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Table Topics and Humorous Speech Contests

Table Topics Winners: 1st, Marc Suter; 3rd, Fiona Wallace-Mason; 2nd, William Horan
Humorous Speech Winners: 2nd, Nicholas Allan; 1st, Marc Suter

We started with Table Topic hosted by Ilka Gehlhar. Each contestant was asked to promote his/her own new book titled “Our Iceberg is Melting”. Henrik Karlsson started off by bringing up the seriousness of environmental issues we had on our planet. Marcel Cattin diverted the topic from “iceberg melting” to “ice breaker” as in an opening for a speech introduction. Fiona Wallace-Mason gave an energetic “I love iceberg!” start and connect icebergs to childhood memory. Adrian Engler gave a “matter of fact” stand and urgency about the topic of climate change. William Horan made a hilarious presentation on showing us a run-down of “don’t believe anything-anyone says” chapters on the book. Cameron Roy took the “two PhD doctors searching for answer” proof on global warming. Nicholas Allan expanded on “luggage-carrying” pinguins on the cover of the book. Finally, Marc Suter opened with some serious questions, continued with some fuel facts, and ended with sense of urgency to promote people to act.On Oct 2, we had our club’s Table Topic and Humorous Speech Contests. Tonight’s format is a bit different from our usual meetings. First, the speech order is drawn by lot on the day. Second, we have no evaluation, only ranking and results for the speeches. Not to mention our first two winners for both categories will be representing our club at the Area Contest on Oct 13! Talk about pressure!

On our second half of the meeting, after an introduction from our club president Olivia, we started with humorous speech contest. Nicholas Allan kept us entertained in “Sleepless in Transit”, with tales of his own traveling experience on long-haul flights and stories of his friend sleeping through stops and managed to keep missing his stop in one drunken evening. Marc Suter showed us some powerful techniques on how to stop losing things with “Count & Bundle”. Unfortunately, Fiona Wallace-Mason was disqualified due to timing.

Congratulations to all the winners! Wish you best of luck and success in the Area Contest!

No Meeting August 21st, CONTESTS October 2nd!

The club will meet on August 7th, and then take a break to enjoy the last weeks of summer. We will meet again on September 4th, according to our regular schedule.

Don’t forget that the Humorous Speech and Table Topics contests are just around the corner on October 2nd. If you didn’t make it to the Olympics, this is your chance to cheer and rave!

Lakeside Meeting Review

All that we had envisioned for our summer gathering was realized on Tuesday.

Through Angela Saxby’s beneficence and the exceptionally good mood of the Zurich weather gods, Mosquito Hill and Zuriberg Toastmasters ascended the stairs of the Zurich Rowing Club to arrive at a spectacular, sweeping view of white sailboats adrift on glittering cerulean waves, rare inspiration for a relaxed, vibrant and buoyant Toastmaster evening!

We had hoped to enjoy a fantastic event on the lake, to give every member the opportunity of becoming part of a larger circle of aspirants on this challenging rhetorical journey, and to expand and deepen our understanding of how we can accomplish our goals as leaders and orators.

With speakers, evaluators, and Table Topics Masters from both clubs, we witnessed a variety of topics, performance styles, and analytical approaches which must have given all of us fresh ideas to bring to our regular meetings. Congratulations again to Christian Langenegger as Best Speaker, Merin Chacko as Best Table Topics Speaker, and Angela Saxby, Florian Hehlen, and Piotr Skoczylas, who tied as Best Evaluators.

Add to the educational program copious contributions of wine, dinner, and laughter, and we accomplished a rewarding synergy of mood and meaning which none of us will ever forget. We trust that this event only marks the beginning of a tradition of successful collaboration between the three English-speaking Zurich Toastmasters clubs.

Thanks again to everyone for a great time!

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!