Meeting Report

Recap: “resurrect​ion and renewal” Meeting on Apr.22 2014

The last meeting for our outgoing VPE Alexander brought lots of surprises and improvisation. Especially since we were on a “special agenda” with a total of no less than six table-topic speeches. Alexander himself led through the evening with a theme of “resurrection and renewal” fitting the Easter Holidays, which he also incorporated into the table topics. The first prepared speech was given by Bikash. As his Icebreaker speech, he not only explained how his becoming an engineer was preordained from birth so strongly that he succeeded in becoming one even though he studied at the best place for doing everything BUT study, but went on to win best prepared speech of the evening – way to go! As the first table topic speech, Oliver speculated on what the traditional color of Easter eggs was and how they came to be so colorful nowadays. Alexander then revealed that they originally were red as a reminder of the blood of Christ.

Wenrong explained some key differences between German and Chinese culture in the second prepared speech. In the following table topics, our guest Farzana sought for an explanation of the origin of the Easter Bunny and added some parallels from her own culture.

The last prepared speech by Christian was from an advanced manual. Christian presented us a laudation for a colleague in which he used the metaphor of fire to illustrate warmth, energy and enlightenment that his colleague had shown. In the following table topics, Pieter was asked what the story of the resurrection meant to him. He suggested that even though we may sometimes reach points where we cannot know what’s ahead of us or see no way to go on, we should never give up.

Evaluations were introduced by Jazzmin, who was general evaluator for the evening. Yinqi praised Bikash’s speech and, referencing a quote from it, suggested that he had the abilities to “aim high” as a speaker. In the ensuing table topics speech, our guest Bea was asked by Alexander to explain some pastry he brought and what its connection to the occasion is. He later revealed it is called “kozunak”, a Bulgarian speciality for the Easter Holidays.

Pieter evaluated Wenrong’s speech, relating it to his own meeting Chinese people. Jazzmin had just handed the floor back to Alexander for the next table topics speech when he called her back for the speech to tell us about her time in Cape Town.

The last evaluation was given by JP, who praised Christian’s use of a metaphorical framework and opening and closing the speech with famous quotes. He, too, had barely returned to his seat when he had to come back and, as the last table topics speech of the evening, had to tell us about the meaning of the light of resurrection. It was all worth it, though, given that he was awarded both best evaluation AND best table topics speech of the evening.

Finally, our president Martin Sturm presented a farewell gift to Alexander, who in turn distributed the kozunak under those attending.

All in all, it was a very rejuvenating meeting. For the club, with an Icebreaker winning best prepared speech, but especially so for Alexander, who has lots of changes coming to his life in the coming days. We wish him all the best and good luck in Oxford!

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Oliver Hauss

Recap: “Fir and Ice” Meeting on Nov.12th

The last Toastmasters meeting from Mannheim started with Jeff’s friendly warm-up as usual, then followed by Martin.S’s welcome speech. We had embraced a lot of new friendly faces again: Michael, Muralidharan, Wei Xiang and Dominicor . Our family is really getting bigger and more diversified. What a great progress!

Doozy, a word that looked nice and was not known to Sophia as she mentioned,meaning something outstanding or unique of its kind, was chosen as the “word of the evening”. Martin.S has spontaniously applied to be the joker of the evening, who told us the hilarious psychology related joke that he has always liked. “Fire and Ice”, the same topic as the theme of the meeting evening, was picked by Oliver for table topic round. Several new guests as well as experienced TM members have accepted the challenges to give impromptu speeches, from whom Jeff, thanks to his impressive talk about “why hatred is meant to be ice instead of fire”, has won the best speake r award.

During the second part of the meeting, the prepared speeches, we welcomed three speakers, Wenrong, Sophia and Guenter. Wenrong shared her recent experience when her mother visited her from China; Sophia told us one interesting story plot of Alice’s Adventures in Philosophy-Wonderland with very vivid mocking voices; then, Guenter read a really funny novel abstract, the arrival, from one of his favorite books. It was regarding a journey to India as a tourist. Guenter used different paces, passions and voices to succesffully recreate the exact environment of the story to all audience. No wonder he won the final best speech award of the evening!

Evaluation was led by Alexander again with his team members Steven, Diego and Martin.E. All of them have excellent performances and Martin.E was chosen as the best evaluator in the end.

When members and guests almost finished the beverages and snacks carefully prepared by the officer team, the evening session was also over. Though winter was approaching, Toastmasters members continued to have good modes and therefore Mario’s restaurant became the next house for us to chat…

Meeting Recap Oct 22nd

Hi everybody,

Following our theme “Harvest of Abundance,” we had a truly inspiring, rich, and abundant meeting yesterday. Jazzmin revealed to us powerful techniques to make our table topics even more successful. Right away the table topics contestants were able to use them, and Jeff won, relating to us why he thinks that his book “Quick recipes for people who can’t cook” is going to be a bestseller.

