March 1, 2019 Comments off

COMPETITION EVENING                                                         by TS

Meeting of February 25 2019

It was the meeting for the club level competitions in the disciplines: Speech-Evaluation, Table Topics and Speech.
For the Speech-Evaluation the Target-Speech was presented by Benjamin, from our sister (daughter?) club Top Notch Toastmasters. His topic: “Is Technology good for the world?”
Five evaluators: Teodora, Mila, Stefan, Wilko and Lars competed.
Table Topics Master, Ramya’s question was: “You are Melania and you tell your husband Donald to get rid of his irritating habits.” The answers brought some laughter in an otherwise serious evening.
Stefan, Wilko, Aline, Lars and Mila entered the speech contest with speeches on
TM favourite topics about visions and dreams that we should have and pursue.
The winners were: Lars for Evaluation and Table Topics and Mila for the best speech.
Lars and Mila will compete at the area contests on March 23rd , don’t miss it!
Next meeting March 11, 2019.

Last thought: How I miss the humorous speech contest from yonder days!

Pictures of the attendees and the competitors.


Categories: Uncategorized

February Blossom by Theo

February 17, 2019 Comments off

Meeting of February 11, 2019

It was a cold, windy and snowy Monday evening in February when 20+ Toastmasters, including four guests, met at the Werdguet restaurant for an evening of public speaking practice and fun. Frances, the TME, lead us through the meeting with a full TM program with five (!) speeches/evaluations. The word of the day “blossom” was a good motivational motto.
Max started the speeches and introduced us to “sequential experimental design” and new developments in statistics. Very interesting and challenging: well done, Max.
Maria found the inspiration for her speech during a walk along the lake and came to thinking and speaking about the different styles of leadership: autocratic, laissez-fare and democratic.
Aisling had also been walking but in some else’s shoes and she recommended us to be open for other people’s views and to feel good about yourself.
Stefan philosophised about how love, hate and boredom can become a habit.
Zurri told us the horror story of her first trial at paragliding and how she survived the crash landing because she did not panic.
Five very different but all very interesting speeches; Aisling was voted “best speaker”
Aline’s table topics was inspired by last weeks Superbowl event or rather by the TV- commercials during the break. Her “victims” were to make commercials for a.o. Ajax cleaner, skin lotion or ID-cards. Lars was voted the best TT speaker.
Prospective new member Alicia volunteered for ah- and vote counting and Mila was voted the best evaluator.
All in all a very pleasant meeting and my special compliments to Frances for a well run meeting and finishing in time. It was a good demonstration of Toastmaster skills in practice.

PS: next meeting Feb. 25, Club contests…don’t miss it!

Categories: Uncategorized

Storytelling Workshop (by Aline)

February 5, 2019 Comments off

Last week our president Teodora Rudolph gave a workshop about storytelling at our club. Our evening was filled with epic tales and stories about mundane life situations which have never been as captivating as then. Throughout the evening Teodora presented two techniques for storytelling and there were plenty of opportunities for us to practice. Especially the Zeigarnik effect is an easy way to bring a message across which I did not know before. As with every Toastmaster session I was able to learn a lot from my fellow Toastmasters. I didn’t know, that there were so many mountain climbers among us or who is the strongest, and which of us has a hidden sales talent. All in all it was a great evening and I’m very much looking forward to the next one!

Gilgamesh and Storytelling (by Teodora Rudolph)

November 21, 2018 Comments off

The Gilgamesh epic is the oldest narrative of mankind. Gilgamesh is the first hero of literature. The epic was created 2.5 thousand years B.C., it was put down on clay tablets as early as 1700 years B.C., a thousand years before Homer! For several thousand years the story of Gilgamesh was told and retold and then fell into oblivion. For over a thousand years, no one remembered Gilgamesh. Until, in 1870, some clay tablets were excavated in Iraq and the epic of Gilgamesh was pieced together. Gilgamesh and his search for eternal life have been resurrected. Apparently, the quest for eternal youth is in itself eternal!

The hero: Gilgamesh

The figure is based on a real historical figure, on the king of Uruk in Mesopotamia, in today’s Iraq. He is 1/3 man, 2/3 God. Gilgamesh is the the ideal human being: strong, courageous, wise and beautiful.

The shadow and the status quo
Gilgamesh is arrogant and is feared by his people. Although he is godlike in body and spirit, he reigns in his kingdom as a cruel despot. The people of Uruk turn to the gods and ask for salvation from Gilgamesh.

The Nemesis: Enkidu
The gods listen to the people and decide to keep Gilgamesh at bay by creating a rival named Enkidu. He is to go to Uruk and challenge Gilgamesh. Enkidu is a wild man, he is more animal than human and is intimately connected to the animal kingdom. He frees all the animals from the traps, which enrages the hunters, who then turn to the gods for help. The gods send a harlot to tame Enkidu with her love-maklng. After 7 hot nights and days, Enkidu has become so tame that by the time he arrives at Gilgamesh’s doorstep, he is so timid and gentle that instead of challenging him, he befriends him.

Ally and new Nemesis
Enkidu becomes Gilgamesh’s companion, brother and ally. Together they celebrate many heroic deeds and victories. They slay many monsters which turns the wrath of the gods on them. The highlight is the killing of the Bull of Heaven. This is what happened: the goddess of love and war Isthar offers herself to Gilgamesh as a wife. He rejects her pointing out how she has destroyed the lives of her former lovers. In rage, Isthar unleashes the Bull of heaven upon Uruk. The bull comes down from heaven to bring seven years of famine upon the people of Uruk. Enkidu and Gilgamesh kill him, however: Enkidu grabs him by the horns and Gilgamesh slays his head with his sword. The gods have had enough of the pair, that was not the plan, they decide to kill Enkidu. After 12 days of agonizing illness, Enkidu is dead.

