๐…๐ข๐ซ๐ฌ๐ญ-๐ญ๐ข๐ฆ๐ž๐ซ, ๐๐จ๐ฎ๐›๐ฅ๐ž ๐œ๐ก๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐ง๐ ๐ž ๐ŸŒž๐ŸŒž, ๐๐จ๐ฎ๐›๐ฅ๐ž ๐š๐ฐ๐š๐ซ๐๐ฌย ๐Ÿฅ‡๐Ÿฅ‡ – 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.ย 

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

๐Ÿš€ย ๐„๐ฆ๐›๐ซ๐š๐œ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐“๐จ๐š๐ฌ๐ญ๐ฆ๐š๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ ๐Œ๐ข๐ง๐๐ฌ๐ž๐ญ ๐Ÿš€
“๐˜›๐˜ข๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข ๐˜ค๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฏ, ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜จ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ธ.”

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.. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 #creativityโ€ฆ

The result?
๐ŸŒž ๐‘ฏ๐’๐’๐’๐’–๐’“๐’†๐’…: I received “๐‘ญ๐’Š๐’“๐’”๐’• ๐‘ท๐’๐’‚๐’„๐’†” awards in the
 ๐Ÿฅ‡ โ€˜๐˜ด๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ฉ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ถ๐˜ข๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏโ€™ and
  ๐Ÿฅ‡ โ€˜๐˜ต๐˜ข๐˜ฃ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ดโ€™ 
categories. I am truly humbled by the next opportunity to compete at the Divisional levelโ€ฆ

๐Œ๐ฒ ๐ญ๐š๐ค๐ž๐š๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ๐ฌ?

๐ŸŽ™๏ธ ๐‘ฐ๐’๐’”๐’‘๐’Š๐’“๐’‚๐’•๐’Š๐’๐’ ๐‘จ๐’ƒ๐’๐’–๐’๐’…๐’”: 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. 

๐ŸŒŸ ๐‘ฌ๐’๐’“๐’Š๐’„๐’‰๐’†๐’… ๐‘ฌ๐’™๐’‘๐’†๐’“๐’Š๐’†๐’๐’„๐’†: 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.

๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ™ ๐‘ซ๐’†๐’†๐’‘ ๐’ˆ๐’“๐’‚๐’•๐’Š๐’•๐’–๐’…๐’†: 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, PMPยฎ for her guidance and to Ben Nordemann for introducing me to this fun path!

๐Œ๐จ๐ซ๐š๐ฅ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐ญ๐จ๐ซ๐ฒ? 
There’s a first time for everything! We just need passion, readiness to embrace new challenges and a supportive network!

๐‚๐ž๐ฅ๐ž๐›๐ซ๐š๐ญ๐ข๐ง๐  ๐“๐จ๐š๐ฌ๐ญ๐ฆ๐š๐ฌ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ ๐ˆ๐ง๐ญ๐ž๐ซ๐ง๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐š๐ฅ: where everyone has the opportunity to learn, grow and hone their #leadership skills.
Where Leaders Are Madeโœจ

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 evaluatorsโ€”Yani, Elias, Christina, and Kevinโ€”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 โ€“ Regular meeting with Theme New Beginning and Michelle as the TME (Gross Saal in Karl der Grosse)

March 12th โ€“ 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  https://forms.gle/bM5PaeFXCVHLECZZ9 

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

How are speeches of our area doing in German? Join to explore and maybe support ๐Ÿ˜Š

https://forms.gle/6nAJGaGk4WgxZ11f8

An entertaining Night at Zurich’s Guild of the Carpenters – meeting January 16th

Dear Zuriberg Toastmasters,

What a truly enchanting start we had to the new year at our last Tuesday’s gathering, set against the historical backdrop of the medieval Guild of the Carpenters in Zurich!

Stepping into the medieval guild hall was like taking a journey back in time. The rich history of the Guild of the Carpenters provided a unique setting for our meeting. Sabina, our Toastmaster of the evening, skillfully guided us through an entertaining journey, seamlessly navigating the challenges posed by the new venue with her excellent preparation.

