Menu Close

Blog

Meeting 16. April 2013, Report by Kevin Boomsma

Nicola von Lutterotti, Vice President Membership, opened the evening and after welcoming our guests for the evening, reminded all of us to register for the Toastmasters Division E Spring Conference that takes place on April 27th in nearby Zollikerberg. More information is available at http://tmspringconference2013.wordpress.com/.

Former Area Governor Celine Horan announced that our club officer committee elections are coming up on the 14th of May and reminded us that serving the club as an officer is a great way to not only learn leadership through experience but also a chance to give back to the club.

Hui Mei Liew Kaiser (evaluated by Kevin Boomsma) opened the speaking session of the evening with her 4th speech in the Competent Communicator track entitled “Malaysians flying home to vote” in which she shared a personal story of how she and other Malaysians abroad go out of their way to make it back home for elections. Just as impressive were the efforts made by Malaysians in their homeland to help those abroad return home for the elections. Hui Mei’s speech was a source of inspiration to go that extra mile for the benefit of of the collective, whether they are our countrymen or fellow club members.

Ben Nordemann (evaluated by Martin Hahn) introduced us to an alternative approach in medicine in his 9th speech in the Competent Communicator track entitled “Biophotons – a better way?”. Ben introduced us to the realm of biophotons by first explaining what biophotons are and from where they emanate. He then described the current methodology of utilizing biophotons in the emerging field of biontology for diagnosing and treating disease through administering light therapy as part of a holistic approach. The topic captivated the audience and initiated an impromptu Q&A session immediately following the speech!

Nicola von Lutterotti delivered a Table Topics session that will go down in the books as one of the most encouraging sessions ever. Contestants had the opportunity to elaborate on something that is or was their favorite. I believe that I even saw a show of hands for the opportunity to be called on next! Even two of our guests tried their hand at the 1-2 minute speech. Guest Toastmaster from the TM Club of Budapest Csaba Kötcsei told us how his favorite occupation would be bus chauffeur. When asked about his favorite activity in retirement, guest Barry Wynter told us not only his favorite activities but also shared some Jamaican wisdom on living well by stating, “We get up early in the morning so we have more time to relax.”

The winners of the evening were Martin Hahn for his speech evaluation and our guest Barry Wynter for his Table Topics speech (and tip on how to relax).

 

Great news! Zuriberg Toastmasters Club hosts the Division E Spring conference

On the 27th of April, the best speakers and evaluators in Switzerland are coming to Zurich to compete in the international speech and international evaluation contests at the Division E Spring conference.

This year, our club has the honour of hosting this prestigious event, where a Swiss delegate will come one step closer to taking part in the World Championship of public speaking. Separate contests will be held for the English and German speaking clubs and the best evaluator will also be determined.

The main event will be rounded off with good food, entertaining and educational workshops, and of course many interesting people. More details can be found on the Spring Conference website.

Whether you are a Toastmaster yourself, coming along to support a friend who is competing, or just want to meet some interesting people and learn a thing or two about public speaking, the Spring Conference has something for you.

Register Here

 

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.

2012-2013 CLUB AND OFFICER ACHIEVEMENTS

Educational Achievements

  1. Celine Horan (past Area E2 Governor) earned the Advanced Leader Silver award. 
  2. Nicola von Lutterotti (VP Membership), Piotr Skozcylas (Secretary), Marcel Cattin (former VP Education), Lip-Hong Teo (former Treasurer), and Olivia Coker (President) earned the CC award.
  3. Markus Kuenkel (current Area E2 Governor) and Olivia Coker earned the CL award.

New Members, 9

Giorgio Ripamonti
David Kearney
Noah Pikes
Elena Savenko
Mai Thanh Quynh Tran
Thomas Portenseigne
Christina Ehlers
Vaclav Matousek
Yujing Liu

COMMITTEE/Leadership Achievements

  1. Christian Funke (Treasurer) and I (Olivia) created this club website and blog in July 2012.
  2. The committee subsequently established the “Blog Contributor” role. This not only keeps our website up to date, but makes it possible for members to complete one of two CL projects which were previously impossible to complete without undertaking a special project. (And therefore hardly anyone finished the CL manual.)
  3. In addition to regular debates, we have now instituted regular speech marathons, to give members the chance to catch up on speech progress, (because we meet only on alternate weeks).
  4. Nick Allan was selected from among a multitude of applicants to deliver a debate workshop at the European District 59 Conference in Bonn in November 2012.
  5. I organized two special events with other clubs, the summer meeting at the Rowing Club with Mosquito Hill, and the Irish-Scottish Dance with Zurich and Mosquito Hill Toastmasters.
  6. Henrik Karlsson is now also dedicating months of time as Chair of the Swiss Division E Conference Committee, leading our club in organizing and hosting the April 27th conference.
  7. David Ermen conducted two officer workshop sessions (training officers from 4-5 clubs) for our Area Governor, Markus Kuenkel.
  8. We updated our meeting evaluation forms, to assist with more concrete speech assessment guidelines. This has elicited more grounded and useful feedback for speakers.
  9. Michelle Sabatini (SAA) has improved on the organization of our club materials and ensured that every single meeting this term has been properly supplied and arranged, and that guests have been well received. This is essential to our meetings, and the work often goes unnoticed.
  10. We moved to the Blue Monkey, after Mara Eugster and I negotiated a minimum consumption rate of less than half their published minimum rate.
  11. I created an annual(+) calendar (and our club Google Calendar).
    View or print the club calendar
    *The Easypeak gurus are currently developing the function of linking Easyspeak meetings to Google Calendar. It will reduce calendar input from two to a single entry point. We’ll look forward to that!
  12. David Ermen has created club email addresses for each officer to facilitate contact continuity from one officer term to the next.
  13. I created new meeting agenda templates in Easyspeak, to make staffing and organizing meetings much faster. These include regular meetings, debates, speech marathons, and the contests.
    Meetings are already scheduled through July 2014, because we must register our meetings at the Blue Monkey a year or more in advance to secure our reservation.
    Meetings are staffed from now through this July in order to give every member a fair opportunity to speak and to perform authoritative meeting roles–Toastmaster of the Evening, Table Topics Master, and General Evaluator–and to assist new members along the trajectory of increasing knowledge.
    Scheduling large batches in advance saves time and makes a more strategically equitable distribution of speeches and roles possible.
  14. Christian Funke has been a dependable Treasurer, ensuring that all bills are paid, and dues collected from each member and transferred on time to Toastmasters International. (When dues are not paid on time, our members are not allowed to compete in contests!)
  15. Christian is now also Treasurer of the Division E Conference, tracking payment for each registration (100+ attendees).
  16. Piotr Skoczylas joined us as Secretary in January 2013, and has since been reliable in taking proper and useful committee meeting minutes and posting them in a timely manner. Piotr also orders club supplies from Toastmasters International.
  17. Piotr is currently founding a new TM club at his workplace. Congratulations, Piotr!
  18. I uploaded and catalogued all contest materials in our Easyspeak Zuriberg Toastmasters Discussion Forum, so that, from now on, Chairman, Judges, and Contestants can easily download and print the necessary forms.
  19. Officers have uploaded club-specific OFFICER role descriptions to make it easier for members to prepare for annual elections and holding office.
  20. I have added club-specific MEETING role descriptions to Easyspeak—click on the role title on any agenda page.
    This helps us to clarify formerly ambiguous role responsibilities, particularly those of the TME (who is responsible for ensuring meeting rosters are full), and helps less experienced members to learn our club customs.
  21. Ilka Gelhar founded a new TM club at her workplace, and has served this term as officer there. We look forward to seeing more of her in the next term.

Thank You

Dear Toastmasters and Friends,

What a fantastic party!

When I arrived yesterday to help arrange the Polterkeller for our party, Kristina Koch, Angela Saxby, Laura Beyer, and Mateusz Bukowski were already there, hard at work. This team of organizers has labored diligently behind the scenes for months to prepare a smashing holiday party for Zurich, Mosquito Hill and Zuriberg Toastmasters, for our fellow Toastmasters from Zug, Bern, and St. Gallen, and for our welcome friends. There isn’t enough room to record everything each one has contributed, so I’ll simply point out that without the magnanimous investment of time, talent, and even property, from each of them, our party would have been impossible.

Special kudos to one of our younger Toastmasters, Laura Beyer, whose raffle and dessert buffet last night displayed tremendous creativity, not to mention industry, as she baked and bustled the entire week to dress our tables with irresistible treats and gorgeous raffle bundles.

Big thanks to Frances Turley and William Horan, who shared their stories and a walloping serving of hilarity, and to Kamran Derakhshan, who conducted a feisty and stimulating Table Topics tournament.

Thanks also to Toastmasters who donated raffle prizes: Kristina Koch, Jack Vincent, John Styffe, and Selina Man Karlsson.

Finally, thanks to all of you who simply showed up with your smiles, your social elixirs,  and your dancing shoes, and helped to make it a warm and wonderful evening none of us will ever forget.

Douglas Hope, the Toe for Toe dance leader, told me that 200 years ago, when villagers congregated regularly for Céilidhs, quarrels between friends and neighbors would be forgotten as they danced together. That historical sketch epitomizes the spirit which we hoped to foster between Toastmasters and friends in our three clubs and beyond, when we selected a Céilidh as our holiday party activity for 2012.

So as we conclude a remarkable year and contemplate 2013, I trust we will carry this sense of camaraderie and collaboration between Toastmasters and friends into the new year.

We hope to see all of you again soon,
Olivia Coker
President
Zuriberg Toastmasters