Author Archives: Christian M

Invitation to Christmas Meeting, 16th December

Each year, we come together at Christmas time for a special meeting.  We still have our prepared speeches and the other elements of the meeting that help us develop our speaking skills. 

We also have a convivial dinner together, this time in Valentino’s Restaurant.

Valentino Restaurant, Montgolfier-Allee 6, 60486, Bockenheim, Frankfurt am Main

Members and guests are very welcome.  Just sign up herewithout delay so the meals can be provided by the restaurant.  


Meeting Summary, 2nd December 2015


„Ask not what Toastmasters can do for your, ask what you can do for Toastmasters.”


We had the pleasure to have 19 participants in the meeting, including 4 guests who are always welcome in our club. New faces, new situation, everybody is waiting for a … “hm, something is in the air…”, then we are about to start.


Moritz our club president opened the meeting with his usual energetic, warming up style that generated an excited mood. Asli as our Toastmaster of the Evening (TME) took over the stage then and started with a joke about classical partnership problem but with an unexpected ending, highlighting that in some cases the color of our partner’s hair could matter.  Humour is a good communication device to engage an audience.

Geoffrey gave us the word of the day “ruthless” which was creatively used by the participants.The word of the day allows self-aware speakers to use and play with a concept outside the boundaries of the prepared and the expected. 

The three prepared speakers were Radu, Cathrin and Olaf.  Radu gave us an important view about the bad effects of sugar and made the second step with his project on his Toastmasters journey. Cathrin gave us some hints about self-marketing and explained how could ‘moving slowly’ be factor in it. Olaf delivered his 8th project speech and came up with the task of using visual ads properly.

Our club helps us improve not just our speaking content, but also the fine detail of our grammar.  As Grammarian, Martin pointed out an important side of Toastmasters, the use of  rhetorical devices such as alliteration, anaphora, metaphor and more. Choosing the right rhetorical device is up to us and the same goes for our choices in our everyday life, we choose to wake up early or not. Our theme for the meeting was ‘choices’.

Our Table Topic (impromptu speaking skills) Master for the evening was Bertalan who suggested that we think about Christmas fever in a different way when it comes to buying a present. Our guests stood forward and seized their opportunity to take their first step with impromptu speaking skills. Benjamin, Christian, Marlon and David gave us creative and funny short speeches. We hope to see them next time.

Everything can be reflected upon and improved.  This is the core of learning a new skill.  The prepared speech evaluations were delivered by Christian, Barbara and Moritz.

Natalia, our timer of the evening gave us a precise statistic how we dealt with our speaking minutes.  Timing is key to success with an audience. 

Christian, our ‘ah/um’ counter presented the numbers of our filling words.  Filler words should be eliminated, to give a clear and professional presentation.  Counting them allows us to recognise how we perform, and to reduce this habit next time round.  

Geoffrey gave us a great and constructive overview feedback, the General Evaluation, about the whole meeting so we can improve each detail continuously.

Next Meeting

Or next meeting takes place at Valentino Restaurant, the 16th December, we are looking forward to see you there!  This will be a christmas meeting and christmas meal.  Please sign up here, so we can inform the restaurant of numbers.

Meeting Summary, 4th November 2015


Your beliefs become your thoughts, 
Your thoughts become your words, 
Your words become your actions, 
Your actions become your habits, 
Your habits become your values, 
Your values become your destiny. Mahatma Gandhi



Habit is a powerful force.  We discovered the impact of changing our habits when we changed our venue.  Last meeting’s 20 visitors dipped to 13 this meeting.  It shows the importance of continuity.  Nevertheless, the 3 guests and 10 members experienced an exceptionally high standard of meeting, run by our first time Toastmaster of the Evening, Petros.  


The prepared speeches spanned the 10-project communication manual.  Natalia completed project 2 (Organise your Speech), Olaf is approaching the final straight with project 7 (Research your Topic), and Tobias crossed the finishing line with project 10 (Inspire your Audience).  

Impromptu speaking, ‘Table Topics’, was devised by our Frankfurt clubs’ Area Director, Mirja, on the subject of books that can inspire us.  Of the five impromptu speakers, 3 were guests (Sandy, Celia, Sigrid).  I am so happy that the club atmosphere is friendly enough that even guests dare to speak and make the most of their visit.  Tobias and Bertalan were the two other speakers.

Evaluation and feedback leads to improvement.  Today’s evaluations included praise and points for improvement (PIP).  They were given by Barbara, Ben, and Bertalan.   


As has been said before, ‘no one comes to Toastmasters to get better at speaking at Toastmasters’.  TM is a training ground, and a Toastmasters meeting is the simulator.   The skills we practice here are what we take to the real world of business, family, and social communication.

Therefore we focus on what we could do better.  Our General Evaluator, Ben, advised the following points for improvement:

  • Some people failed to see there was a change of venue.  Club president should mail the entire club in advance, club members should all join Facebook (sorry… but it would be a helpful organisational and communication step forward).
  • When we change venue, the TME and Sergeatnt at Arms can decide where the speaking area will be, how to arrange the tables, whether to turn off music  playing in the background, and other steps to create the optimal speaking environment.  
  • We forgot to organise papers and slips on the tables for comments and feedback.  Changing venue would be less of a change is we coordinated the room set up between those who will be present.  