The cave
Gilgamesh is broken and falls into a deep sorrow. Not only has he lost his friend and ally, he is also confronted with his own mortality. This makes him afraid and he decides to go on a quest for eternal life.

The mentor: Utnapishtim
Gilgamesh goes to Utnapishtim who lives at the end of the world. Utnapishtim has become immortal after surviving a huge flood. Utnapishtim tells Gilgamesh the history of the Flood: the gods wanted to destroy the human race as an act of punishment for misbehaviour, but on second thought decided to have mankind survive. One of the gods therefore warned Utnapishtim and helped him build a huge boat, where his family and the seeds of every living creature was brought in. When the water finally came down, Utnapishtim was rewarded with eternal life.

The Ordeal
Utnapishtim tells Gilgamesh about a magic plant which can be found in a deep channel at the bottom of the sea, a plant that restores youth. Gilgamesh sets off and finds the plant. Instead of eating from it though, he decides to return to Uruk and share it with his people. On the way back a snake emerges from a well and steals the plant. The snake eats from the magic plant, sheds its old skin and becomes young again.

The return and the transformation
Gilgamesh returns empty-handed to Uruk, crushed and broken. But he has also lost his arrogance. He knows now that he is mortal, that he will not live forever; but he also knows that mankind itself lives beyond each individual and is for all practical purposes eternal.

Can you replicate this story structure with a content of your own? If you do, you have created a hero’s journey!

Cross-club debate against UBS Rhetoric Club

November 21, 2018 Comments off

On November 5th, 2018, in the spirit of facilitating cross-club communication, we held a friendly debate against UBS. They won, and we won in terms of the emotional experience. This is one of these things in life that are always win-win!

Thanks to Thomas Schnitzer for the excellent organisation!20181105_214431

Categories: Fun, Guests, Uncategorized

The Backroom Boys (and Girls) by Theo

June 18, 2015 Comments off

Meeting of  June 8th, 2015 at the Werdguet restaurant

The meeting took place in the restaurant backroom with entrance through the kitchen. It was crowded and had a special ambiance, but cozy and successful.

President Zurri opened the meeting with a forceful blow of the gavel and this in spite of the sling on her injured left arm; the result of a hang gliding mishap. We all know that Zurri is a high-flyer and wish her a quick recuperation.

Andreas S. had his premiere as Toastmaster of the Evening and he made a fine job of it with excellent time management.

We had four prepared speeches:

– David O.’     with “Break Free”,                 CCManual # 3

– Ivan D.         with “Less meat, more life”,  CCManual # 9

– Shane M.      with “Break the Ice”,            The Entertaining Speech manual # 1

– Aine NM.     with “Summer Lovin”,           CCManual # 3

All speeches were motivating and high-quality with good advice for a happier and more successful life. Shane was voted the best speaker with his story about how he conquered his beautiful wife with the help of foot aerobics and breaking the ice.

Florian  D. was the Master of Table Topics . He presented challenging and humorous situations around the FIFA scandal. Sheik Manuel won the TT’s by playing the role of the Qatar representative.

The Evaluation session was firmly and skilfully led by Elia D. The high light was Frances’ statement that she missed the “ha ha humour”.   Don’t we all sometimes?

The next meeting is the traditional Zurich Toastmasters Summer Event on Monday June 22nd.

We’ll make a historical city tour followed by a dinner.

Meet 18:15h at the Pestalozzi statue in front of Globus. Do not miss it!

Categories: Uncategorized

Roman and Three Ancients by Theo

February 11, 2015 Comments off

February 2nd 2015

Even though three of the four prepared speeches were cancelled at very short notice it was again a great session of the Zurich Toastmaster Club. Intensive effort by the VPEd, Florian, and the TMoE, Marina R., saved the program: three veteran speakers volunteered and each presented a fine speech with very little preparation. Zurri our charming president opened the business session and I almost could not believe my ears: Zurri spoke without a single filler or hesitation. It seemed like a small wonder of almost biblical dimension. Thanks are due to Magda’s magic power and strict Ah-counting regime.

Marina, our creative queen from Einsiedeln, moderated the meeting professionally and with charm. The first speaker was Roman F. with his icebreaker “Hallo, it’s me”. We got to know a sympathetic and potentially keen new member from the Grison canton.

Veteran nr. 1, Theo, plans to repeat the CC manual assignments and presented a 3rd version of his icebreaker. His timing leaves room for improvement. Veteran nr. 2, Manual, preached financial restraint in a speech titled: “Stop acting rich”.

Veteran Toastmaster Allison spoke about our use and not use of clothes and gave a demo of how to sew on a button.

Table Topic Master Mila tested our impromptu speaking skills with some challenging questions such as: “If you are a woman, how do you think it would be to be a man” (for Aine) and reversed “If you are a man, how do you think it would be to be a woman” (for Florian).

The vote for the best speaker was won by Manuel, Florian’s humour won the Table Topics and Roland did a superb job as General Evaluator and thus was rewarded with the best evaluator ribbon.

Dates to remember: March 2nd club Speech and Evaluation contest, April 13th Area Spring Contest Speech and Evaluation Contest.

Next meeting: Monday February 16th.

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