Because good times are worth remembering, here is what happened at our November 26th meeting. Darryl was our Toastmaster of the Evening. He told us that his idea for the evening was to share the feeling and spirit of an American Thanksgiving, noting that this would be done without the “actual” food, however, instead we “filled” our hearts and minds with laughter and good company.
Darryl started the evening off with an opening round, finding out what people knew about the American Thanksgiving and promising that we’d all go away knowing a little bit more about it at the end of the evening. Ingo started us off with a joke about French wine.
The first prepared speech was from Andrea, with her speech, “The Pilgrim and the Blind Boy” (project #3 from the Storytelling manual). We gathered in a circle as Andrea told her story. There was a blind boy holding a sign that said “Help Me, I’m Blind” (Andrea held up the sign). A Pilgrim saw the boy collecting money in his hat (Andrea showed us the hat). The Pilgrim took the sign of the blind boy and changed it. People responded to the new sign by giving him a lot of money, compared to the little bit he had collected before the Pilgrim visited him. Later the Pilgrim stopped by again and the boy asked him what he had written on this sign, to which the Pilgrim responded “It is a beautiful day and I can not see it.” Andrea told us that there are several morals that we can take from the story but one that sticks out is that you can get a lot better result when you take a positive approach.
The second prepared speech was from Darryl, with his speech, “Thanksgiving And Time Travel” (project #5 from the Entertaining Speaker manual). Darryl invited us to hop into his time machine journey back to the famous Thanksgiving back in 1621 as we joined the Pilgrims and Wampanoag tribe. He then told the people at that famous Thanksgiving about the holiday through the years, some history and traditions that have emerged. He told us about turkeys, parades, and football. He shared a quote from Oprah “Be thankful for what you have, you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” He asked us to think about what we’re thankful for before taking us back to our modern times.
We then had a virtual speaker. We saw Rudy Morales with “Diamond Notes” from the District 59 Conference in Krakow this May. Rudy visited our club a couple of years ago and is in our own Division F. He won the International Speech Contest for Division F and he made it all the way to the District Finals with this speech. Rudy told us that there are lots of lessons we can learn from teachers of all ages and backgrounds, everywhere, if we’re open to learn. He told us about three lessons he learned teaching little league baseball.
We had another virtual speaker. We saw Dananjaya Hettiarachchi with “I See Something” the winning speech from the 2014 Toastmasters International Speech Contest held in Kuala Lumpur in August. In a very inspiring speech, he tells us about how the world can sometimes tear you apart but people in our lives can encourage us by seeing something in us (even when they don’t know what it is). This is a really awesome speech, if you haven’t seen it yet, you should take the time to see it. It was announced that Dananjaya Hettiarachchi will be the keynote speaker at the D95 2014 Spring Conference in Sweden.
Ingo did an Educational on Impromptu Speaking (think Table Topics), providing some Toastmasters material while sharing some of his own tips. It is good to “listen” to all of the Table Topics questions that are asked and think about how you would answer them, even when you’re not selected it gives you lots of practice and helps you for the times that you’re selected to participate. Take time to “pause”, while you’re assembling your speech. “Confirm” that you understand the question correctly by stating it back to the Table Topics Master, this gives you more time to put together your speech but it also makes sure that you’re answering the correct question. “Tell” us your answer, employing whatever strategy you’ve used in putting your speech together. Then “End”, remember that Table Topics are short speeches, so there is no need to ramble on endlessly. There are a few strategies that you can use which include: expressing an opinion; using cause and effect; breaking the topic into components; and discussing the past, present, and future (related to your topic).
Patrizia was our Table Topics Master, asking us questions that were Thanksgiving related. Ingo was asked to make the case for the Turkey to be the national bird of America instead of the Eagle. Karin was asked why there were marshmallows in sweet potatoes. Andrea was asked about what strategy she would use to win one of the football games played on Thanksgiving Day. Carsten was asked what he would say as the Chief of the Wampanoag, to welcome the Pilgrims at the Thanksgiving Dinner.
Darryl told us during his HPL update that most of the social media profiles have been set up, including Facebook page, Flickr Group, YouTube Channel, SlideShare, Pinterest, Google Plus, Xing group, and now a LinkedIn group (look for “Toastmasters Rhein-Main” to find this). Now that most of the profiles are set up we need content! We have two new promotional videos that have been added to the Word Weavers YouTube Channel, one for our Thanksgiving Meeting and one for our Christmas Meeting. You can see several winners of the International Speech contest from the a past few years, including the speech shown tonight at the WCPS page on our website (short for World Championship of Public Speaking) We have meeting summaries and other things at Our Blog. Darryl has listed the roles that need to be filled on a page at our website here. There is room for everyone and your talents and creativity, please talk to Darryl about how you can help out.
Carsten evaluated Andrea’s speech and Patrizia evaluated Darryl’s speech. Larissa was our Timer, while Karin was our Grammarian, and Christa counted the Ahs. We did a General Evaluation in the round.
The first ever District 95 Conference (in Frankfurt) was a success and a lot of fun (read about it here). Our famous Christmas meeting will be on December 10th. Be sure to let Patrizia or Darryl know if you’d like to have a special role that evening. As in the past we’ll have a give exchange (so please bring a wrapped gift). Last year we had several members from other clubs join us, so this is a good time to bring family, friends, or coworkers to check us out. We hope that you’ll include us in your holiday plans and look forward to seeing you in 2015!
Thank you to Darryl for the meeting summary!