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Contest Season

Contributed by Sonja Bonin, April 12, 2019

“Only the contest made me a poet, a sophist, an orator”, said Plato, one of the greatest thinkers in European history. If I may add my own humble experience: only the contest(s) made me a full member of the Toastmasters family.

For the second season now, I’ve had the privilege of taking part in some excellently organized TM competitions in and around Zurich. I’ve been a judge, a tie-breaking judge and a contest chair. I’ve served in more prominent (guest speaker) and more mundane roles (such as printing dozens of participation certificates). And I’ve heard some extraordinary people give some extraordinary speeches – in a hand-full of languages, I might add.

What impressed and inspired me most was how the clubs pulled it all off: with lots of preparation, energy and, most importantly, team-work.

One club that kindly invited me as a target speaker (Rhetorik Club Zurich) held their club contest AFTER and in addition to their regular meeting! My own club, Zuriberghosted not only their own club contest but also the area contest in SIX disciplines: German, International, Italian, French, Table Topics and Evaluations! An incredible feat which could only be accomplished because a seasoned bunch of people came together, prepared well (using some outstanding TM resources), and made it happen. It’s almost impossible to screw up if there’s so many kind people around you who have your back and take up the slack if needed.

I can highly recommend this experience. Start as a spectator tomorrow at the district level competition in Oerlikon (link to: roland.studer@bluewin.ch) and perhaps at the Spring District Conference in Genoain May or even the world championship in Denver, Colorado in August. And then step out of your comfort zone and start contributing: as a competitor or as an organizing team member or both.

I wish all Zurich competitors good luck and a lot of fun and learning along the way to Genoa. And I look forward to speaking in the next competition season in 2020. Who knows, maybe it’s going to turn me into a real poet, sophist, orator …? 

The Toastmasters Community

TM is not only about our club! This is why we are encouraged to visit our fellows Toastmasters from other clubs. Here Sonja pays a visit to the Turicum club, a German Speaking club from our area.

Sonja visiting the Turicum Club

Some special visitors….

On Tuesday 9th April, at one of our regular meetings we had the honour to be able to welcome two members of the Sarajevo Toastmasters club, that Zuriberg has assisted in founding. The two members, gave an insightful introduction to their club, their members and just a few of the many activities that they do in their club

Area Contest: 26th March 2019

On the 26th of March, Zuriberg organized and hosted the Area Contest: contestants from 4 clubs, help and support from 7 clubs, more that 50 members and guests. What an evening!

Winners of the German Contest
Winners of the International Speech Contest
Winners of the Evaluation Contest
Winners of the TT Contest
Winners of the Italian Contest

Table Topics Marathon 8th January

We started the year with an extra meeting: a Table Topic Marathon on the 8th of January!

Four extraordinary Table Topic Masters entertained us and made think hard for each of the 6 speakers. Their topics where funny and creative and they challenged the imagination of our speakers. Thanks to Peter, Nicola, Stefano O and Andre!

We also had the evaluations of Lesley, Roland, Sonja and Margherita, 4 experienced members who gave constructive feedback to the speakers of each Table Topic.
And finally 4 winners who started the New Year with the Toastmasters energy!

Bravo to Roland, Hicham, Margherita and Lesley! Well done!