Because good times are worth remembering, here is an account of the first Word Weavers meeting of 2015. It was great to see so many Word Weavers together after the recent holiday season and we were delighted to welcome Bärbel, who joined us from Famous Toastmasters.
As Toastmaster of the Evening, Darryl led us through the evening and started the opening round with the question „What do you like about Toastmasters?“. It was quite apparent that everybody cherishes the friendly atmosphere and the opportunity to develop communication skills in a safe environment as well as hearing a great variety of speech topics.
The first prepared speech of the evening was held by Carola. Her speech was entitled „ My Voluntary Year“(project #2 from the Competent Communication manual). Not knowing what to do after graduating from high school, Carola decided to embark on a Voluntary Social Year and has recently completed three months training as an Emergency Medical Technician where she assists with the paramedics when they are called out to emergencies. Carola explained that she has learned some useful skills such as taking blood pressure; recognizing signs of strokes and heart attacks; as well as being licensed to drive an ambulance!
The second speech was held by Darryl (project #9 from the Competent Communication manual) was entitled „Making your New Year’s Resolutions Stick“. He informed us that although New Year’s Resolutions have been around for a long time, studies have shown that the majority of people do not last more than a few weeks with their resolutions. Darryl gave us some good advice about how to make sure your resolutions effective including making your resolution/goal SMART (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic/Relevant, Time-bounded, some of us know this from our goals at work); finding twenty ways to accomplish our biggest goals (and writing them down); have ambitious goals that drive and motivate you but break them into manageable chunks: get your family, friends, and anyone else you want to cheer you on by letting them your goals. He challenged us all to come up with some goals for 2015 and to be sure to have some Toastmaster goals.
The third speech was held by Andrea was entitled „Beware The Ides of March“(project #5 from the Storytelling manual). This was the story of the assassination of Julius Cesar and how he might have avoided this fate, if he had taken notice of his wife's nightmare that foresaw his demise, as well as taken the time to read a warning he had received.
Darryl did an Educational on how getting more out of Easyspeak. He gave us a quick view of the website and EasySpeak. In addition to signing up for speeches and meeting roles, EasySpeak records all the speeches that are given (going back to January 2013) and provides a variety of reports. It is also possible to get up goals including completing a number of speeches, specific manuals, and awards and EasySpeak can track how you’re preforming towards your goals.
Michael S was our Table Topics Master of the evening. He gave a lot of thought to create questions that everybody could answer.
Pia told us about how she spent this Christmas in Chile. Although it was the holiday of a lifetime, Christmas Eve was spent in a rather “unchristmassy” hotel.
Bärbel told us that as she is very structured person, every New Year's Eve is spent with her husband and her mother. Her husband is a very good cook and does all the cooking on the evening, so Bärbel and her mother are able to relax and enjoy themselves. This New Year's Eve was the same procedure as every year for her, so it was the perfect New Year's Eve for a structured person.
Regina filled in for Angela Merkel, giving us a taste of how she would address the nation as Angela. She even did the folded hands as we all know Ms. Merkel to do.
Joanne was asked why do speech contests mean to Toastmasters and if she had ever organised a contest. Joanne replied that the speech contest is a chance to test yourself against other speakers and to gain more confidence. Joanne organised the club Fall Speech Contest last year and explained that it was a great experience and has some good ideas for improvement for next time.
Martin was challenged to take the “ALS Ice Bucket Challenge” to even higher heights that it achived in 2014.
Patrizia was asked what trend would replace the “Selfie” in 2015, to which she prophesied that it would take a turn and become a “Back Selfie”, where we’d now see people from behind.
Carsten was asked what he thought about the New Year’s Resolution. Being diplomatic told us that he saw good and bad in the tradition
When asked if he had any resolutions for 2015, Rainer informed us that he wasn’t making any resolutions because he was still waiting to see what was going to happen since we’re already reached the end of the Mayan calendar.
Joanne evaluated Carola, Pia evaluated Darryl, Patrizia evaluated Andrea, and Regina evaluated Table Topics. Michael S was general evaluator. Bärbel was our timekeeper, Christa counted our ahs and ems, and Rainer was the Grammarian.
Before the close, Darryl gave us an update on his HPL project. During 2014, meeting summaries have been posted at the Word Weaver Blog and on the Facebook page. There have been more than 40 blog posts during the past year and there are more than 200 pictures at the Flickr Group. While most of the social media profiles have been set up (including Facebook, Flickr Group, YouTube Channel), he is still looking for helpers and also for one or two additional members to join the Guidance committee. If you're looking to complete your Competent Leader manual you may be interested to know, that joining the HPL guidance committee will count towards your CL. Please contact Darryl if you'd like to help him with the project or join the committee.
At the next meeting on 28th January, all speaking slots have been filled. Don't forget to sign up in good time for a role either via EasySpeak or by contacting Darryl or Patrizia.
We look forward to welcoming you at the next meeting on 28th January.
Thank you to Joanne for the meeting summary.