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Meeting 19. March 2013, Report by Celine Horan

Last night we had a great meeting full of great speeches!

Noah Pikes gave his Ice Breaker speech: “Cries, Roars, Songs, and Words.” He opened by making us feel relaxed with his calm, honeyed tones. He shared about his book, The Sound of the Voice, and took us on a journey back to 1941, to the Blitz and a special letter his mother wrote to him. In the middle of his speech, he grew very excited when he talked about the man who had inspired him, author Roy Heart, and enlightened us with the information that the human voice has an octave range of six.

Even though this was his first speech, he showed no nerves and was brave enough to give us a vocal demonstration. Noah’s Ice Breaker was eloquent and wonderfully enthusiastic, and he even managed to include the word of the day: elucidate. Well done, Noah!

Konrad, our second speaker, gave us insights into student life in his speech “Give a Chance,” and he talked about his dad. To illustrate his points, he used slides with great ease and to great effect. He adhered to the simple rules of one-idea-per-slide and the-more-visual-the-better. He achieved this very well, making his well-prepared, detailed speech very easy to follow and enjoy. Well done, Konrad!

Adrian Engler evaluated Konrad and pointed out the simplicity of Konrad’s slides and his strong connection with the audience. He gave a detailed and balanced evaluation in his own inimitable style, and we enjoyed his evaluation very much. So too did Michelle Sabatini give an enthusiastic and balanced evaluation of Noah’s first speech, encouraging him to continue the work he had started in her usual gentle, humble manner, with the radiant smile we have all grown to love.

Both evaluations were excellent, given that neither had even the luxury of the dinner break to consider their points in more detail. This shows how flexible Toastmasters can be and how they do their best work under pressure. Congratulations to you both!

David Ermen hosted the table topics and asked a fun question about dreams that inspired some very weird and funny answers.

Nicholas Allen told us about his friend who can never stay awake on a train and who always ends up far from home (more often than he cares to admit). Thomas Koetzsch told us about his maths teacher at boarding school who yelled “Yawn with your mouth closed!” Guest Sonja talked about a depressed hamster, Thomas Portenseigne told a story about something chasing him through the African bushes, Henrik warned us to be afraid of cornflakes, I talked about a monkey and a Louis Vuitton backpack, and last but not least, Georgio revealed how Harry Potter got the philosopher stoned, to roars of laughter from the floor.

Listener Christian Funke decided to take the strange things that were uttered throughout the evening out of context, which made for interesting listening and caused us all to laugh out loud.

We were not even in our new home, Blue Monkey, but this did little to dampen our spirits. Although a number of guests did make mention that they preferred the Blue Monkey over our temporary abode, even having said that, they all agreed that they had a great time and were impressed with the speeches and structure.

I must say that I too was impressed with the guests, who all did a great job in the table topics portion of the evening, so much so that our guest Sonja, together with Thomas Koetzsch, won best table topics. Kudos to you both!

Thanks to Kevin Boomsma, Toastmaster of the evening; Michelle Sabatini, Sergeant at Arms; and David Ermen, Acting President, for your enthusiasm and flexibility under the many last-minute changes, nevertheless creating an evening that was fun and enjoyable for all. To all of you, well done!

Here’s to our next meeting.