Because good times are worth remembering, here is an account of the Word Weavers meeting of January 28, 2015. Our second meeting of 2015 was themed “The Toastmasters Lab” (or laboratory), as we were doing some experimenting due to the illness to two of the scheduled speakers (Andrea and Christa, we hope that you’re all well soon and hope to see you soon!). This was the perfect opportunity open up the Toastmasters Laboratory, and Michael was our interactive Toastmaster and Chief Lab Rat (or should I say Guinea Pig?).
Patrizia opened the meeting with the question “What was the best thing that has happened to us so far on this lovely Wednesday?” Michael, then led us through the evening and he conducted one of his famous interactive question rounds. From the various comments in Michael’s opening round it seems some more social activities as well as time to socialize with each other would be welcome (we’ll see what we can do to this end, the recent bowling event with Famous Toastmasters was a lot of fun). Our Word of the Day was “Laboratory” or lab and it was used quite often during the evening.
Our only prepared speech of the evening was held by Darryl. His speech was entitled „ Channeling Your Inner Explorer” (project #10 from the Competent Communication manual). This speech completes Darryl’s second CC and is the second part of his goal of completing a “Triple Crown” in this Toastmaster year. Darryl told us that much like a Tale of Two Cites, we’re living in the worst of times and the best of times. It is our goals that can challenge us and lead us to focus on and achieve the best of times. There are lots of discoveries just waiting to be found and many of these can be found by exploring ourselves and the world around us. As Toastmasters there are so many things that we can do to expand our Communication and Leadership skills, but this is really just the tip of the iceberg. By achieving educational awards we grow and we help the club to grow and become more dynamic. We can help others to grow by becoming mentors. Like successful athletes, who continue to work on the basics, we can return to the CC and CL manuals, refreshing and sharpening our skills, learning new things along the way. We also have all of the wonderful Advanced Communicator manuals that we can experiment with. We can take advantage of the “Toastmasters Lab” to test new skills and try new things. As the first official female Toastmaster and first women president Helen Blanchard has said that “If you get everything there is to get out of Toastmasters, then you’ll never get out of Toastmasters”.
Our second speech was a virtual speech. We saw the Kailey Peng doing her English Humorous winning speech from the D95 Conference in Frankfurt in November last year. Kailey’s speech focused on a “Hubby Bootcamp”, which was supposed to teach the single ladies how to catch a husband. There are lots of single girls out there who feel the pressure of their mothers wanting them to get married and give them grandkids. Kailey used so many great techniques (i.e. pauses, vocal variety, storytelling, and etc.) Watching her speech is not only funny but can teach us quite a bit.
We had an expanded and lively Table Topics session that was led by Martin. We had three different rounds of questions with three different evaluators (Pia, Rita, and Patrizia). We had a variety of questions about travel, food, sports, celebrity encounters, and a variety of topics.
Within the various Table Topics rounds, one of our guests (Raimund) really shined in his two table topic questions. In a question about historical figures he’d like to meet, he took the opportunity to reflect upon the 70th Anniversary of The Liberation of Auschwitz, by saying that he’d like the chance to sell Hitler on the advantages of living in a multi-cultural environment.
Rainer was asked about his first car and wouldn’t you know that Rainer didn’t have just any old “normal”car!
Patriza was really happy with the scenario she was presented with, she was sitting in first class on a plane with George Clooney.
Michael S admitted in his Table Topic that after getting used to being in First Class, he still would probably be too dumbfounded to say something meaningful to Kiera Knightly and if were all honest how many of us would really be able to pull off an intelligent conversation with a well-known celebrity?
Martin evaluated Darryl’s speech. Rita was General Evaluator. Michael K was our Timeker, Martin counted our ahs and ems, and Rainer was the Grammarian.
Patrizia reported that Peter Smith (our Area Governor) is looking for people to help out at the Area F3/F4 Area Contest on April 18th in Frankfurt. This is the same location where the D95 Conference was held in November. Patriza also reported that Norbert is now looking forward to receiving visitors. Contact Patriza about either of these items.
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 would like to have a few people help with the website. 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.
“The Toastmasters Lab” provided a memorable evening. We all enjoyed the expanded Table Topics with an opportunity for more of us to speak. We were also fortunate to have two guests, Raimund and Christine.
We had several requests for speeches at the next two meetings (February 11th and 25th). 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 11th February.
Thank you to Darryl for the meeting summary.