Speakersฮ„ Highlights

Keynote in Evaluations: Roland, in his eloquent keynote, likened evaluation to the essential fertilizer of our growth. He outlined nine guiding principles, with the first and foremost being to listen carefully and observe the speaker’s objectives.

Yani elucidated some Artificial Intelligence (AI) aspects with the creative story- telling elements, while bringing Alan Turin to life throughout her speech.

Path ReflectionHarry shared an inspiring reflection on his extensive public speaking journey, starting at the tender age of seven. His key advice? To become a better speaker or conversationalist, one must begin by learning to listen. His remarkable achievements earned him the best speaker award.

Zsolt seamlessly integrated his speech with the theme of the day, providing valuable insights on hacking ourselves to turn learning into an entertaining journey.

Icebreaker: Congratulations to Marco for his icebreaker! With vivid descriptions and body language, he took us on a captivating journey to Italy. What added to the speechโ€™s quality? His authentic sharing of his public speaking objectives.

The Art of Evaluations

Evaluations, being a form of speech themselves, demand engaging openings, structured content, and effective time management. All evaluators applied some of the nine principles shared in the keynote, granting them the skill of effective listening! Christina, with her constructive examples, was rightfully awarded the best evaluator.

What Awaits on the Horizon

– 23rd of January: Club Speech Contest with Alice and Kevin as Contest Chairs.

– 30th of January:Cultural Enrichment with Burnโ€™s Night hosted by Harry. Spoiler alert: Expect Scottish ambiance, poetry, whiskey, and the opening dedicated to our general assembly.

Here’s to more captivating evenings at the Guild of the Carpenters, where each gathering becomes a page in our own historical narrative.

Warmest wishes,

Vanessa Stournari, 

President Zuriberg TMC

Zuriberg Casino Night – Christmas party December 19th

Dear Zuriberg Toastmasters,

What a fantastic way to close out the year! Our celebration was infused with the perfect blend of fun, creativity, and a festive atmosphere, creating the recipe for a truly successful party.ย Anna and Iย took great pleasure in orchestrating and hosting this memorable evening! A special shout out toย Samiraย andย Thomasย who engaged as our croupiers for the night, full in style!

 Table Topics Highlights

The Table Topics segment showcased that expression in any form, be it improvisational speeches, storytelling, body language, or even drawing, has a magical effect on engaging the audience. When these elements are harmoniously blended, the engagement scale reaches its peak, leaving the audience captivated.      

Beyond the entertainment, we uncovered hidden talents among our members! Gabriele and Hugo claimed the spotlight, walking away with cinema tickets to the picturesque art kinos of Zurich as the prize! Joran struck Bingo, leading to a short impromptu award acceptance speech, much to the delight of the audience. Meanwhile, Michelle earned the grand casino night award, revealing the depth of talent within our Toastmasters community.

 What is on the horizon?

Looking ahead, the horizon is promising! The new year kicks off with three diverse meetings designed to enhance our public speaking skills.

Join us: 

 – January 16th for a regular meeting,

 – January 23rd for the Club Speech Contest (last registration roundโ€”reach out to Alice!),

 – January 30th for a Cultural Enrichment Meeting hosted by Harry featuring a Burn’s Night celebration.

 Let’s embark on this journey of growth and eloquence together as we set our New Year’s resolution to elevate our public speaking prowess.

 Cheers to a year filled with compelling stories, confident speakers, and shared success!

 Warmest regards,

Vanessa Stournari

President Zuriberg TMC

Embracing the Last Minute: A Toastmaster’s journey – meeting December 12th

Dear Zuriberg Toastmasters,ย 

In a world where the last minute is often associated with stress, our last Toastmasters meeting took a refreshing perspective on the theme “Last Minute.” The evening unfolded with a blend of insights, creativity, and laughter, proving that the last minute isn’t always as daunting as it seems. It may also allow for a creativity boost!

