Journeying Together: Highlights from the last Toastmasters Meeting, March 26th

Fellow Toastmasters and welcome guests,

At today’s travel-themed meeting, we embarked on an unforgettable odyssey. Alice, our President, welcomed everyone with enthusiasm, reflecting on the clubs success in the district contest before setting the stage for an evening of exploration and discovery.

Gabriele, stepping into the role of Toastmaster for the first time, guided us through the agenda with confidence and grace. Vassilis also made his debut, taking on the timing responsibilities with precision, marking today’s session as a significant milestone for both.

The word of the day, “odyssey,” chosen by our Grammarian Kevin, perfectly captured the spirit of our gathering and the journeys our speakers shared.

Speeches, evaluations and table topics

Our speakers, DenisseAaronThomas, and Innocent, took us on diverse and captivating journeys. From Denisse’s exploration of how for her the poems from Robert Burns are linked to income inequality and global warming to Aaron’s vibrant revisit of his speech on Ikigai a month ago, Thomas’s reflections on our choice in the choice of our communication style, and Innocent’s insights into the power of words, each speech was a beautiful journey in itself. 

The feedback sessions, led by evaluators YaniZsoltMichelle, and Elias, provided constructive insights, helping our speakers navigate their paths to improvement.

Karina’s Table Topics session was an impromptu speaking adventure in to the land of deep thinking, challenging participants to think and speak on their feet based on quotes from famous philosophers. SlawekRoland,  BenAnton, and Mathieu put their own take on philosophy to the test.


As we concluded, Sabina, our General Evaluator, and Alice offered final remarks and awards, reflecting on the successes of our meeting’s journey. Thomas, Elias and Slawek won in their respective categories – well done!

A heartfelt thank you to everyone, especially Gabriele and Vassilis for their debut roles, for making this meeting a memorable odyssey. Here’s to many more journeys together in the spirit of Toastmasters.

Safe travels on your speaking journey,

Richard Bruckner
Please click here for details of our next club meeting

Richard Bruckner

🌍 Toastmasters Meeting Announcement: “Travel” ✈️

Embark on a journey of exploration and discovery with us at our upcoming Toastmasters meeting, themed “Travel.” This session is your ticket to experiencing the world through the art of storytelling and public speaking.

Date: March 26th
Time: 6.45pm
Location: zum Königsstuhl
Theme: “Travel”

Explore With Us:

  • Voyages in Speech: Members will share their most memorable travel stories, insights gained from different cultures, and the personal growth experienced through their journeys.
  • Table Topics: Navigate through impromptu speaking challenges that will whisk you away to far-off destinations.
  • Feedback Odyssey: Engage in evaluations that help every speaker map out their path to improvement.

Featured Quote: “I have found out there is no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” – Mark Twain, probably after a particularly challenging road trip with friends.

Whether you’re an avid traveler or simply dream of visiting distant lands, this meeting is for anyone inspired by the power of exploration. Join us for an evening where every speech is a journey, and every story opens a door to new worlds.

🌐 Set sail with us on a Toastmasters adventure that promises to expand your horizons. Your passport to public speaking and leadership awaits!

Exploring space colonization: a Toastmasters debate evening on March 19th

Dear fellow Zuriberg Toastmasters, 

This week, we returned to our beloved hall in Zum Königsstuhl (aka the former Blue Monkey) for a debate evening on the motion: “This house believes that we should colonize another planet.”

The debate

The proposition team, composed of Nicola and Pietro, argued passionately, inspiring us to emulate our forefathers who set foot on the moon and urged us to “think big”!

Conversely, the opposition team, consisting of Aaron and Elias, believed that our focus should be on addressing Earth’s problems, such as poverty. They criticized the proposition team for diverting attention from these pressing issues, contending, “They bring dreams; we bring facts.”

Joran, the Debate Chair, effectively maintained discipline by managing the timing allocated to each speaker, which facilitated a productive discussion. At the end, Tatyana, our General Evaluator provided critical feedback on the debate which will enable us to be even better next time!

