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Christmas Dinner Together With The Bombardier Toastmaster Club

The more, the merrier, so what better way to celebrate Christmas than with another Toastmasters Club? Zuriberg TM decided to join forces with Bombardier CH TM. We were also honoured to have Bigi Vitolic Koblet as a guest. So it was that on 13 December, 27 Toastmasters gathered in a room whose tables had been decorated for the occasion. At Michelle’s request, most of the guests wore suitably festive clothing. Guests had interpreted Michelle’s Christmas dress code (“be creative”) in different ways: There were eye-catching shades of red (Hong, Nicola, Stefano, Alma, Karina, Franziska, Petra, Piotr), amazing jewellery (Michelle, Daniela), Santa Claus hats (Etienne, Stefano, Karolina, Franziska), blinking lights (Margherita, Piotr, Thomas), seasonal neckwear (Ben) and a suit (Paul) which showed that “Toastmasters” is an anagram of “ate most stars”.
Before the evening officially started, old friendships were renewed and new ones made over drinks which had generously been provided. Sergey was unfortunately unable to attend, so his deputy, Nicola, then formally opened the evening. She introduced our Toastmaster of the Evening, Stefano, who led us through the unusual format. The evening began with a keynote speech from Jack Vincent of Zug TM. Jack is an author, sales advisor, speaker and trainer and the lively delivery of his speech entertained the audience and warmed us up for what was to follow.
In the best Toastmasters tradition, the remainder of the evening required participation from us all. First, Karina invited small groups of guests to take the stage for a series of mini debates, each of which was based on a theme related to Christmas. After a break for dinner, Paul invited everyone to play Taboo. The Guessers of the Reindeer and Elves teams (Margherita and Piotr, respectively) did a magnificent job of trying to read the describers’ minds. For the describers, it was like Table Topics, only with 5 Unwords of the Day: they had to try to explain something without using these words and without using body language (unlike Toastmasters speeches). Despite this, almost everyone managed to explain the words which they were given. The contest was very closely fought, but in the end the Reindeers beat the Elves by a very narrow margin.
As those of you who were there or who have seen Massimo’s photographs will know, it was an enjoyable evening with a lot of laughter. Thanks to all who attended and special thanks to all who were involved in the planning and preparations.

Division E Humorous and Table Topics Contest

Division E contest of Humorous and Table Topic speeches took place on 22nd of November. Our club was well represented: Michelle and Hicham were competing in the Humorous contest while Margherita was competing in the Table Topics contest. This was not the easiest Division contest, as English-speaking competition consisted of 8-9 participants in each category while many of participants had significant contest experience.

We can all be proud of our Zuriberg contestants, as they have improved significantly from the Area level and were totally committed to give their best performance on the Division stage.

Now regarding the results. We have one Zuriberg member who was placed among the three contest winners. Hicham with his humorous speech “The unofficial guide to getting married” became the WINNER OF DIVISION E HUMOROUS CONTEST. His speech was evaluated to be the best among the other eight speeches and he will therefore continue his journey by giving his winning speech during the District 59 Fall Conference in Madrid taking place 11-13 of November.

Please join me in congratulating Michelle, Margherita and Hicham on their achievements!

Area E4 Contest October 11th – what a great evening!

Dear Zuriberg Toastmatsers.

What a great evening it was last Tuesday !

As the chief judge for the English contest, I arrived at 18:00. The room was still empty apart from tables and chairs. Within minutes people started arriving and the room was quickly filling up. What an excitement and what a buzz! There were people from many other clubs, some participating as speakers, others supporting their speakers or as guests. I counted 43 people, with 5 or 6 other clubs present.

The vibration increased in the room as everyone said to old and new friends. As the Judges, contestants, timers etc were being briefed and visitors welcomed.
What an energy in the room.

We enjoyed such wonderful speeches, three in English and one in German. All amazingly well delivered, funny and full of energy.

What followed was the table topics contest. How well this was done by every participant! Just imagine impromptu speaking in a contest.
And the winners of the Humorous speech contest are….. # 1 Hicham and #2 Michelle of our Zuriberg club !

Let me tell you, because if you were not there you surely missed something. Michelle delivered the speech that she first tried-out in the workshop several weeks ago. So great to see how her story had progressed from just a few ideas then into a wonderful speech. Thank you Michelle.

And the winner? Our Hicham! How proud he can be for the speech he delivered. What progress Hicham has made since he joined our club. So well delivered this story funny and sad at the same time.

Congratulations to Margherita for winning the table topics. So good to see how she fearlessly approached the table topic contest and delivered her speech in her own natural way.

Special thanks go to Stefano, the contest chair. The weeks before the contest he had been preparing diligently, making sure everyone knew what was expected of him/her. And on Tuesday night he guided us through the evening with his Italian flair and energy that made this evening for everyone a success.

Best Regards
Ben Nordemann