Meeting Highlights

Christina and Fereshteh, our Toastmaster of the Evening (TME) and Table Topics Master respectively, navigated the theme, offering diverse perspectives on how we handle the last-minute. Kevin stood out with his creative take on a last-minute situation, earning him the Table Topics Best Speaker award.

Speaker Highlights

  • Tatyana: Completing the Engaging Humor Pathways, Tatyana shared the wisdom gained in her 3.5-year journey. Her key lesson? The best humor often stems from ordinary situations.
  • Richard: With the mantra “Per aspera ad astra,” Richard emphasized the value of audience feedback in the journey of public speaking while reflecting on his Persuasive Influence Pahways. His well-crafted speech drew inspiration from a favorite movie, engaging the audience with elements of inspiration.
  • Gabriele: Blending his speech seamlessly with the theme, Gabriele explored the benefits of abandoning a last-minute lifestyle as we progress in life. Drawing parallels with the Toyota “Just in Time” approach, he skillfully connected real-life examples, captivating the audience.
  • Andrea: Introducing himself with an authentic and humorous style, Andrea left us eager for more of his future speeches.

The Art of Evaluation

Michelle demonstrated the challenging art of evaluation, taking home the Best Evaluator award. Her empathetic and constructive feedback on Tatyana’s speech highlighted that in the pursuit of humor, authenticity and passionate storytelling can also be as impactful.

Conclusion

As the year comes to an end, our Toastmasters journey taught us the importance of pushing boundaries in prepared, last-minute, and improvisational speeches. Exchange, constructive feedback, and a nurturing environment for experimentation create a recipe for individual and collective growth. As we reflect on the past year, let’s set new resolutions for improvement.

What’s on the Horizon?

– The Christmas party and year-end closure meeting are just around the corner. Get ready to celebrate in festive attire!

– Don’t forget to register for the speech club contest in Januaryโ€”time is running out!

In the spirit of Toastmasters, let’s continue to embrace the unexpected and grow together. Cheers to a year of learning, laughter, and last-minute triumphs!

Warmest wishes, 

Vanessa Stournari

President Zuriberg Toastmasters club

A Toastmasters Extravaganza: Award Dinner with Inspirational Toasts – October 31st

Dear fellow Zuriberg Toastmasters, 

What a better occasion to raise your glass for an empowering toast rather the Zuriberg Toastmasters Award dinner? Last night we got up to the mood for social speeches, where four speakers raised their glass to acknowledge and toast members who have been the guiding stars, the silent motivators, and the unsung heroes of our Toastmasters journey. Our beautiful Blue Monkey guilt adorned in the elegance befitting an award dinner.

Our Toastmaster of the evening, Roland, not only set the mood with the importance of social speeches, but also he fused the evening with Voltaireโ€™s timeless quote and weaved it beautifully with the speakers introduction and the theme of day:

โ€œAppreciation is a wonderful thing – It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as wellโ€

Speakersโ€™ Highlights

Christina โ€“ With built-up suspense and eloquence, Christina raised her glass to Joran, the master of humorous and tall-tales speeches, bringing laughter to our meetings.

Harry โ€“ Offering a gracious and concise toast to Roland, Harry highlighted the inspiration he drew from Roland’s leadership and feedback exchange, educating the audience while honoring the toast receiver.

Hugo โ€“to Ben, the multi-talented member, Hugo presented a toast filled with vivid visualization through expressive body language, acknowledging Ben’s efforts in uniting the Dutch expat society.

Elias โ€“ a toast immersed in creativity. Samira and her genuine presenting style, fusing emotions with authenticity, inspired Elias to raise a glass to her using the alphabet: a reason for appraisal for every letter! Elias’s unique approach earned him the Best Speaker award.

The Art of Evaluation: Nicola, our General Evaluator, provided insights into effective evaluations, emphasizing close summaries for memorable takeaways, engaging delivery, and constructive feedback. Myself, Vanessa was honored to take the best evaluation award home.

