Ben Parsons

Club Election Meeting, 1st June 2016

We have a new committee, who will take office on July 1st, but who are already ready to start.

Here are the photos from the evening.

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Committee 2016/2017

Andrei, Ben, Oliver, David, Baira, Andy, Craig, Radu, Moritz

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Meeting Photos 18th May 2016

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District Conference Warsaw, November 2016 Now Open for Registration

Registration is now open for the Toastmasters District 95 Fall Conference being held in Warsaw on November 25 / 26.

Here is a link to the registration page http://fall2016.d95conf.org/register

Please note, each person has to register themselves, it is not possible to register more than one person at a time. Also there are only a limited number of early bird tickets available.

Area Contest Photos

Twice a year we hold competitions.  In spring, it is the International Speech contest and the Evaluation contest.

Here are the photos from the Frankfurt area (F4) event held in Gallus Warte last night.

 

       

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Contest Meeting 6th April, Guests Welcome (as always)

Wednesday 6th April is given over to the Area F4 Contest which our club will host on behalf of the Frankfurt area.

We will have the usual venue, the usual great quality of speeches, but the format will be that of a competition, including speakers from Business Club and Esprit de Corps and possibly the Rhetorik club too.

Today there will be the International Speech contest and the Evaluation contest.

Guests are welcome as always. Just arrive 10 minutes before the meeting starts.

Meeting Summary 2nd March 2016

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Maxim

Eighty percent of life is showing up.  Woody Allen

or: Eighty percent of success is showing up.  

Attendance

The meeting room, was full with 16 members and 5 guests.  All our guest are special, but this time we had an extra special visitor – Charlotte, an experienced Toastmaster from the Wiesbaden club, who gave a workshop on Evaluation Skills.  More about that later.    

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Communication

There were two prepared speeches.  One from the ten project basic manual: project 8, practice using visual aids, by Iris.  And one from an advanced speech manual: Interpersonal Communication, project 1: conversing with ease.  This was given by our most recent CC, Bertalan.  

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Every speech can get better through constructive feedback.  Extensive and valuable feedback was presented by Oliver and Geoffrey.  

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Impromptu speaking is a necessary skill in business and in social situations.  Olaf invited 5 members to speak for two minutes on a subject of his choice.  

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The subjects ranged from an Oscar Speech being elected President of the United States.  Three members and two guests took this chance to speak – practice leads to perfection.  They were David, Birgit, Geoffrey, Anna, and Lisa.

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Our special guest workshop was given by Charlotte.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

She outlined the structure of an evaluation contest, and gave a series of tips for how a person can prepare for a contest.  This is timely, as our next meeting, on 16th March, will include our club Evaluation competition.

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Organisation

Every meeting is a test ground to practice and improve.  Our General Evaluator, Ben, made the following suggestions.

Acquire a portable flip chart

Acquire a power cable extension so that the projector can be used at the front of the room.  

At the theatre, figures in black clothing move props and scenery around between acts.  The audience expects this necessary rearranging.  It clears the stage for the upcoming scene.  After a TM speech, left over props distract the audience and the next speaker.  The TME should stop the meeting, supervise clean up, then restart the event.  

Evaluations: both our evaluators went over the usual 3 minutes 30 seconds timeframe.  Here is a strategy for a concise evaluation: one minute, all the positive comments you have.  Two minutes, all the constructive points you have to suggest.  (Realistically, you can only cover 3 items in two minutes.)  30 seconds buffer time.  There you have it: 3 minutes 30 seconds, a strategy for a concise, powerful evaluation.  

TME – delegate simple tasks, such as greeting guests, so you can focus your mind on executing the upcoming programme.

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Club News

  • Club contest (International Speech; Evaluation) 16 March
  • Extra club meeting: 30 March
  • Area contests english 6 April
  • Area contests german 14 April
  • Division contest (Karlsruhe) 23 april
  • District Conference (Timisoara, Roumania) 13-15 May 

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To compete in the Spring or Fall TM contests, you need to be a paid up member.  Additionally, for the International Speech contest, you need to have completed 6 speeches.