The table topics

After a delightful meal, Samira transported us to another universe with her inspiring questions that ignited unique stories: Thomas shared his discovery of Thomas’ Planet, Micheleelucidated the differences between men and women, Vassillis demonstrated his laser gun prowess, and myself, Kevin described his transition to becoming a space slave owner. Thomasclinched the victory ribbon!

The evening concluded with us putting theory into practice by applying our newly acquired skills in a practical session, debating the ballot process. Congratulations to the opposition team for winning the debate!

What is next? 

We hope you enjoy another adventure in our Club and eagerly anticipate our next regular meetings:

  • On the 26th March, the theme of the evening will be “’Travel’ and will be orchestrated by Gabriele
  • On the 9th April, the theme will be “Artificial” and the TME is wanted! 

(The two evenings will take place in Zum Königsstuhl).

Get ready to dive into the worlds of ‘Travel’ and ‘Artificial’ at our next gatherings!

Warmest Regards, 

Kevin von Niederhäuser,

VP Membership Zuriberg TMC
Please click here for details of our next club meeting

🌌 Toastmasters Debate Night Announcement: “Should We Live on Another Planet?” 🪐

Mark your calendars for an out-of-this-world Debate Night at Toastmasters! Engage in a thought-provoking discussion on the potential and implications of colonizing other planets.

Date: March 19th
Time: 6.45pm
Location: Zum Königsstuhl, Stüssihofstatt 3
Debate Topic: “Should We Live on Another Planet?”

Event Highlights:

  • Dynamic Debate: Participate in or witness a lively debate on whether humanity should seek to inhabit other planets. Explore the technological, ethical, and environmental considerations of extraterrestrial colonization.
  • Constructive Evaluations: Benefit from insightful feedback aimed at refining your debating and public speaking skills.

Featured Quote: “It is not enough for us to just exist; it is time for us to move beyond survival to thrive.” – Carl Sagan

This debate promises to be an engaging exploration of one of the most pressing questions of our time. Whether you’re a space enthusiast, a sustainability advocate, or simply curious, join us for an evening of compelling arguments and galaxy-sized ideas.

🚀 Prepare for liftoff to a night of rigorous reasoning and stellar speeches. Let’s navigate the vast expanse of this topic together!

Flourishing at Zuriberg Toastmasters: A Recap – Meeting March 12th

Dear fellow Zuriberg Toastmasters, 

In the heart of vibrant Langstrasse, nestled within the dynamic confines of L200, we experienced another enjoyable evening last night. The venue, adorned with a unique stage setup featuring spotlights and a microphone, promised to elevate our speakers to new heights, fostering an atmosphere ripe for flourishing.

Under the moderation of our Toastmaster Joanna, the meeting embraced a spirit of growth and development, seamlessly matching the flourishing theme of the day.

Speakers Highlights

The meeting commenced with an engaging Icebreaker speech by Vassilis titled “Thank you, but who am I?” as part of the Engaging Humor segment. Vassilis set the tone for the evening with humor and insight, captivating the audience with his introduction.

Rafael took the stage to deliver his speech titled “At Least It Flies” as part of the Presentation Mastery segment. He delved into the art of receiving feedback by drawing parallels to Gaudi’s resilience in the face of criticism and sharing his personal experience from the architect school. Rafael emphasized the importance of discerning between constructive feedback and mere criticism—a crucial aspect of personal and professional growth.

Fereshteh presented “Poetry” as part of the Leadership Development session. By incorporating feedback into her speech, she exemplified the transformative power of reworking and refining one’s ideas—a testament to the flourishing potential within each of us.

Gabriel addressed “The elephant in the room” in the Strategic Relationships segment. With strategic finesse, Gabriel demonstrated the correlation of AI, human cognition, and the importance of formulating messages within a positive frame. A reminder that, once we think of the pink elephant in the room, the pink elephant will always be somewhere there.