As it was, these proposals for improvement did not take away from the rather excellent meeting, enjoyed by all.  


Club News

Tobias has achieved his CC, Competent Communication award.  Congratulations Tobias. This is a milestone for you, and one which the club is happy to have been present for.

Christmas meeting.  Save December 16th in your diary.  Further details will follow in due time.

Toastmasters in Bad Homburg.  Encourage your acquaintances in the Taunus to visit the new and suddenly successful club, Taunus Toastmasters in Bad Homburg.  They meet each 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month.  Find the meetings on Easy Speak and on Facebook.  

European Toastmasters District Conference, Prague, will take place in a few days on 20-22 November.  Follow the event on FB, and on their website.  

Next Meetings

18th November, TME Bertalan, all speakers already in place.  Saalbau Gallus.

2nd December, TME Asli, all speakers already in place.  Saalbau Gallus.

16th December, Christmas meeting – provisional venue, Valentino’s Restaurant.  TME Ben, all speakers already in place.

6th January, two speech slots available.  Saalbau Gallus.

20th January, two speech slots available.  Saalbau Gallus.


See you there


VP Education & meeting summariser

Watch Out – Change of Venue for our 4th November Meeting

Please note that on 4th November, we will be meeting at a different location: 

Valentino Restaurant, Montgolfier-Allee 6, 60486, Bockenheim, Frankfurt am Main

Our usual start time applies: meet at 19.15, start at 19.30.  

Meetings end between 21.15 and 21.30.

See you there.  

Ben, (Vice President Education).  

ps, we will also be at Valentino’s for our christmas meeting on 16th December

Meeting Summary from 21st October 2015


The only proper way to eliminate bad habits is to replace them with good ones.  Jerome Hines.



As predicted in our last meeting summary, the autumn is a time of transition that leads to growth.  We had a very large turn out for this meeting, with 15 members and 5 guests.  The entire club committee was present, as everyone is back in town and firing on all cylinders.


The meeting opened with a 2 minute business topic, delivered by Ben.  The subject: practical advise for getting rid of nerves before giving a presentation.  

We then heard three speeches from the communication manuals. Bertalan spoke on the subject of linking ideas together to regenerate your memory of an event of a place.  Mirja spoke about how to work through the communication and leadership tracks of the Toastmasters’ programme, and derive the most fun from it.  Finally Chu Ping amazingly just stood up and delivered an impromptu speech, as one of our scheduled speakers was absent.  She demonstrated the best way to ensure a positive result, by creating a speech that turns around a personal story.  



Impromptu speaking, Table Topics, was presented by Asli, tempting her speakers to speak for two minutes on a given topic.  Klaus and Tobias demonstrated their depth of experience speaking extemporaneously, but our highest admiration was reserved for our guest, Ming, who demonstrated skills of calmness and rhetorical techniques, such as humour and good structuring.  



Every good speech has a better speech hidden somewhere inside it.  Our evaluators gave 3 minute spoken feedback, plus written feedback in the speakers speech manuals.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA



A Toastmasters meeting is in great just an opportunity to practice skills of presentation, rhetoric, and leadership that can be taken out into the real world of business, conversation, and influencing people.  

We try to learn something new each time.  Here are some observations from our General Evaluator Olaf, plus other observations on the night.  


Set up and organisation were great.  Guests were welcomed and involved.  Roll holders performed with care and attention to create a good support team for our Toastmaster Running the Evening, Eleonore.  

It would be great if we could find a better way to hang the banner, rather than on the coat stand.  What is the purpose of a special word of the day (for speakers to use, think about, develop), if no one really uses it? Is word of the day a distraction to focused speech delivery?


For our TME Eleonore it was the first time to run a Toastmasters meeting.  She did it with panache, style, and grace.  Thanks Eleonore, you were great.

Club News

Club President Moritz announced the two vacancies for the committee, Vice Presidents Membership and Public Relations.  Christian S was elected in absentia to the VP PR roll.  Our thanks go to Chirstian for being willing to bring his great ideas to the club.

Candidates for VP Membership were sought, and the search goes on in the next few weeks.  The benefits include building your own experience and talents, supporting the running of the club, and gaining credits to your leadership awards.

A TED-like event, “Open Stage”, will take place in Russelsheim on 7th November.  See our Facebook page for information.

Taunus Toastmasters in Bad Homburg: a new TM club.  Ben attended the first ever meeting  last week. The next meeting is on Tuesday 27th October, and we would like experienced toastmasters to attend to give the club impetus and weight.  Information is also on our FB site.


Next meetings

4th November, TME Petros, 3 speakers announced.

18th November, TME Bertalan, 3 speakers announced.

2nd December, TME Asli, 1 speaker announced, 2 available speaking opportunities remain.

16th December, TME Ben, This is our christmas meeting, and will take place in a  restaurant.  Already 1 speaker is announced, 2 available speaking opportunities remain.