Send a message to Club contest organiser Barbara, or VP Education Ben, to take a judges, timer, counter roll, or to be a contestant.

Guests are always welcome. Send us a message, or just turn up.  See you next time.

Meeting summariser, Ben.  

 

Meeting Summary, 17th February, 2016

Maxim

“The most important kind of learning (is that) in which quantity changes to a new quality … not the mere accumulation of knowledge, useful as this may be.”  Moshe Feldenkrais

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Attendance

Christmas seems to have come early, with 15 members and 11 guests.  3 of our guests completed their membership forms and handed them in to our Membership Secretary Isabelle.  

Communication

Meetings with such a size always have high energy, and this lends energy to excellence, as we run through the parts of the meeting.  

When three scheduled speakers dropped out in the last week, two in the last 24 hours, our two speakers tonight signed up and prepared their speeches in the 24 hours preceding the meeting.  It says a lot about our developing skills, and our courage, to be able to do that.  Well done Asli and Ranja.    

Asli spoke from the advanced Persuasive Speaking manual, whilst Ranja also gave an advanced speech, from The Folk Tale manual. 

Evaluations help our speakers improve, and let a person improve their own analysis, preparation and delivery techniques in giving feedback.  Our evaluators were David, giving his first ever club evaluation, and Iris.

Impromptu speaking, Table Topics, was run by Geoffrey, who gave the four volunteers physical objects, about which to speak for up to two minutes.

Ben shared his knowledge with the audience on the subject of Mentoring and Coaching, in the “180 seconds” workshop.  

Organisation

Olaf, who ran our meeting as Toastmaster of the Evening, led a high quality meeting.  He dealt with issues flawlessly and invisibly.  He deserves a lot of praise for the smooth competence he demonstrated.  

Nevertheless, our general evaluation helps us take the good parts of the meeting, and make them better. 

Points included:

Late cancellations of planned speeches places a burden on the organiser (TME).  Please honour your commitment, and if you need to drop out, find a replacement speaker for yourself as the first attempted action.  

180 seconds on a business topic – don’t expect enthusiasm to be enough to win hearts, but end this type of short speech with a call to action or persuasion.  

Purchase a device for hanging our banner more elegantly than ‘on the coat rack’. 

A 10 minute networking break was a great opportunity to get to know people and meet new guests and established members.  

Add the Timer roll to the agenda.

Club News

Contests, 16th March.  

Send the VP Education, Ben, a message, to be a contestant.  Send Contest Chair, Barbara, a message, to be a judge, counter, timer, sergeant at arms.  

Three new members submitted their forms: Welcome to Anna, Dmitri, and Klaus.

Upcoming meetings

2nd March – TME Barbara

16th March – club competitions (International speech contest, Evaluation contest)

30th March  – extra club meeting to replace the ‘missing’ meetings of 16th March & 6th April

6th April – Area contest – Saalbau Gallus

23d April – Division contest – Karlsruhue

13-15 May – District contest, Timisoara, Roumania 

Meeting Summary, 3rd February 2016

Maxim 

We don’t just want to be good, we want to be better.  Ben, Vice President of Education

Attendance

A Toastmaster meeting is not ‘just for fun’.  It’s a learning experience, and yet our club has its specialty that we DO have fun as we grow and step out of our comfort zone each and every evening.

This evening we had a vibrant meeting with 24 people in the house, including 8 guests. Moritz, our Club President opened the meeting, using techniques of enthusiasm to warm up the audience.

Communication

The business focussed 180-seconds on a topic of relevance to members is a special and new element of our meetings and it was so spontaneous that today, our newest member Baria jumped in and took the first step on her Toastmaster Journey, sharing a 3 minute mini workshop about blogging.

