A  Night of Extravagance at Zuriberg Toastmasters – Meeting 11th June

Dear Zuriberg Toastmasters,

A summer evening in the beautiful Guild Hall of Tailors filled with powerful speeches, thoughtful evaluations, and a thrilling mystery-solving table topics session can only be described with one word: Extravagance!

Our Toastmaster of the Evening, Elias, seamlessly wove the evening’s events together with a captivating opening, insightful speaker introductions, succinct recaps after each speech, and a reflective summary to close the night. The careful orchestration of the evening ensured every moment was impactful and engaging.

Highlights from Our Speakers

Slavek imparted a profound life lesson through his personal experiences, reminding us that time is our most valuable treasure. His speech emphasized the importance of valuing and wisely using our time, supported by strong structure, storytelling elements, and vocal variety.

Etienne, in his comeback Icebreaker, explored the concept that while specific life phases demand our time, there are strategies to recover lost time. He introduced us to his systematic approach—minimizing loss and maximizing time use. His well-structured speech, vocal dynamism, and personal anecdotes left the audience eagerly anticipating his future speeches.

Fereshte’s insightful speech on leadership styles combined theory with practical examples. She illustrated that the choice of leadership style should be situational rather than personal. Her engaging delivery, supported by reflections on her experiences, offered valuable lessons on adaptive leadership.

Gabriele’s educational speech on attachment styles in dating was both informative and highly entertaining. His clear structure, humor, vivid metaphors and a practical cheat sheet on navigating the dating world won him the Best Speaker award, captivating the audience from start to finish.

The Art of Evaluations

Four dedicated evaluators—Kevin, Michelle, Ana-Maria, and Roland—provided insightful feedback, highlighting each speech’s strengths and areas for improvement. Their well-rounded evaluations serve as the fertilizer for our growth and development. The skill of delivering empathetic yet challenging feedback is remarkable, and Roland’s exceptional evaluation earned him the Best Evaluator award.

Our General Evaluator, Pietro, along with his diligent team—Yesenia, Harry, and Alessandro—kept meticulous track of the evening’s proceedings, monitoring time, filler words, and effective use of language. Their efforts ensured the event ran smoothly and maintained high standards.

Table Topics: A Mystery Unfolds

Table topics is where the moderator’s creativity truly shines. Zsolt guided us through an intricate mystery—the robbery of the crown of Amaris. The session concluded with Samira solving the case in Sherlockian style, revealing the crime as a cleverly disguised team-building event.

Closing Thoughts

Time is our most precious resource, and spending it at a Toastmasters evening is an investment in ourselves. These gatherings offer us the luxury of learning, growth, inspiration, and shared experiences, all contributing to our journey of becoming better speakers and leaders.

Here’s to many more evenings of extravagance and excellence. Let us raise a glass to our shared journey and the exciting events that lie ahead!

Upcoming Events

June 18th: Regular Meeting with the theme “Resolute,” hosted by Samira as our TME.

June 25th: Summer Party with Michelle and Anna hosting a Mystery Dinner! RSVP for a highly interactive evening.

Yours truly,

Vanessa Stournari

President Zuriberg Toastmasters Club

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

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

A Marathon of Speeches: Highlights from our Toastmasters Speakathon – Meeting Feb 13th

Dear Zuriberg Toastmasters and friends, 

Marathon speaks for endurance, inspiration, and praises the human mind! Our recent Speakathon was last Tuesday was a vibrant showcase of that, a testament to the art of communication!Seven back-to-back speeches, spread over all pathways levels, unfolded a night of eloquence and diverse insights.

Our Toastmaster of the evening, Thomas, guided us through the night with carnival colors, aligning with the Fasnacht or Swiss Carnival atmosphere. A huge thank you to each participant for making it such an enriching experience!

Celebrating our Speakers

Julian visited us from the “Walk the Talk TMC”,  and offered us a compelling narrative on “how to fail like a leader” teaching us the valuable lessons embedded in failure.