Meeting summary from 7th October, 2015


“Power, Passion, Purpose.” Martin Brown.




With 12 members and 2 guests, attendance was in line with expected.  The September / October period is when old members terminate membership, as they move jobs, cities or add to their families, and we we start to get an influx of new members.  Managing our recruitment of new members is an important part of our success.  Today, one of our guests, Ilona, became a member. 


We had 3 speeches, by Geoffrey, project 2 (organise your speech), titled Driven by Distraction.  By Asli, project 9 (Persuade with Power), titled Should Prostitution be Legalised.  And by Ben, project 5, (Body Language), titled Neuroplasticity – the brain is a muscle.


Every speaker improves through immediate direct feedback.  Tonight’s evaluators were Petros, Radu, and Olaf.  Evaluation should always first, encourage; and second, develop.  These are the two foundations of effective feedback  And our 3 evaluators showed they too have grown these capabilities, and are ready to pass them on by providing feedback that both encouraged the speaker’s spirit, and developed the speaker’s skills.    


Table Topics impromptu speaking was lead by Martin, in a two person, 1 minute debate format.  A great change of approach, and well chosen topics allowed us to do well, while having fun.   Speakers were: Ben, Olaf, Ilona, Geoffrey, Christopher, and Petros.  Well done all.



Every meeting allows us to learn what went well, and where we can improve.  Our general Evaluator Iris provided the following reflections, amongst those gathered from elsewhere.


Our Toastmasters of the Evening (master of ceremonies) Olaf was experienced and calm, and so inspired confidence.  

Next time it would be beneficial to explain the roles for the benefit of guests and first time role holders.

Evaluators: stand up and speak from the front of the room.  Establish your presence on stage, and your authority in front of the group.

Table Topics: was presented with power, passion, & purpose.  Well done Martin.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


Area and Division contest results can be found on our Face Book site, as well as this website.  The Division contest winner in each category will go to the District Conference in Prague in November.

eV, Eingetragen Verein.  We are on the home straight towards full eV status, and the cost saving benefits it brings us for room rental. Well done Barbara for your recent follow up work.

Committee position changes.  Much to our regret, two committee members are stepping down due to work commitments changing.  Jörg has stepped down as VP Membership, and Bertalan as VP Puiblic Relations.   An election for 2 new committee members will be held at the next club meeting.  All members are eligible.  Benefits are both to support the club in its organisational success, and to develop your leadership, organisation, planning, and execution skills.

Next Meetings

21st October – all speakers are announced, as is the TME (Toastmaster of the Evening), Eleonore.

4th November – 1 speaker slot is available.  TME Petros.  NB venue change – Valentino’s restaurant.

18th November – 3 speakers are signed up and ready! TME Bertalan.

2nd December – 3 speaker slots are available. TME Asli.

16th December – 1 speaker slot remains available.  TME Ben. NB venue change – Valentino’s restaurant.

Area F4 Fall Contest Results

Dear Area F4 Club Teams,

it is my pleasure to inform you about the winners of today´s Area F4 Fall contest:

Humorous Speech English
1st Place: Peter Smith, Esprit de Corps
2nd Place: Abhishek Vyas, Esprit de Corps
3rd Place: Benjamin Jüttner, Rhetorik Club

Table Topics English
1st Place: Neha Attri, Esprit de Corps
2nd Place: Abhishek Vyas, Esprit de Corps
3rd Place: Cezar Ilea, Business Club

Humorous Speech German 

1st Place: Benjamin Jüttner, Rhetorik Club (only first place announced)

Table Topics German
1st Place: Franziska Wiebel, Rhetorik Club (only first place announced)

A great, big THANK YOU to all Contestants, Judges, Timers, Sergeant at Arms and Ballot Counters and to my Co-Contest-Chair who participated and supported in this contest !

Best regards

Area Governor, Mirja I.

Contest Summary, 16th September 2015



Competition comes to Toastmasters clubs twice a year.  First, the International Speech and Evaluation contests (spring), then Humorous Speech and Impromptu Speaking contests (autumn).  

Many newer clubs don’t get it together enough to hold competitions, but for the Business Club Toastmasters (Frankfurt), this is our 3rd consecutive and highly successful event.

Contestant for Humorous speech was Cezar, who came dressed for business in his evening wear, black tie, white shirt.  Table Topics impromptu speaking had a line up of three – Moritz, Cezar, and Natalie.

And the result are: Humorous speech: 1st Cezar


Table Topics : 1st Moritz, 2nd Natalie.   






After the competitions, Ben ran an impromptu speaking training session for all participants.  The format was not the usual one.  Members & guests spent 5 minutes devising a story of 50 to 150 words, then we each volunteered to recount our stories to the group.  As a result, every single person in the room had a speaking opportunity. 



The first and second placed winners can compete at area level contest, this Saturday in Frankfurt.  All are welcome to attend to join us at the Saalbau, Niederrad, (Goldsteinstrasse 33, 60528 Frankfurt-Niederrad).  Meeting details can be found here.


Next meetings

7th & 21st October, in Saalbau Gallus.


Ben, VP Education.