The Speech Marathon

Our first speech marathon, a mini-marathon really, on June 26th was a fun and fitting conclusion to the 2011-2012 Toastmasters term!

As always, the meeting was a team effort from start to finish, with almost every member performing at least one role, some more than one.

Special thanks to Christian Funke, who spent two weeks working behind the scenes to advertise, find the perfect gift for our prize winner, and investigate the special beamer logistics in the big hall. He also arrived early Tuesday, saving the day by sprinting out to print more evaluation forms at the last minute—since I had forgotten we would need 7 per person!

Lesley Stephenson, our club’s founder, not only offered expert tips in her evaluation to Lip-Hong, but jumped in on two-hours notice to deliver a professional, innovative, and inspiring Pecha Kucha presentation on her High Performance Leadership project, which has evolved into a permanent foundation: Ethiopian Enterprises. Thank you, Lesley! Look for more from Lesley in autumn, when she returns from Ethiopia and extensive professional speaking engagements.

It might have seemed as though every time you blinked, there was Nick Allan, crouching under tables and chairs, perched at the edge of the stage, emitting a subtle, steady stream of clicks as he materialized first in one spot, then another! That’s because Nick, a much-in-demand photographer, was on an action photo shoot—check out the results in the gallery!

Ilka Gehlhar exhorted us all to make Toastmasters our babies, because we get more when we invest more—sing it, sister!—and Nicola Von Lutterotti delivered a much-needed kick in our derrieres with her speech, “Let’s Move!” I described how Toastmasters helps us satisfy the universal human need to be understood, Christian Funke delivered an incisive and amusing critique of the Schengen visa system, and David Ermen had us laughing and gripping our chairs during his anecdotal dramedy, “The Taxi Ride to Chill”.

Piotr Skoczylas was a witty and upbeat TME, and William Horan payed a warm tribute to the club as he expounded on the joys of his experience this year as VPE. Lip-Hong Teo delivered his final CC manual speech, also a farewell address to mark the end of his four-year Toastmaster journey—we wish you well, and you are always welcome back, Lip-Hong! Christina Ehlers and Martin Hahn regaled us with joke interludes, one of which, in conformance with statistical probability, involved a mother-in-law. Evaluators, timer, Vice SAAs, everybody contributed, thank you all for making it a wonderful evening!

Congratulations to Nick Allan on the Best Evaluation. Congratulations to Lesley and me, Best Speakers. Finally, grunts of respect to Nick Ahmann, winner of the “Bring the Most Guests” prize, who sprang up to the stage like Rocky to collect his Logitech PC remote control.

A warm welcome to our two newest members: Alice and Stefano. Look out for their Icebreaker speeches!

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