By Mark Cannell
With Autumn well underway and the darker nights creeping in, what better way to keep up the mood than with a club contest. And boy what a contest it was. On Tuesday 26th September at the usual location at Blue Monkey in Niederdorf, Zuriberg Toastmasters club held their Humorous and Table Topics Speech contest in English.
The evening began with the Humorous Speech competition and all five participants did a highly commendable job with much applause and uproarious laughter from the audience. For some it was their first time conducting their humorous speech, whilst others were veterans, but all succeeded in entertaining the audience. Margherita Brodbeck Roth was the contest chair and did an excellent job at guiding us through the evening. Well done to Hicham Adamou coming in first place, Stefano Ortelli coming in second and Michelle Sabatini in third.
by Margherita Brodbeck Roth
After a long and for most of us relaxing summer break we have resumed our regular sessions on Ferragosto. The day goes back to the “feriae Augusti”, celebrated across the Roman empire to remember the victory of the first roman emperor Augustos over Marcus Antonius and Cleopatra. With Chrisitanity it became the day when Catholics celebrate Assumption day and in today’s Italy it is when the large companies and government office go on holiday – and all stands still..
We are different, to us it has been the day of return, to enjoy each other’s company, to welcome guests and to enjoy two fantastic speeches and a very original table topic setting. Our grammarian kicked us into dhspr when sharing the word of the day, – haughty (arrogantly superior or disdainful) with its remote origin in the Latin “altus” or high. An high we went and grabbed for the stars.
After a first speech asking for more, Lesley Stephenson stood up to the challenge of holding an impromptu stalk on a meaningful but also controversial topic. In “What we can do to revert global warming” we learned so much stretching from the slightly amusing – stop drinking alcohol because we happen to generate heat in the course of it –, to the more serious aspects of the matter. She truly not only enlightened but also entertained us. Moreover, she graciously shared some valuable suggestions on how to succeed at public speaking.
At the beginning of this year we had a lot of new members, and most probably a few more will join in the next weeks.
Last year, we had to find a new venue for the first two months in 2017 since our regular place is being renovated. At first, everything went incredibly smoothly: a venue was rapidly found, and our stuff deposited. Relieved, our committee could join the Christmas-Holiday-Crowd.
When all seems too easy to be true, be aware! On our first meeting in 2017, things started to go in an unexpected direction… the room was way too small, and with the 8 guests checking out our club we felt like chicken in a battery farm.
Then the real improvisation started. No, I am not talking about Table Topics. We were short on tables, didn’t have a flipchart for the grammarian and no projector for one of the speakers. This was a true Toastmasters leadership-challenge: Keep up the spirit and don’t start to nag.
Did we manage to do so? Yes, we did. With a helping hand from members and guests, we brought in more tables and chairs and succeeded in setting set up the room in a way that vaguely resembled a meeting room.
Finally, we had a great evening with 4 speeches, many evaluations and of course Table Topics. Some of the guests even came back. This shows: A positive attitude, collaboration and adaptation are the qualities of a winning team – qualities that we cultivate at our club.