Creativity of Table Topics:ย Yaniย won the Best Table Topic, explaining why the ant would be the most suitable mascot animal for Toastmasters. Table topic master,ย Gabrieleย showcased inclusive, easy-to-answer topics fused seamlessly into the overarching theme.

Reflection and Inspiration

In summary, our traditional award dinner-themed Toastmasters Zuriberg meeting promises an unforgettable blend of sophistication and sincerity, as members come together to celebrate the unsung heroes who make our Toastmasters experience truly remarkable. Cheers to inspiration, camaraderie, and the power of a well-deserved toast!

What is on the horizon? 

As we immense in winter and festive atmosphere, we continue to grow and thrive in our public speaking journey, learning from one another and setting last minute milestones for 2023.

Contest announcement โ€“ connect with Alice to register for speech or organisation support!

December 12th โ€“ regular meeting with theme Last Minute

December 19th โ€“ Christmas party (confirm or decline attendance) in Easyspeak

Warmest wishes, 

Vanessa Stournari

President Zuriberg TMC

A Night of Vibrancyย  amidst Hibernation – meeting 14th November

Dear Zuriberg Toastmasters,

Tuesday’s gathering was far from hibernationโ€”it was an evening of vibrancy and growth! Despite a last-minute change in venue, Ana Maria, our adept Toastmaster of the Evening, skillfully guided us through the night, showcasing the power of preparation in handling unforeseen challenges.

Our Table Topics Master curated a session inspired by the animal kingdom, leading to engaging impromptu speeches. Seline’s witty response not only avoided a frog kiss but earned her the Best Table Topics Award.

Special guest Santhiago, our former member and current Area Director, enlightened us about his role in Toastmasters Organisation. What is his vision for his year of service? His efforts are focused to enhance our public speaking journey through intra-club speeches, with available slots for the upcoming club Walk the talkโ€”contact our VP Education Alice for a chance to participate.

Speaker highlights

  1. Pietro: Infused his speech on decision-making with acting flair, humor, and vivid storytelling, showcasing the importance of creativity on stage.
  2. Joran: Landed the Best Speaker Award with a tall tale that was imaginative, absurd, and humorously enriched with body language elements.
  3. Vadim: Explored stoicism with parallelism and philosophy jokes, delivering a well-structured speech with strong takeaways and audience engagement.
  4. Habiba: Shared insights into her leadership style, navigating us through her personal experience with emotional vocality. Trust and empowerment were key strengths in discovering her democratic and liberating leadership style. Thank you Habiba for sharing your story with us!

The art of evaluations

Our General Evaluator, Sabine, provided insightful feedback to all evaluators, emphasizing how well they demonstrated the speakersฮ„strengths and areas for improvement. Michelle received the Best Evaluator Award, celebrated for her unique style.

What is in the horizon?

A lot of events are coming! Animal kingdom may hibernate in winter, but Zuriberg Toastmaster make good use of the cold rainy days to hone our public speaking skills!

November 21stย  – Regular Meeting with theme Music and Riccardo as TME!

November 22ndย โ€“ Cross-club speech opportunity โ€“ contact Alice for seizing it.

November 28thย โ€“ Award Dinner with Roland as our Host! Information to follow!

December 12thย โ€“ Regular Meeting with theme Last Minute with Christina as TME!

December 19thย โ€“ Christmas party โ€“surprise, confirm attendance in Easyspeak!

The evening was a testament to the diverse talents within our club, fostering an environment to learn, grow and excel together.Let’s carry this inspiration into our next meetings!

Warmest wishes, 

Vanessa Stournari

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

Vanessa Stournari

A Halloween sprinkled with renewable elements – Meeting 31st October

Dear Zuriberg Toastmasters,

What an energetic Halloween we experienced last Tuesday!

Our Tuesdayฮ„s Toastmasters evening was electrifying. Anna, our Toastmaster of the evening, infused the night with a Halloween theme using her story telling technique to introduce each speaker with their own personal stories, a technique to enhance moderation skills. A good introduction should focus on the speaker, build their credibility, and generate excitement about the topic.