It was just an another great example how supportive environment we have, even brand new members have the courage to speak up in front of a 25-person audience, which we love to see.

Our first prepared speaker, Martin, was introduced by Ranja.  Martin, who is not only a great entertainer, showed us the importance of “control” in a sales talk and we learned WHY we can’t sell a pen but how we could do that. 

Oliver, our next speaker, was introduced by Bertalan. Oliver is an actor and storytelling coach.  Today he made his ‘icebreaker’ speech (the first speaking project for new members) which was not a usual first speech moment as he was already very experienced and we like to see such diversity in our club.

Radu, our Timer, reported the timing results which is always an important objective feedback in order to improve our ability to control our speaking time.

Moritz came up with a challenging Table Topic (impromptu speaking), and made sure that everybody was involved. David, another brand new member, proved his confidence on the stage with emotion. Birgit, a guest, spoke up too and did a very good job. Bertalan, our new Competent Communicator (CC) gave us insights into dealing with neighbours. Wei, Martin and Ben ended the Table Topic session with a creative collaborative speech.

Our “Ah – um” counter Eva gave us a very deep and professional feedback how many filler words we used in our presentations. 

Organisation

Every meeting is a chance to improve, and our general evaluation of the meeting was delivered by Barbara.

Ben, our Toastmaster of the Evening made sure that everything went smooth so we had a good flow of the meeting between the different sections.

Club News

We welcome three new members: Jose, David, Baira.  This brings our membership to 30.

Contests

16 march – club contests

6 April – Area (Frankfurt) contests (English).  Saalbau Gallus.

14 April – Area (Frankfurt) contests (German) Saalbau Gallus.

23 April – Division (Southwest Germany) contests, Karlsruhe.

13-15 May, District (norther Europe) contests, Timisoara, Roumania. 

 

Next meetings

3rd March – TME Barbara.  

30th March – extra meeting, to replace the date lost to the club contest.  Members, sign up for speeches.  

 

Guests are always welcome.  Send us a mail, or just drop in.  

Bertalan – meeting summariser

 

 

Meeting Summary 20th January 2016

Maxim

Start with Why.  Cathrin C.

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Attendance

There is a very close link between the quality of a meeting and the number of participants, and the number of participants and the quality of a meeting.  With 22 participants (60% of our membership, plus 6 guests), it was one of our biggest meetings to date.

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Communication

The Competent Communicator (CC) manual contains 10 speech projects.  Today we heard project 7 (objective: Research your Topic) from Iris, project 9 (objective: Persuade with Power) from Cathrin, and project 10 (objective: Inspire your audience) from Bertalan.  With his 10th speech, Bertalan has achieved his CC award, and can now select 2 advanced manuals to take his speaking skills to a more advanced level.

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Impromptu speaking skills are vital in one’s professional and private life.  4 speakers were brave enough to conquer their fears and spoke for up to 2 minutes on a variety of topics given by the Table Topics Master tonight, Petros.  The brave speakers who expanded their zones of comfort speaking off the cuff were Benjamin, Ben, Ranja, and Yuei.

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Evaluation helps the speakers improve.  Today’s evaluators were our new transfer member Eva, who gave very generous, sensitive, and constructive feedback to Cathrin.   Radu who shone with his insight and positivity for Iris.  And Christian Kellerman, who we welcome back after a long gap (his daughter will be one on Friday), whose evaluation was well crafted and weighted for Bertalan.

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Organisation

The meeting was well run by the Toastmaster of the Evening (TME) Asli, in large part because all the meeting rolls were filled and the roll holders were aware of what they had to do, and so the meeting ran smoothly and professionally.

Being satisfied with Good leads to stagnation.  Better is our goal.  To achieve this, we evaluate the entire meeting.  Today’s observations about excellence, and learning points for future implementation include:

Evaluators: don’t just introduce the speaker, but create curiosity in the audience to enhance the whole event.

