away from our meeting on the 24th of November with a feeling of great fulfillment. Why? Well, three facets of the meeting played a role. 

First, the meeting theme of “gratitude” is something that is dear to my heart and the healing power of giving thanks was palpable in the spirit of the evening. Fangfang did a wonderful job of leading us through the evening as Toastmaster of the Evening, bridging the agenda segments with lovely quotes about gratitude. Furthermore, Oliver let the participants in the Table Topics tell of their experiences of being thankful.

Second, it was exciting to have so many guests, both experienced Toastmasters from other clubs as well as newcomers to Toastmasters. Two of our guests, Marcus Bonsiepen (President of the Toastmasters Witten) and Mindaugas Račkaitis (Immediate Past President of Confident Voices Vilnius) took over roles as Evaluators. It is always enriching for a club to have experienced Toastmasters from outside give of their knowledge as Speech evaluators. Thanks to you both! 

And thirdly, Poorana was voted in to become our President starting the 1st of January, 2021. Poorana has not only shown great enthusiasm for the club and for the Toastmaster program, he is also a very moving speaker.

Here a snapshot of the evening!

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, December 8th, 19:15.


The evening theme is „passion“, so I look forward to meeting all of you again. Don’t forget to bring your passion to the meeting!

Best wishes, Jeff Gordon.