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Sophia won best speaker award by excelling in project #5 from the CC manual.She made us curious to know whether one day there might be a drug that could erase bad memories.

We had so much fun and insights yesterday, so please join us NEXT TUESDAY already to have a wonderful Toastmasters experience in English.

Best regards,

Martin Sturm

Recap of Humorous speech and Table topic contests on September 24, 2013

The toastmasters evening on September 24 was special, not only because we hosted the annual club contest but also because of the “gift” shown by Rene at the end of the meeting. In addition, we welcomed four guests, Stan, Judit, Luefing and Matthias to our club! Big applauses!

After standard opening of the evening, the contest was started by table topic contest. The four contestants, Marting.S, Jazzmin, Jeff and Rene, were very excited about the upcoming topic to be given. The topic chosen by Wenrong was , “if tomorrow is the end of the world, what will you do tonight and tomorrow?”. Each contestant has different angle to interpret the topic: Martin expressed her kindness and love to her sister, whom he definitely wanted to spend the last day with; Jazzmin would rather enjoy the nice food and drinks and make the day as perfect as possible; Jeff slightly converted the topic, based on his situation, to “how will you spend your days most meaningfully for the next day to next 30 years”; and Rene, as coming last, wanted to make some relaxing excursion and observe the special day.

Although four contestants were all performing fantastically, Rene in the end had won the first price. Congratulations!

After short break, the second part of contest, the humor speech, started. The first speaker, JP, presented us with an interesting fantasy story about how he, a 1.98 meter tall person, was actually judged as “tiny” from his “Tighten” tribe. Ensuing that, Rolf as second speaker told us the funny story between him and his daughter regarding “never to lie” rule in a child’s eye, when booking a flight ticket. Afterwards, Jazzmin came to the stage and delivered a vivid speech in German about the comparison between men and women when being in the car. As agreed, in the end Rolf was sent to the next level of area contest for humor speech contest.

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The grand finale of the meeting was when Rene opened an evelope and showed everyone a shiny purple ribbon. On the ribbon it says “president’s distinguished club”. Wow!!! After long efforts contributed, our club has finally reached this award! Big claps! The present toastmasters and guests then all gave some congratulating words to the newly achieved award. The scene was most touching.

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What came more exciting was that afterwards Stan and Judit announced that they have decided to join the club officially! What a happy ending of the evening!

With full of joy and gratitude, the meeting dismissed at 9:30pm where most of the attendants went on to have fun at Mario’s.

August 27: Summer Inspirations

Our Toastmaster René

Our Toastmaster René

Summer Inspirations was the theme of the meeting and clearly our many guests were well inspired to join us: Galina, Tobias and Stan returned for another visit and we also welcomed Sandy, Daniel, Chris, Judit, Yingqi and Svetlana to the club. Wow, what an awesome start!

Everyone answered the round table question about their summer inspirations briefly. We found inspiration such as sports, sunshine, parties and sex on the beach (the cocktail).

Then our Toastmaster of the Evening René took charge and gave a thorough explanation of the evening, introducing all the other roles. Jeff told an exhilarating (word of the day by himself) joke: Never tell your wife, she’s bad in bed, she might get a second opinion. Jazzmin enlightened us with Thomas Jefferson’s truth to never say 2 words when 1 is enough.

Our Table-Topics master Christian created a very inspired session about new food products: Martin presented the new Weißwurst Beer and then our courageous guests joined the game: Chris convinced us to buy Bacon-flavored Toothpaste, Yingqi’s explanation on putting food in dirty-looking packing is giving rise to a new trend-diet and Stan presented the nuclear food can.

Jeff giving an Evaluation

Jeff giving an Evaluation

After the fun Table Topics, Julia’s prepared speech made us sad, because it was a farewell speech. We all wish her best of luck and nice new Toastmasters Clubs in her new home in Scotland. Steven taught us about being more efficient regarding time management, e-mails and even more. Both completed their 3rd project “Get to the point” with these speeches. Günter gave the Storytelling speech “Bringing History to Life” and showed us Nelson Mandela’s long and ultimately ironic path to freedom.In the evaluation section, Oliver, Martin and Jeff gave excellent feedback to our speakers. Jeff also commented on our use of the English Language. We are very thankful to Sandy for being such a diligent timekeeper and to Svetlana for counting the filler words very attentively. JP served as the General Evaluator and after Martin’s closing session we went to Mario for drinks and fun!