Impromptu speaking: use the time before you start speaking to imagine a speech goal or a structure for your 2 1/2 minutes on stage.  It will be worth it.

Timing – ask the timer to time the General Evaluator and Grammarian rolls, to keep to the overarching goal of delivering the meeting on time.

Is it time to invest in a flip chart from the club funds?

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Club News

We welcomed two new members: Ranja & Eva.

Our newest CC, Competent Communcator, was recognised: Bertalan.  This is our 2nd CC in two meetings, and together they help achieve 1 point of the 10 Distinguished Club Program (DCP) points.

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Area News

Our club is part of a larger organisation, the Area of Frankfurt, where there are 4 clubs, including the new Taunus Toastmasters in Bad Homburg.  In turn, there is a Divisional zone, covering south west Germany.  On 31st January the second Open Stage speaking event will take place, in Darmstadt.  This is a Divisional event.  Speakers, introducers, and other roll holders can develop their skills on a bigger stage, and outside of the comfort of their own club.  Dare to speak.

Upcoming Meetings

3rd February: TME: Ben.  Saalbau Gallus, Room 4 or 5 (entry through the car park).

17th February: TME: Olaf.  Saalbau Gallus, Room 4 or 5 (entry through the car park).

2nd March: TME: Barbara.

16th March: Club contests (International Speech Contest & Evaluation Contest).

30 March: Extra meeting to replace the meeting of 16th March.

6th April: Area contest, hosted by Business Club Frankfurt.

Meeting Summary 6th January 2016

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Maxim

A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new. Albert Einstein

Attendance

Usually the new year meeting has low attendance.  Yet we had a full house.  14 members, 6 guests.  It resulted in a great fun atmosphere, which is optimal for activating the learning zone of our brains.

Communication

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Eleonore presented an advanced speech from the Humorous speeches project manual.  Humour is a very difficult topic to present, and Eleonore stretched herself well in undertaking this 2nd project from the manual.  Asli gave her 10th speech from the basic manual, thus earning her Competent Communicator award.

Table Topics was based on Tarot characters.  Iris presented the topic clearly, and her four volunteer speakers all gained valuable impromptu speaking experience through their engagement. Well done, Oliver, Isabelle, Ranja, and Chu Ping.

Evaluations allow speakers to improve their ‘product’.  Today’s evaluators were Martin and Olaf who both fulfilled the 2 primary objectives of evaluation: to encourage and to educate.  In addition, evaluators should make sure to summarise their main points.  This allows the listener to integrate the  points, and also meets the requirments of evaluation competitions (15% of the competition scoring is on the summary)

Organisation

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Every meeting should be fun and educational, and to achieve that, we need to review our performance.  The General Evaluator mentioned the following points of interest.

TME – judge how much time you take for yourself with your ideas and messages, and how much time you will give to the scheduled speakers.  Be parsimonious with your comments.  This reflects Iris’s General Evaluation from some 3 months ago.

It was great to remember, and schedule in, the 180 second business topic educational, to replace Word and Joke of the Day. This gives our club a distinctive style.

Run through the agenda verbally at the start, allowing the guests to learn what we will do, allowing roll holders a mini-speech opportunity, and allowing you to identify any holes in the agenda before the meeting starts.

Club News

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Congratulations to Asli, who gave her 10th speech and thus gained her Competent Communicator award.

Evaluation and International speech competitions will be held on the following dates:

  • Club competition – 16 March
  • Area competition – TBA
  • Division F competition – 23rd April, Karlsruhe
  • District competition -13-15 May, Timisoara, Roumania

Next Meetings

Our next 4 meetings already have TMEs in place.

  • 20 January, TME Asli.  3 speeches planned.
  • 3rd February, TME Ben, 2 speeches planned.
  • 17th February, TME Olaf, 2 speeches planned & 1 educational.
  • 2nd March, TME Barbara.  3 speaker slots available.

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