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.

Empathy [Meeting Report of 2021-02-09]

Again a very international meeting – we had the pleasure to welcome Toastmaster members from other clubs as well as guest joining us for the first time. Our presiding officer Poorana warmly welcomed Paul from the States, Hannah from Namibia, Sigrid from the Club “Redefluß” in Bonn, Amrith – who had been with us several times already  – and two newcomers Mohammed and Erjon.

With lots of quotations on empathy the toastmaster Sybille led through the evening. One example: “Learning to stand in somebody else’s shoes, to see through their eyes, that’s how peace begins. And it’s up to you to make that happen. Empathy is a quality of character that can change the world”, by Barack Obama.
The word of the day “commiserate”, well presented by Oliver, aligned to the theme and was used three times in the course of the evening.

Our Table Topics master Poorana explained what Table Topics is about and asked the following four questions:
“Things are never as bad as they seem”. The TT speech was given by our Toastmaster Julian.
“If you want more kindness in the world put some there”. Our guest Erjan took this question.
 “If you can’t determine right from wrong you lack empathy not religion”. Amrith delivered his TT speech on this question.
“How you make others feel about themselves says a lot about you”, Hannah opted for this one.

We had two prepared speeches. We had the pleasure to listen to Sigrid’s fabulous speech “The biggest mistake”. A very personal incident triggered off a reflection of her life. Sigrid’s message was that life is precious and we should not make the mistake to think we have lot’s of time left.
Martin spoke about his experiences as VP membership and shared with us the results of the 360° evaluation, a scrutinizing report on what he did well and what could be improved. This report was conducted by Toastmaster members of his club.

The evaluations were given by Jeff and Oliver. The award went to Jeff. The best Table Topic speaker was Amrith. The best speaker was Sigrid. Everybody loved this committed, very touching and personal speech.

Despite some technical glitches 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. Finally he reminded the team of the area contest on February 27. There are still roles to be filled. The organizers are looking for judges, chief judges and ballot counters.

Letting go [Meeting Report of 2021-01-26]

For our second meeting of the year 2021 our toastmaster of the evening, Martin, introduced the theme letting go and led through the evening with many tips how to let things go in order to get a more relaxed attitude to everything. He mentioned the Sedona technique as a method to overcome difficult situations and let go of painful feelings. He also promoted the book “declutter your life inside and out” by Mary Kando.

As always, our presiding officer Poorana started the evening welcoming our guests. We had the pleasure to talk to Jorge from Portugal, Amrith and Marianka who had already been guests to our club.

Our Table Topics master Oliver introduced five quotations about letting go and asked the individual speakers what they meant to them:

Jeff talked about the quote: “Sometimes letting go is an act of greater power than defending or hanging on”. (By Eckhard Tolle)
Jorge chose the quote: “If you want to fly give up everything that weighs you down”.
Amrith delivered a speech on: “Letting go does not mean you stop caring. It means you stop trying to force others”. (By Mandy Hale)
Marianka opted for: “In the process of letting go you will lose many things from the past but you will find yourself”. (By Deepak Chopra).
The award for the best table topic speaker went to Jeff.

We had two prepared speeches. Poorana took a topic from his work and spoke about how to lead a project concentrating on the most important things in order to progress faster. The title of his speech was “Do not sweat the small stuff.” The speech is part of the pathways project Innovative Planning.

Within the path Presentation Mastery Karl – our second speaker –  succeeded in the project Persuasive Speaking. In his speech titled “Just Do It” he managed to convince us doing more sports and physical exercise. Karl was voted for the best speaker.

The evaluations were given by JP and Sybille. The award was given to JP. At the end of the again very inspiring evening Poorana thanked the officers Oliver, Sybille and JP for participating at the toastmasters Leaders Institute meeting last Saturday and congratulated Jeff for his excellent moderation at the meeting. Finally, he mentioned the educational achievements. Fang Fang gained the triple crown and Martin concluded two levels in one Toastmaster year.

Here is a screenshot from the meeting: