Member Survey – Because your Interests Matter!

Dear fellow Toastmasters,

your Vice President Education Martin had the great idea to conduct a member survey, so he and I – your Vice President Membership JP – have put it into action.

This survey is important to us to find out more about your interest, needs, short-term and long-term goals and how our club can help you! There is also a section where we ask for your opinion about our club, suggestions and feedback. It would be really helpful if you fill this out. With the knowledge of where you want to go, we can help you get into that direction.

Or loosely quoting Alice in Wonderland: “Well, if you don’t know where you want to go, it does not really matter which way you take!”

We want you to take the right way and to support you we want to know where you want to go.

So please fill out the member survey. You will find it on Easy-Speak. Click here for detailed instructions on how to fill out your survey!

Caution: absurd / politically incorrect / wrong agenda – Trash Toastmasters on Tue 31/07 (bilingual)

Mannheim International Toastmasters and Rhetorikclub Mannheim meet on Tue 31/07/2012 to “Trash” Toastmasters, a Toastmasters evening of a different kind. For two hours we throw our principles to the wind and forget about our expectations for a successful meeting . . .

Let’s work through the agenda in reverse order, starting with the end of the meeting and the evaluations! Of course the principles of appreciation will find little attention and difficult issues such as politics / sex / religion can be part of your speech.

How does one evaluate a speech that was not even held? Be creative and think about small tasks for the speaker (e.g. showing bad speaking skills, dancing on the table) or don’t necessarily focus on a positive feedback. Accept the challenge and present a speech which surprise effects were already announced in the evaluation.

You can find our agenda and enrol in the meeting here (presentations can be held in German and English).

Don’t worry about making mistakes, become happy – and distinguished

Apart from improving your English speaking skills is there another language you want to learn and why? Opening the meeting JP addressed this questions to the audience. Our answers varied broadly. From Japanese over Spanish to Xhosa Toastmasters are curious about languages. They give the opportunity to learn more about a foreign culture or to have great holidays abroad. Sometimes even a dulcet speech melody is enjoyable. Jazzmin who was also the Toastmaster of the evening presented the word of the day. “To pull someone’s weight” means to do one’s fair share of work. “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing. (George Bernard Shaw)” was chosen by Jeff for the thought of the day. A slogan matching perfectly the Toastmasters approach. What are the different techniques of a general practitioner, a pathologist and a surgeon in duck hunting? MartinE’s joke answered this secret.

Günter was able to join us again and chaired the table topics. He wanted the participants to find solutions for the burning questions of limited public budgets. So Jazzmin gave a clear statement that reducing subsidies for the cultural live would be counterproductive. In fact cities with many cinemas, theatres and museums would usually show a greater economic wealth.  The sense of teaching mathematics at school was discussed by Thomas. He was sure that improving the teaching methods would have a better effect than reduced spending on a subject that nowadays many pupils dislike. Lots of money is spent for astronomic research and space missions. But MartinE denied giving up these activities for financial reasons because our modern life would come to a standstill without innovations like Teflon® or GPS navigation. JP focused on the sense of subsidies for sports events. Instead of sponsoring these events with tax revenues he suggested the state should support a Toastmasters convention for that would give a real benefit to many people.

In an educational session Jeff explained the Toastmasters distinguished club program. He outlined the main aspects of the program and analyzed why each part of it — educational skills, membership growth and club management — helps the club to become more successful. And Mannheim Int. is doing pretty well this year. Again our club will reach the status of a “Select Distinguished Club”.

The Story of Mr Happy was told by MartinS. Mr Happy was able to convince sad and unhappy people to come to “Happyland” which made them flourish. With an excellent use of body language he made Mr Happy become alive and enriched the story with awesome dialogs.

Because everyone pulled his / her weight Mannheim’s International Toastmasters and their guests profited from this evening.

Jubilee Meeting: Celebrating it the Toastmasters way!

It was a special evening wasn’t it? Our president opened it giving an overview of the clubs development. Growing step by step Mannheim International helped its members to grow themselves. JP pointed out that besides people improving their skills lots of us became friends and are really enjoying the time together. The following round table showed a broad variety of our Toastmasters experiences – the cheerful atmosphere, delivering the icebreaker speech, being part of an international community.

Jeff as led through the evening with professional introductions and smooth interactions. Thomas presented the word of the day – in a humorous way: „esurient“ means being hungry or greedy. Who is able to go wherever he wants with his vehicle – a tram driver or a cyclist? Mauro told the joke of the day and finally made everyone laugh. The thought of the day was given by Stephan, the consideration why computers will take over the world some day.

Then it was table topic time. Alexander invited four people to explain barely known words. But Gaetano, Greg, Rolf and Arne managed to illustrate the meaning of „fastidious“, „supplicate“, exegisis“ and „epigone“ – well done!

The jubilee went on with four (!) speeches. Li talked about stereotypes people from China are often confronted with. Now we know that table tennis isn’t that popular and dog meat not one of their favorite dishes. With a good punching line he made everyone giggle about competing with a Korean in a beer drinking contest. Then it was Martin’s turn. Strongly he showed how the use of affirmations can be a good help in your everyday life. Three points are important, to accept yourself, to repeat a personal mantra and to have an emergency mantra. Awais was our special guest from Karlsruhe Toastmasters Club. He presented the touching story of David. This child suffered from spasticity. But his father faced the long and difficult struggle to provide a better life for his son. Our last speaker Arne explained the core principles of the Harvard Concept. We gained an interesting insight into his work encouraging people to talk to each other and making things happen. All the speakers received some useful feedback. Perrine, Jeff, Greg and Martin presented the evaluation speeches.

Even if it took more time than expected thanks to almost 30 participants, a colorful decoration and lots of enthusiasm it was an evening worth to mark this special event.