Notable Speech Highlights

Christina delivered her speech “Just Say Yes,” inspiring us to battle perfectionism and seize opportunities. Her journey of teaching yoga in Zurich while honing her public speaking skills and learning German at the same time, demonstrated the power of  saying yes to unconventional paths. Ana Maria provided an educational evaluation, emphasizing the best body language elements in Christina’s speech.

Yani’s well-crafted icebreaker drew a beautiful parallel between virtues of water and her life. Humor sprinkled throughout the speech and a clear takeaway message earned her the Best Speaker award. Gabriel’s evaluation effectively analyzed the techniques used by referring to specific speech parts, demonstrating active listening skills at its best. Education, and creativity are therefore, key ingredients for a winning evaluation speech.

Fereshte’s speech on resilience showcased a strong structural framework, with four key aspects explained and supported by her personal stories. Pietro’s evaluation emphasized the effectiveness of this structure, while advising that simplicity is often more powerful than complexity; โ€œless is moreโ€.

Samvidha educating the audience on Indian dance while enhancing her own expressiveness. Roland’s winning evaluation emphasized that a speech can be informative, educational, persuasive, entertaining, or a combination of all these elements.

Svetlana captivated the audience with her Halloween story, masterfully building a stimulating plot, using descriptive vivid language. Elias recognized the winning elements in her speech and challenged her to take it to the next level by incorporating body language to spook us.

During the Table Topics session led by Ruxandra, participants displayed impressive improvisation skills, with topics fitting the both Halloween and Energy theme. Thomas took home the Best Table Topics award with an energizing Halloween story.

The evening concluded with Habiba and her team delivering engaging reports. They reminded us that time is not renewable and urged us to be mindful of it. Anna skillfully managed the meeting’s timing, ensuring that we finished on time without feeling rushed.

What is next?

As we look ahead, what can we expect in the future? Two regular meetings and the Award Dinner are on the table for November! Come along, take roles and hone your public speaking skills!

Yours in Toastmasters excellence,

Vanessa Stournari

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

Embracing Failure – meeting October 24th

Dear Zuriberg Toastmasters,

Last Tuesday, we delved into the art of embracing failure as an integral part of our learning journey. Life’s rich tapestry is woven with the threads of our attempts and, sometimes, the inevitable outcomes we term as “failures.”

Our Toastmaster of the evening, Tatyana, effortlessly steered us through the night, which was definitely a success. During the insightful introductions, we gained valuable insights into how our members perceive and deal with failure. Vadim wisely chose “elope” as the word of the day, as we all have an interim urge to elope failure.

Roland skillfully conducted the table topics session, allowing us to share our personal experiences with failure, and Alice emerged as the Table Topic Winner with her entertaining tall-tale speech on mental exercise.

Speech Highlights

Yesenia, in her speech on diversity and inclusion, shared a simple yet powerful tip: making people feel included by remembering their names. She also encouraged us to broaden our horizons by diversifying our social circles, starting with our gatherings at Toastmasters. After all, we are adept at engaging with diverse audiences.

Nicola’s speech on the value of speaking up was a true gem. She engaged the audience with rhetorical questions and backed her points with compelling facts and data. Her seamless transition from a general example of a well-known airline to her personal experience showcased her skill. Nicola, who celebrated 15 years with Zuriberg, continues to be a valued member of our club, delighting us with her elevated speeches.

Joran’s speech on the power of asking “stupid” questions was captivating, earning him the winning prize. His relatable topic and well-structured sub-chapters, each based on a question type, kept the audience fully engaged.

The Art of Evaluations

Selin was awarded the first prize for her evaluation of Joran’s speech. Her structured evaluation highlighted what Joran did well and where he could improve, concluding with a well-rounded summary. An evaluator wears many hats, and paying tribute to the speaker, acknowledging their effort and courage to share their speech, is a fundamental element. Sabine provided an excellent example by making the speaker shine and attributing high-quality traits. Gabriele kept the spirit high with an empowering and motivating evaluation of Yesenia, reinforcing the strengths to enhance.