The art of evaluations

Our evaluators including Karina, Etienne, Zsolt, and Christina led by our General Evaluator Selin and her team, provided valuable feedback in a constructive, energetic and empowering way, fostering an environment conducive to learning and development. Aaron served as the Grammarian, ensuring linguistic precision, while Joran managed the Ah & Vote Counting, maintaining the flow of the meeting while Alessandro expertly kept track of time! Etienne with his story-telling evaluation took the best evaluation trophy home.

Denisse led the Table Topics session, encouraging participants to think on their feet and express themselves spontaneously on awkwardness. Rafael’s insightful response earned him the first prize, highlighting the club’s commitment to fostering creativity and quick thinking.

As we reflect on the evening’s proceedings, one thing is clear: at Zuriberg Toastmasters, the stage is set for flourishing in all its forms, and the journey ahead is brimming with possibilities.

What is on the horizon 

We finally transition back to Blue Monkey Zum Königsstuhl with a dynamic start!

19th March – our yearly debate with Joran as TME

26th March – regular meeting with theme travel – TME wanted 

Kind Regards

Vanessa Stournari

President Zuriberg TMC
Please click here for details of our next club meeting

🌸 Toastmasters Meeting Announcement: “Flourishing” 🌼

Join us for an inspiring evening as we celebrate the theme of “Flourishing” at our upcoming Toastmasters meeting. This special session is dedicated to personal growth, vibrant expression, and the budding potential within us all.

Date: March 12th
Time: 6.45pm
Location: L200

Agenda Highlights:

  • Inspirational Speeches: Immerse yourself in stories of growth and achievement from our members.
  • Evaluations: Participate in or witness constructive feedback that nurtures our speaking skills.
  • Table Topics: Challenge your quick thinking with impromptu speaking opportunities that reflect our theme of flourishing.

Featured Quote: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anaïs Nin

Whether you’re looking to bloom in your public speaking journey or simply wish to be part of a community that celebrates progress, this meeting is for you. Let’s flourish together in an environment that supports and elevates our goals.

🌱 Embrace this opportunity to grow, share, and connect. We look forward to seeing you bloom at our meeting.

𝐅𝐢𝐫𝐬𝐭-𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞𝐫, 𝐝𝐨𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐠𝐞 🌞🌞, 𝐝𝐨𝐮𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐝𝐬 🥇🥇 – Area Contest report by Christina Yap

Thanks to Christina Yap for allowing us to re-post her report from her double awards at the E4 Area Contest.

I am deeply honoured and thrilled to have received two No. 1 awards at Toastmasters. In this post, I share the recipe for success. 

For those of you out there who are up for your next challenge, may it inspire you to embrace challenges with a #growthmindset. Everyone else has a role to play too! Read on..

🚀 𝐄𝐦𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐓𝐨𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐦𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐌𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐬𝐞𝐭 🚀
“𝘛𝘢𝘬𝘦 𝘢 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦, 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘯, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘸.”

Nine months into my Toastmasters journey, I was selected to represent my local Toastmasters club at the annual area speech contest. Last Friday, as I stood next to seasoned competitors, I could have succumbed to nerves.

However, I chose to embrace the opportunity. My passion for continuous learning, #personaldevelopment and the thrill of embracing new challenges kept me focused on the mission. As we navigate the AI revolution, I believe that cultivating a growth mindset and readiness to approach challenges with collectedness becomes more essential than ever before. This contest was a great opportunity for me to walk the talk.. 😉

All I had to do was be myself, try my best, apply all my transferable skills, knowledge, experience. And see what happens with a healthy dose of spontaneous #creativity

The result?
🌞 𝑯𝒐𝒏𝒐𝒖𝒓𝒆𝒅: I received “𝑭𝒊𝒓𝒔𝒕 𝑷𝒍𝒂𝒄𝒆” awards in the
 🥇 ‘𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘦𝘤𝘩 𝘦𝘷𝘢𝘭𝘶𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯’ and
  🥇 ‘𝘵𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘰𝘱𝘪𝘤𝘴’ 
categories. I am truly humbled by the next opportunity to compete at the Divisional level…

𝐌𝐲 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞𝐚𝐰𝐚𝐲𝐬?

