The meeting theme was: creativity.
It was such an enjoyable evening. We had both returning guests and new ones. Yuni, Armin and Gabi were “repeat offenders”; Shruthi, Natheer and Fursey were with us for the first time. Yuni joined us from Singapore and Fursey from China. The meeting ended at 3 AM in their time zone, so we have decided to award them both a virtual medal for Toastmaster engagement above and beyond the call of duty . Highlight of the evening was Fursey’s speech, but more about that later.
Poorana opened the meeting as Presiding Officer with a warm greeting to all. The guests introduced themselves to the group and Poorana gave the screen to JP, our Toastmaster of the Evening. He led us smoothly through the warm-up and prepared speech part of the meeting. He also added wise quotes on the theme of creativity interspersed with the various agenda points:
“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. ~Albert Einstein”
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. ~Scott Adams” Dilbert Comics
“Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not.
And he ended his part of the meeting with this quote:
“It’s more fun to be a pirate than to join the Navy. ~Steve Jobs”
Kala led the Table Topics with questions about our opinions and experiences regarding creativity. Our guests Shruthi and Armin took the challenge, as well as club members Uli and Florian. We learned something from each speaker about their values and life stories. Best TTs speakers were our guests Shruthi and Armin.
Our sole speaker tonight was Fursey Gotuaco. Fursey is a Chinese-American living in China and working as a principal in a school in a large city. As his introduction for his speech says: Fursey has been a life long teacher for over 30 years and has a unique perspective of how to we mentor the people who come into our lives. This year is the second time that he has qualified for the semi-finals of the Toastmasters International Speech Contest, and we had the honor of letting him practice one of his two contest speeches tonight.
The title of Fursey’s speech was: Message in a Bottle. In the speech, Fursey shared with us his journey from being a teacher who tried to implant his knowledge into his students to one who learned from his students, and especially one who learned to listen. His delivery was professional, lively, human, and I think that he touched us all with his message: your students don’t care what you know if they don’t know that you care.
I had the honor (and challenge) to be Fursey’s evaluator, and JP, Poorana and our guest Shruthi also gave verbal feedback. We were all of the opinion that this speech is a world class speech. Areas of possible improvement were using more pauses and change of pace in the first part of the speech, maybe leaving out a superfluous comment, etc.
I feel it was an inspiration for all present to experience Fursey’s presentation. It definitely fit in with the them of creativity to see Fursey fine-tuning an already great speech to make it an extraordinary one.
Oliver led us through the last part of the meeting as General Evaluator. Yuni gave an impressive report as Grammarian, using screen-sharing to show who used especially good or interesting forms of English. As Ah Counter, Uli was exact in her helpful feedback.
Before closing, Poorana asked our guests how they enjoyed the meeting. We were especially happy to hear from the guests that they not only enjoyed the meeting, but that they valued the warm, supportive and accepting climate in the club.
Please join us for our next meeting on the 26th if July.
Best wishes, Jeff
Mannheim Int. Toastmasters
Here is a photo of the evening: