Patience [Meeting Report of 2021-04-27]

“Patience is bitter but its fruit is sweet” – Jean-Jacques Rousseau. The theme of the evening focused on the thought: with patience we can achieve more in life.

Again we had the pleasure to welcome guests. For the first time Marcel and Eloisa experienced a toastmaster evening. Anna-Lena and Marion have already participated several times. Marion even took over the role as Ah-counter for the evening. It was a great pleasure for us to welcome Andrea Klee, our Division F Director, in our club. She gave the word of the evening and functioned as grammarian for us.

We are delighted to welcome a new member, Juan Kong, who was unanimously was voted in. Congratulations Juan and welcome in our club!

The word of the day 
ingenious was well used in the course of the evening. Jeff gave a joke which was in line with the theme:

        A client comes to his psychiatrist and asked: What can I do, my wife is so impatient.
        The doctor answered: Patience is a skill you can learn.
        The client said: But how can I do it quicker?

“Have patience. All things are difficult before they become easy”. With this thought from Shiraz, Jeff reminded us to be patient when we learn new things. It takes time but in the end we will get there. As Toastmaster of the evening he explained the structure of the evening and introduced the assisting roles. The function General Evaluator was taken over by JP, the Timer was Poorana.

The guests participated actively in the table topic session. Oliver presented four questions aligned to the theme of the evening and again he supported them with visual aids:

1. “Which of the two sayings – The early bird catches the worm / or: good things need to wait – is more relevant to you?” Erjon explained his attitude to both sayings.
2. “Some people tend to stick to plan A, others freely change plans because neither of them will come right. What is your view on planning?”. Juan pointed out that good planning is the basis for a successful conclusion of issues. She would feel uneasy without a plan.
3. “How can you teach patience to children when you are stuck in a traffic jam for quite a while”. Marion gave tips she has experience with her children in situations like that. 
4. “Patience while you are waiting in a line at the supermarket check out”. Marcel share with us openly how he would react when he changes lines to be faster.

With further quotations Jeff led on to the second part of the evening, the prepared speeches after the break:
“Adopt the pace of nature – her secret is patience”, by Emersson.
“Trees that grow slowly bear the best fruit”, by Molière.

We had two prepared speeches. Fangfang is working on the path visionary communication and she delivered the second speech with the title “the moon is crooked”. She told us about the joy her two and a half year old son expressed when he saw the crooked moon. She transferred this incident to the way we learn and develop. We should not lose the ability to observe and be inspired especially in our toastmaster journey. Her speech was evaluated by Martin.

Sybille delivered her third speech of the path presentation mastery. She shared a sad story with the team she had experienced and which has kept her busy all the year. It showed her what really counts in life. Her speech was evaluated by Oliver.
General Evaluator JP gave valuable and motivating feedback to everyone participating in the evening, which is always extremely helpful.

As Presiding Officer, Poorana concluded the evening asking for feedback from the guests. The awards were extended to Juan for the best table topic speech, Martin for the best evaluator and Sybille for the best speech of the evening.

Andrea Klee gave some final comments to the club. She praised the success achieved in the club and enjoyed the evening very much.

You will find a snapshot of the evening below.

(thanks to Sybille for this fine recap).

Human Connections[Meeting Report of 2021-04-13]

Our club meeting on Tuesday, April 13, had the theme of “Human Connections”.  Juan Kong was back as a guest, and she was warmly greeted by our President Poorana. She was also drafted as Timer, jumping in a good toastmaster fashion and doing a professional job of it.
As Toastmaster of the Evening I explained the importance of human connections on our happiness, and I recommended a Tedtalk on positive aging: https://www.ted.com/talks/robert_waldinger_what_makes_a_good_life_lessons_from_the_longest_study_on_happiness

The Word of the Evening was Gregarious, meaning liking to be with other people : sociable.

The joke of the evening related to a special kind of social connection, marriage:

Kid: I heard that in some parts of the world a man doesn’t know his wife until they get married.

Dad: That’s true everywhere, son.

It was a special evening in that Poorana presented an advance project with a timing of 20 to 40 minutes: Innovative Planning #5-5 – Moderate a Panel Discussion. The topic was: Challenges in Public Speaking.  The panel was make up of three club members , all of whom have been Toastmasters for over 10 years. (Jan-Philipp, Martin, and myself).  I found this to be a great subject, and Poorana chose some great if challenging questions: Introverts vs. extroverts in public speaking / presentation of boring subjects to the audience / importance of voice in public speaking / Humor in public speaking / Importance of language proficiency in public speaking / dealing with blackouts in public speaking.

Poorana got helpful and appreciative feedback in a round robin evaluation.  We recorded the panel discussion and are considering making it available on our club Youtube channel.  I will let you know when it is available.  Our guest Juan commented:  “I have been richly gifted this evening, the panel discussion was like a workshop in public speaking”.

That’s all for now.  Be sure and join us for our next  meeting on April 27th.

Best wishes, Jeff

A snapshot from the meeting:

Memorable Journeys [Meeting Report of 2021-03-23]

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.” Mark Twain.

How much do we all miss traveling with all the lockdowns we are facing. The theme of the evening “memorable journeys” helped us talk about and share memorable travels. In a round robin the participants happily told stories and anecdotes about their travel experiences.
Again we had the pleasure to welcome guests. Arun from the Aachen club and a good friend to Amrith participated the first time. For Juan from Mannheim and Anna-Lena from Freiburg this was the first toastmaster meeting. Marion came for the second time. Piyali our division F director participated as observer and conducted her second club visit.

The word of the day was “embolden”, which is a synonym of encourage, was presented by Martin and used once by Amrith.
Sybille as Toastmaster of the evening explained the structure of the evening and explained the assisting roles. The function General Evaluator was taken over by Poorana, the Timer was Jan-Philipp, the roles Grammarian and Ah-Counter were filled by Martin and Amrith.

The guests participated very well in the table topic session. Sybille presented four questions which aligned to the theme of the evening:

1. “Of all the books in the world, the best stories are found between the pages of the passport.” What does this quote mean to you? Jeff delivered a speech.
2. “Louis Armstrong sang: … And I think to myself, what a wonderful world”. Do you agree with Louis and why? Marion shared with us a travel experience.
3. “Take only memories, leave only footprints.” Chief Seattle. What do you suggest to make traveling more sustainable? Anna-Lena gave us many ideas how travel can be more environmentally friendly.
4. “Remember that happiness is a way of travel – not a destination.” Roy Goodman. Juan pointed out that your goal in life is important but most important is the process to reach it.

We had two prepared speeches. Both were Icebreakers. “Be the difference” was the title of Fangfang’s speech. She shared with us her life-story on being the difference. Fang fang was evaluated by Jeff.  Amrith spoke very openly about a crucial turning point in his life which has helped him to mold himself and to be the person he is today. The title of his speech was: “Open your mind”. Jan-Philipp evaluated Amrith’s speech.Amrith was voted as the best speaker of the evening. Jan-Philip was awarded the best evaluator of the evening.The award for the best Table Topic speaker went to Jeff.
General Evaluator Poorana gave valuable feedback to everyone participating in the evening which is always extremely helpful.

As Presiding Officer, Poorana informed about the Division F contest on Saturday in which the winners of the area contest, Jeff, Poorana and Sriram will participate . We keep our fingers crossed!!

Our next meeting is on the 13th of April.  Mannheim Toastmasters would love to welcome you at the meeting.

Here is a snapshot of the meeting.

Love thy food [Meeting Report of 2021-03-09]

Great news today. Amrith and Erjon became new members and were voted in. Welcome Amrith and Erjon.

“People who love to eat are always the best people”, with this saying by Julia Child, Poorana, the Presiding Officer, started the round robin in which all eleven participants shared their favorite dish. Again we had the pleasure to welcome three guests, Hermann from John Deere, Frederike from the Toastmasters Club Bear in Berlin and Marion who participated in a toastmaster meeting the first time.

Frederike contributed a thought and a word of the day. The word “Connoisseur” was well used in the course of the meeting. Her thought of the evening was based on Virginia Woolf’s quote: “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well if one has not dined well.”

Jan-Philipp as Toastmaster of the evening explained the roles and the structure of the evening and flavoured the theme with corresponding quotes.

Our table topics master Oliver made us hungry with his excellent visual presentation of the table topics questions.
– Are you a picky eater or open for new tastes?” Jeff took the opportunity to talk about his passion for whole food and shared his favourite dish.
– Are you a connoisseur of cultural food and do you fuse food from different traditions? Marion shared with us her experiences with food she gained at her business trips world wide.
– Would you consider a “Döner Kebap” junk food or is it o.k. to eat? For Hermann this would be still an o.k. dish and he shared with us his impressions of junk food.
– For what kind of food would you compose a song? Amrith shared with us his ideas.

This evening we had one prepared speech. Erjon – who just joined – gave his Icebreaker speech in connection with the path “Presentation Mastery”.
In his speech “My mistakes” he spoke about his motivation for joining Toastmasters and the goals he would like to achieve. His speech was evaluated by Sybille.
Since there was only one speech and one evaluation we had no ballot for best speaker or evaluator.

Our General Evaluator Jeff gave valuable feedback to everyone participating in the evening which is always extremely helpful.

Poorana, the Presiding Officer, informed about the great success of the three contestants in the area contest. Sriram won the contest for the speech in English, Poorana won the German speech contest and Jeff was the best in the English Evaluation Contest . Three winners from our Mannheim Club. Great success. Congratulations.

Finally the guests gave their feedback to the evening and Poorana extended the award for the best Table Topic speaker to Amrith.

Our next meeting is on March 23., 2021, 19:15 .  Hope to see you then!

Here is a snapshot of the meeting:

Hobbies [Meeting Report of 2021-02-23]

This time a we had a small group (altogether 9 members), however, again we had the pleasure to welcome two guests. Erjon, who had been a guest several times, dialed in again and took the role of the timer. A very important role which he managed perfectly. Georgia, an experienced toastmaster, dialed in from Athens, Greece, and participated a lot in the course of the evening.

Doing what you love releases lots of positive energy – these were the opening words of our presiding officer Poorana who also led through the evening as Toastmaster. With these words he introduced the theme “hobbies”. In a round table robin the participants talked about their hobbies – a good way of getting to know everyone better.
The word  or expression of the day “while away the time”, presented by Sybille, aligned to the theme and was used once in the course of the evening.

Also the Table Topics took up the theme. The table topics master Fang Fang explained what Table Topics is about and asked the following four questions:
“Tell us about a hobby you have decided to quit.” Georgia share with us  that she had to give up going to the cinema theatre due to Covid.
“How has Corona effected your hobbies”. Oliver explained that due to the shut down he had to quit going to the gym. However, he managed to lose weight during the Pandemic.
“Share with us your next hobby you would like to develop”. Our guest Erjon delivered a speech.
“Which hobby would you like to suggest to the Toastmasters Club”. Jeff convincingly shared with us his passion for his present hobby and suggested that we all should join square dance.
Jeff was awarded the best table topic speaker of the evening.

We had two prepared speeches. Jan-Philip’s speech gave us food for thought since the new regulations of What’s App have an impact on all of us. In his speech “What’s up with What’s App” he shared with us the new terms of service, how What’s App generates money and gave alternatives to What’s App.
Fang Fang concluded her Pathways Path “Dynamic Leadership” with her speech “Let things unfold”. In her speech she reflected on her path and shared with us the main take aways from her journey with pathways. She openly explained that she could develop the right pace and a better pronunciation in speeches.
Fang Fang was given the best speaker award of the evening.

The evaluations were given by Jeff and Oliver. The award went to Jeff.

Even though the group was small we had again a joyful, relaxed, friendly and inspiring evening.

Poorana thanked all participants for their contributions and asked the guests how they have liked the evening. He reminded the members of a dry run session for the area contest on Saturday Feb 27. He asked the members to dial in on Friday Feb 26 at 19:00 hrs to give their feedback to Sriram, Jeff and Poorana for their contest speeches to be delivered the next day.

Here is a snapshot of the evening.