🎙️ 𝑰𝒏𝒔𝒑𝒊𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏 𝑨𝒃𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒅𝒔: The spellbinding techniques and motivational speeches delivered by my esteemed competitors truly inspired me. I learned much from observing everyone in action and by what they shared. 

🌟 𝑬𝒏𝒓𝒊𝒄𝒉𝒆𝒅 𝑬𝒙𝒑𝒆𝒓𝒊𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒆: Everyone played a role in supporting the event in a hybrid context. A heartfelt thank you to our host, UBS, for providing the venue and every individual who collaborated to make it a success.

🙏🙏 𝑫𝒆𝒆𝒑 𝒈𝒓𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒕𝒖𝒅𝒆: A big thank you to all the judges, my distinguished Zuriberg Toastmasters Club, committee and members for their much valued feedback, support and vote of confidence. Immense gratitude to my mentor, Roland Straub, for believing in me, Dr. Vanessa Stournari for her support, Alice Nuslova, PMP® for her guidance and to Ben Nordemann for introducing me to this fun path!

𝐌𝐨𝐫𝐚𝐥 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐫𝐲? 
There’s a first time for everything! We just need passion, readiness to embrace new challenges and a supportive network!

𝐂𝐞𝐥𝐞𝐛𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐓𝐨𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐦𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐈𝐧𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐧𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐚𝐥: where everyone has the opportunity to learn, grow and hone their #leadership skills.
Where Leaders Are Made✨

Area E4 Toastmasters Contest Triumph: A Night of Achievements

Dear fellow Zuriberg Toastmasters, 

On the vibrant evening of February 23rd, the E4 Area, comprised of Credit Suisse, Zuriberg, Walk the Talk, and St. Gallen Clubs, witnessed an exhilarating contest that left a mark of pride and accomplishment for our club. Christina emerged as the shining star, securing victories in not just one, but two categories – Evaluation and Table Topics Speech Contests! 

A hearty congratulations to Christina, who will now carry the torch to the next level: the Division E contest on March 23rd.

In the International Speech contest, both myself and Elias claimed honors, securing the 2nd and 3rd places, respectively. Our speeches, though familiar to our club, were refined and elevated through feedback, a testament to the transformative power of continuous improvement.

“There are two kinds of people” and as per Thomas, the good ones, and the bad ones! He masterfully conveyed the message of personal transformation, how one transit from being the “bad guy” to becoming the “good guy”, emphasizing the power of personal choices.

In a different stage today, the online combined E1-E2-E3 & E4 German speech competition, Roland competed with a beautiful personal story in excellent high German! In his Interview, he motivated us all to make mistakes, it is the best way to learn! He proudly brings another first place award for our club!

Beyond the contestants, our club demonstrated unwavering support, with Anna as the Timer and Hugo as the Hybrid Zoom Master of Technology, ensuring the seamless execution of a high-quality hybrid contest. Toastmasters thrive on the altruistic engagement of members, and Anna and Hugo’s dedication is truly commendable.

While judges remain anonymous, a special thanks to our club members who performed their duties behind the scenes, contributing to the success of the contest incognito.

Let’s raise our glasses in a collective toast to all participants, contest officials, and, of course, Christina and Roland, who brilliantly illuminated our club in the Area E4 Toastmasters Contest. Here’s to the spirit of growth, camaraderie, and continued success!

Warmest regards,

Vanessa Stournari

President Toastmasters ClubVanessa Stournari

Embracing Strategies and Stories – Meeting February 20th

Dear fellow Zuriberg Toastmasters,

It’s hard to believe that our 21st meeting of the Toastmasters year has already concluded, and what an inspiring evening it was!

