It’s the 2nd meeting of the year 2021, where the lock-down situation was still valid in Germany. This time we were a group of 16 people, 10 of which were our club members and 6 were guests not only from Munich, but also from Stuttgart, California, Florida and even Singapore!
With her opening speech, Jasmin gave our guests a very warm and motivating welcome before she handed the stage over to Stephanie, our Toastmaster of the evening, who kindly and thoroughly explained the meeting agenda to ensure that our guests could effectively follow our meeting. She then invited Markus, our Grammarian, to explain the word of the day “Specificity”, the word that many German people struggle to pronounce (and we could really see it throughout the meeting), which means “the quality of being specific”.
The next person on the stage was Iryna, our Table Topics Master of the evening, who brought several different impromptu questions for our brave participants as follows. The creative part of this Table Topics session was that the speaker has a chance to choose one out of many categories. The questions used were as follows.
Q1) What annoys you more than it should?
Q2) If magic was real, which magic would you like to learn first?
Q3) What job would you be terrible at?
Further on, we were inspired by the following prepared speeches.
1) When we want, we can”, delivered by Golf, let us know more about a powerful French sentence “Quand on veut, on peut”, which means “When we want, we can” for a direct translation into English. He told us two stories from his life experiences which were very good examples for this empowering French sentence.
The first story was about how he strongly wanted to pass the entrance exam into a very famous secondary school in Bangkok and tried to find a way to practice more and study hard during the last year of his primary school. The success in the entrance exam into this school was the first life experience of “When we want, we can”.
The second story was related to how he accidentally started a Tiktok channel to teach Thai people how to speak German. Building the audience was the biggest challenge he had along the way, but by sticking himself to the passion, willpower and willingness to share his knowledge with the world, the Tiktok learning channel has now become a chance for his side business offering German courses to Thai people. Once again he emphasised that “When we want, we can”
2) “I am free!”, delivered by Fabio, showed us some lessons about how he lives a meaningful life. Inspired by the mantra “in the morning, prepare for WAR (Why-Action-Reward) and in the evening, enjoy PEACE (Productivity- Energies- Alignment-Clarity-Experience)”, Fabio delivered his inspiring icebreaker speech.
“Why” is about how we can inspire ourselves by validating our why, which is our northern star. “Action” is about how we can take a consistent action through a progressive realisation of a plan. “Reward” is how we can celebrate rewarding ourselves.
How can we then know if we are still on track? The easy answer is to ask ourselves what the acronym PEACE is before going to bed. Did we feel “Productive” compared to our “Energy” level? Were we “Aligned” with our values and did we have “Clarity” on our day? Did we have a great “Experience”? If the answers of all these questions are “Yes”, we are on the right track.
After the break, the stage was handed over to Katharina, our special guest from Stuttgart Toastmasters Downtown Club, who volunteered to be our General Evaluator. During the subjective evaluation session, we received helpful feedback from Louise and Marco, our speech evaluators, especially that injecting more pauses can also improve the effectiveness of our speeches.
The Grammarian report from Markus was informative, impressive and educative at the same time. The filler words were reported by Jasmin, our Ah-counter, who did a great job as always. Our timer report was accurately presented by Mikhail, who pointed out that most of us used the time within the ranges allowed. The overall General Evaluation from Katharina, our General Evaluator of the evening, was also very helpful due to the fact that it was feedback from another experienced Toastmaster from another club, for which we are all very thankful.
In summary, it was an exuberant evening with tons of positive energy and growth mindset, thanks to all enthusiastic participants, especially to our members and some friendly guests who dedicated themselves by taking their roles in the meeting. We have proved it again together, that “having fun”, “learning” and “growing” can all be combined in our Toastmasters meeting.