Our General Evaluator, Christina, and her team provided comprehensive feedback on our meeting’s strengths and areas for improvement. Time management was underscored once more as a cornerstone of a successful night, while evaluations referencing the pathways projects and goals achieved, where identified as room for improvement.

What’s on the Horizon?

We have a series of exciting meetings lined up, with the highlight being the Award Dinner on November 28th. Our next meeting, themed “Energy,” is just around the corner, next Tuesday, with Anna as our energetic Toastmaster.

Don’t miss the chance to take on roles, refine your public speaking skills, and be an active participant in our vibrant community. As the saying goes, if you don’t use it, you lose it. Please confirm your attendance or absence in Easyspeak.

Yours in Toastmasters excellence,

Vanessa Stournari

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

Candid Conversations in a Toastmasters’ Evening – panel discussion October 17th

Last Tuesday, our Toastmasters club witnessed a captivating foray into the world of professional panel discussions. Our members, Richard and Karina, embarked on the journey of moderating two thought-provoking panels, each addressing topics that resonate with our daily lives. The discussions centered around two topics: the profound influence of technology on our lives and, how by embracing the principles of ethical leadership, we can navigate challenges with grace, inspire others to do the same, and ultimately create a better world.

A Thoughtfully Orchestrated Setting

Each panel, thoughtfully composed of four distinguished panelists, extended for a span of 40 minutes. The moderators, Richard and Karina, set the stage with insightful introductions and a clear explanation of the rules and format. This served as a foundation, crucial in shaping the audience’s expectations, and it led to two distinct panel dynamics.

Key Takeaways from the Discussions

The panels reinforced the idea that as discussions deepen and diverse opinions emerge, the significance of content, authenticity, and well-structured responses surpasses that of a rehearsed speech. Elements like vocality, body language, rhetorical questions, and metaphors, followed by eloquent elaborations, contribute to what makes an exceptional panelist. Selin and Monica demonstrated most of these attributes, earning them the accolade of best speakers. Furthermore, the evaluation feedback from Ben and Samira underscored the vital role of time management for panelists. Speaking at length, it was noted, can make it challenging for panelists to maintain a coherent train of thought.

Mastering the Role of a Moderator

Ben and Samira’s insightful evaluations provided valuable guidance on how to excel in the challenging role of a moderator. Thorough preparation, conscious time management, and seamless transitions between panelists, including brief recaps, set the tone and direction of the discussion. The moderator plays a pivotal role in reflecting on audience questions, ensuring the conversation stays on track while introducing diversity in responses.

The Role of the Audience

Audience engagement is a cornerstone of panel dynamics, providing the moderator with opportunities to influence the discussion’s trajectory while fostering an environment where panelists can express their views without the fear of criticism. This interactive element made the evening a true learning experience for all as the engaging questions brought various perspectives to light.

A Collective Learning Experience

As the evening concluded, there was a sense of empowerment and motivation in the room. This evening of panel discussions proved to be an invaluable learning experience. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to Richard and Karina for their exceptional organizational and moderating efforts. Their dedication and commitment to making these panel discussions a success were truly remarkable. A big Thank you goes to our esteemed panelists, Pietro, Denise, Selin, Samvidha, Monica, Gabriele, Joanna, and Christina, for your courage in standing up and exceptionally supporting the projects of our moderators.

And finally, a big resounding applause to the person behind the scenes, Alice for the exceptional organization and keeping her eye on the details for the maximum educational outcome on the panel discussion. 

It makes me feel proud to be member of this club by seeing how much passion each one of us bring to our common cause of personal development. It is this shared commitment that fuels our journey and continues to inspire us to reach new heights.

What is next?

The journey continues with two upcoming regular meetings in October, with the themes “Failure” and “Energy.” We invite all members to step forward, take on roles, and join us on stage as we persist on our Toastmaster journey, sharing experiences and inspiring one another.

Warmest wishes,

Vanessa Stournari

President of Zuriberg TMC