Svetlana led the way as our Toastmaster, guiding the session with finesse! She seamlessly introduced our speakers, each one offering their unique take on the theme of “strategy.” A special thanks to Denisse, our General Evaluator, and to her team Michelle, Vassilis amd Mathieu for ensuring a constructive yet empowering evaluation throughout the meeting. 

Speakers’s highlights 

Monica delivered a thought-provoking speech titled “How should I survive in a world full of ideals?” within Project Leadership Development #3-8. She skillfully delved into the question of whether we set unrealistic ethical standards, presenting a philosophical topic with a deeply conversational and engaging tone.

Zsolt tackled the theme of “Environmentalism” in his Presentation Mastery #1-3 speech, introducing vocal variety and powerful gestures. His content and delivery earned him the well-deserved title of Best Speaker for the evening.

Joran took us on a humorous journey with “I should have told Laurence”, in his Project Presentation Mastery #1-4 speech, shedding light on some unfortunate leadership examples he encountered in his career.

A warm welcome goes to Innocent, who embarked on his Toastmasters journey with the “Icebreaker” speech for Project Presentation Mastery #1-1. He effectively introduced himself to the club, showcasing he is guilty of an authentic speaking style and a charmingly humorous personality. He set a positive tone for his future speeches. A warm welcome to the club, Innocent!

The art of evaluations

Our evaluators—Yani, Elias, Christina, and Kevin—provided insightful feedback, strategically analyzing the speeches with empathy and encouragement. Kevin was recognized with the Best Evaluation award for his outstanding contribution.

Table Topics 

Our impromptu speech session was orchestrated by Richard, who took us on an engaging journey of alien invasion scenarios, showcasing creativity at its best. Tatyana won the Best Table Topics Speaker award, convincingly assuring us that an alien invasion is nothing compared to the challenges we, the earthlings, create for ourselves.

Closing Thoughts 

A heartfelt thank you to all who contributed to the wonderful atmosphere and the success of the evening, showcasing our commitment to personal development and effective communication within the strategic framework of Toastmasters.

What is on the horizon?

Looking ahead, let’s continue our journey to public speaking excellence in the upcoming meetings. As we experiment with different locations until we return to the familiar Blue Monkey, seize the opportunity to try different stages, starting with a theatrical stage

February 27th – Regular meeting with Theme New Beginning and Michelle as the TME (Gross Saal in Karl der Grosse)

March 12th – Regular Meeting with a shocking Theme and Joanna as the TME (L200)

Special Events: 

Area E4 ContestFriday, February 23rd 17:30 to 22:00 in Europaallee (or join online) come to support our club winners, Thomas, Christina, Elias and myself, Vanessa at the international, evaluation and table topics speech contests. Engaging speeches and mingle with the other Toastmasters clubs of our area (Walk the Talk, Credit Suisse Corporate Club and St. Gallen TMC). Hier is the registration Link 

Area E4 German Speech contest: Saturday, February 24th online 

How are speeches of our area doing in German? Join to explore and maybe support 😊

🌅 Toastmasters Meeting Announcement: “New Beginnings” 🌱

Embrace the spirit of renewal and fresh starts at our upcoming Toastmasters meeting themed “New Beginnings.” It’s the perfect time to set new goals, try new speaking roles, or simply refresh your public speaking and leadership skills.

Date: 27th Feb 2024
Time: 6.45 p.m.
Theme: “New Beginnings”

🔹 Highlights of the Meeting:

  • Inspirational Speeches: Hear stories of transformation and new starts.
  • Table Topics: Sharpen your impromptu speaking skills with prompts that inspire renewal.
  • Evaluations: Dive into the power of feedback & growth.

Featured Quote: “The magic in new beginnings is truly the most powerful of them all.” – Josiyah Martin

This meeting is your canvas for the year ahead. Whether you’re a seasoned member or new to Toastmasters, let’s embark on this journey of growth and discovery together.

🌟 Let “New Beginnings” inspire you to speak boldly, lead confidently, and start anew. Join us for an evening of motivational stories and actionable insights.

RSVP here: meetup or easyspeak