Fereshteh took us on a “Poetry” journey through time and Iran, engaging the audience with metaphors and well-constructed content — a testament to the essential elements of an informative speech, both reflecting and insightful. What made us to embark on the travel with her? Inviting the audience to close their eyes and delve in the world of poetry, is an exceptional move for an immersive experience of the audience! Everyone followed!

Aaron unveiled the meaning of a happy life or “Ikigai” structuring his speech on its four key elements! Aaron’s educational speech featured an excellent structure, relatable examples, and a harmonious conversational tone. Closing the eyes and immersing in the topic, is an excellent trick to beat the urge for using filler words and engage to more vocal variety!

Christina shared her personal story and, emphasized the importance of language pronunciation for effective communication, in a speeech delivered with humor, while educating the audience on how not to get “lost in translation”. Adding to those speech winning elements, the masterful use of the English language, it was no surprise she captured the first speaker award.

Sabina demonstrated the use of our different platforms (Basecamp, TMI and Easyspeak) in our Toastmasters journey and she skillfully handled a challenging audience, showcasing communication skills beyond the ordinary. Talkers, interrupters and chatters, cannot steal your stage shine, managing the audience is a learnable skill!

Kevin masterfully persuaded the audience with a well-researched argument on how our brain works. The “Unseen strings” of his speech was marked by an engaging opening and impeccable delivery. Content and delivery are both equally required for pursuading any audience!

Alessandro introduced himself with an icebreaker! Sharing his objectives and his passion, for Italy and parmesan. An engaging icebreaker, showing us what to come from our new member!

The Art of Evaluation

A masterful evening with evaluations helped us understand the difference between advice and feedback. Evaluation speeches not only support the speakers to their public speaking journey, but are also educating the audience! Alice and Richard shared the first-place award, emphasizing constructive observations and storytelling.

Final thoughts and Thanks 

This Speakathon was a testament to the diverse talents within our club and the supportive environment that fosters growth and learning. Each speech was a step forward in our journey of personal and professional development. Our event΄s success was also due to the seamless coordination and support from everyone, our Grammarian, Ah and Vote Counter, Evaluators and the committee Anna, Samira, Harry for organizing the welcome process! A big thank you to all for your energy and participation!

What’s in the Horizon?

Let us carry forward this momentum and continue to support each other in our speaking endeavours!

Many regular meetings are coming up, at different venues! Explore various themes & stages:

February 20th – Regular meeting with Theme: “Strategic” and Svetlana as our TME: (Zunfthaus zur Zimmerleuten).

February 27th – Regular meeting with Theme: “New Beginnings” and Michelle as ourTME (Gross Saal in Karl der Grosse).

March 12th – Regular Meeting with “Shocking” Theme and Joanna as our TME (L200).

Special Events

Area E4 Contest: Friday, 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  is what to expect (Walk the Talk, Top Notch, Credit Suisse Corporate Club and St. Gallen). Register here.

Area E4 German Speech Contest: Saturday, February 24th, online.

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

Kind Regards

Vanessa Stournari

President Zuriberg Toastmasters Club

Burns’ Night – Big Thank You! – Meeting January 30th

Dear All,

A special thank you to the speakers who took on a somewhat daunting task: studying a piece of work by a poet unknown to most of them. Then to provide a reading, using their best vocal variety and further helping us understand what the poet was trying to tell us!

Starting of the evening in proper attire.

Many thanks also to Thomas, who brought both light-heartedness and seriousness into his Toast to the Lassies. Your example of Jane Goodall, whose monumental work with primates shames our efforts into nothingness, was a superb choice. To Vanessa for her Toast to the Laddies, and finally to Yesi: who captured the spirit of Burns’ Address to the Haggis, and made it personal as well as clear to the audience what this was all about!

Huge thank yous to our team of bard interpreters: Denisse – you captured the essence of what Robert Burns tried to tell us. Samira, your eloquent embracing of Burns’ Mountain Daisy was outstanding. And, Roland, old faithful: who was already familiar with Burns, chose one of his most illustrative poems to share with us!  

