The power of language [Meeting Report of 2021-06-08]

Dear friends,
What a great theme for Toastmasters – knowing the strong impact language on our lives.
Again we had the pleasure to welcome guests from various countries, Anna Lena Brown, Vasilij Nakhin and Karen Hennessy took part in the meeting. The guests were warmly welcomed by our president Poorana.

Sybille functioned as toastmaster of the evening and took up the theme citing a quotation by the author Betty Eadie: “If we understood the power of our thoughts we would guard them more closely. […] In our thoughts and words we create our own weakness and strength.”

Sybille explained the structure of the evening and introduced her team, Martin as General Evaluator, Erjon as Timer and Craig as Ah Counter.
The word of the day “silver-tongued” presented by Sybille, was well used during the evening and easy to remember.

The guests participated very well in the table topics session and delivered vivid speeches to Oliver’s four questions aligned to the power of language:

1. “Do you think speaking different languages is a punishment or a bliss?” Poorana definitely sees it as bliss. Learning a language is like entering a new world and adds to the richness of life, making people more open to other cultures.
2. “How comfortable is it for you to travel into another country when you cannot speak the language?” Amrith talked about his experiences when he first came to Germany – he very much felt fear, shame and hopelessness. Which has of course changed in the meantime.
3. “In many films the sound is translated into German. Do you prefer to read or watch films in the native language?”. Anna Lena explained her reasons for consuming publications in the original language.
4. “What was the strangest idiom you came across when you learned a new language?”.  Juan gave examples of idioms when she learned German, like “es ist mir Wurst!”.
Great speeches had been delivered the award of the best Table Topic speaker of the evening went to Poorana.

After the break two prepared speeches were delivered.
“What do you do when you feel lost?” Fangfang shared with the team a lost moment in her life. She said that when we drive, we can rely on GPS to find our way. Unfortunately, there is no navigation system in our life.
Fangfang’s speech was evaluated by Jeff.

“My money mentor” was the title of JP’s speech. He went to school for 13 years and studied three years for this bachelor degree in business information technology. Here, he also learned economic subjects like accounting and controlling. But did he learn to take care of his own finances? In his speech he gave us the answer to this question. JP’s speech was evaluated by Oliver.

Martin, the General Evaluator of the evening explained the importance of evaluations for the development of the club members. He also pointed out the sandwich technique – mention the things that went well, give a few hints for improvement and then highlight what the evaluator liked best. Martin 
 gave valuable and motivating feedback to everyone participating in the evening.

As Presiding Officer, Poorana concluded the evening asking for feedback from the guests. The awards were given to Oliver for the best evaluation and JP for the best speech of the evening.

A big thanks to Sybille for this recap!

Our next meeting is on the 22d of June, we would love to have you join us! Best wishes to you all, Jeff

Here is a snapshot of the evening:

Colours [Meeting Report of 2021-05-25]

Poorana, our club President, opened the meeting with a warm greeting to all, and especially to our guests: Eloisa from Paraguay (lives in Mannheim now), Karen from Cancun, Mexico, Marcel (also living in Mannheim) and Prince, who has been a Toastmaster for over 20 years and lives in Luxembourg. All the guests were visiting for the second time . We again had the pleasure to vote a new member into the club: Marion. She jumped right in and did a great job as our Timer.  Welcome Marion!

Martin lead us through the meeting with his usual calm presence as Toastmaster of the Evening. His quotes on the meaning of color added to the theme of the evening, as well as his Word of the Day: “Gaudy”, which means especially colorful. His joke about someone who couldn’t find their shirt because it was in “camouflage” colors brought some wry  smiles to the audiences faces.

Jeff contributed the Thought of Day, encouraging us to dare to be more colorful in our attitude:

“Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up.” Allen Klein

Fangfang lead the Table Topics with the theme of personality types and color: Blue for the logical type, green for control, yellow for vision, and red for interest in people. The four contestants (Marcel, Marion, Eloisa and Karen) used the opportunity to share some personal information about how they see the world, both touching and informative.

We had three prepared speeches tonight:

Juan did her Icebreaker with the title: Be Myself. Congratulations for taking this first step, Juan!

Jeff completed his Level 1 in his Pathway Visionary Communication. His theme: Is it really better to give than receive? What research tells us about the power of kindness to boost our happiness.

And Poorana won the Best Speech Award for his lively and entertaining speech: Are you curious?

Our three Evaluators all did an excellent job in underlining the speaker’s strength and finding concrete suggestions for improvement. Fangfang evaluated Juans Icebreaker, Oliver Jeff’s speech, and special thanks to our guest, Prince, who evaluated Poorana’s speech.

Our guests gave the feedback that they really appreciate the supportive, warm atmosphere in our meetings.

Here is a snapshot of the evening:

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.