Thank you, also, to the Evaluators, Timer, and Vote-counter who rounded off the evening.  

I’ve had many messages of thanks and congratulations from fellow members since yesterday evening! So, I think we can safely say the event was a success!

Kindest regards


Burn’s Night – Deepdive for Meeting January 30th

Dear all

Worldwide, the 25th of January each year is dedicated to the memory of Robert Burns, the son of Scottish farmer parents. Born in 1759, Burns died in 1796 at the relatively young age of 37. In that short period of time he wrote more than 550 poems and songs. Translated into at least 43 languages, including Hindu, Urdu, and Russian. Leaving behind a legacy considered unparalleled in the literary world by some. 

Some of his poems denounced “the immorality of the rich, fighting oppression with ‘Christian’ values”, and attacked the corruption and incompetence of the governing elite, as depicted by the card-playing landowners in “The Twa Dogs”. Especially after his death, he became a source of inspiration for liberalism and socialism. So it should come as no surprise that in Russia he became known as the “people’s poet during the revolutionary period. Later, his work was endorsed by the Soviet Communist Regime, who described Burns as a “progressive”. 

But it was perhaps as a pioneer of the ‘Romantic movement’ – characterised by its emphasis on emotion and individualism as well as glorification of nature – that his poetry became best known!

On Tuesday, after the initial club business has been dealt with, we will follow a traditional Burns’ Night programme. We’ll pipe in our dinner, say our toasts (with Whisky) to the food. Haggis for the non-vegetarians, and a ragù-type dish for the rest. Accompanied by neeps, and tatties. After dinner, we’ll follow with more toasts, first to the immortal memory of Robert Burns, and then by a toast to the lassies, to which a lassie will reply with a toast to the laddies. 

During the final part of the programme, three of our members will contribute poetry readings, before we close our Burns’ Night celebration. 

So, come and learn more about this inspirational Scot, and watch our members take on challenges beyond the ordinary speaking projects we normally encounter, while entertaining us with the unforgettable poetry of Robert ‘Rabbie’ Burns.  

See you Tuesday

Speaking Excellence – Club Speech Contest Zuriberg January 22nd

Dear fellow Zuriberg Toastmasters,

I am thrilled to recap the remarkable events of our last evening’s Club Speech Contest, an evening filled with the spirit of competition, camaraderie, and exceptional speeches. My heartfelt gratitude goes out to the incredible individuals who organized and facilitated the contest, elevating the experience for everyone involved.

AliceKevin, and Richard, our dedicated contest chairs, and Chief Judge, demonstrated outstanding leadership by taking on these challenging roles. They ensured that all rules were followed meticulously, fostering an environment of fairness, and allowing our contestants to shine. Their inclusion of humor and engaging interviews seamlessly integrated fun into the formal framework of Toastmasters contests.

A special mention goes to the magnificent Zunftsaal at Zimmerleuten, providing a historical backdrop that added a unique charm to our public speaking competition. Competing in such an inspiring medieval setting, in the heart of Zurich where significant decisions once shaped the future of the city, enhanced the overall experience.

Speakers΄ Highlight

Elias shared a poignant personal story of his childhood in the south of Argentina, illustrating how those experiences continue to influence his professional and personal life. His well-structured, authentic, and conversational style earned him the well-deserved second place in the International Speech Contest.

Myself, Vanessa embarked on a journey to enhance my public speaking skills and triumphed with the first-place award. The speech was crafted with a clear structure, empowering language, and a conscious focus on vocal variety, aimed to inspire.

Table Topics Speech Contest

The Speech Contest Type is, Zuriberg’s absolute favorite! It showcased the impromptu speaking skills of eight participants. Thomas, a history enthusiast, transported us back to Napoleon’s coronation in Paris, December 2nd, 1804, claiming the first-place prize. Christina, exploring the concept of time travel, delivered a powerful message about living in the present, earning her the second spot in the area contest.

Closing thoughts

As we reflect on the success of the Club Speech Contest, let’s not forget the unsung heroes behind the scenes. A heartfelt thank you to our judges and visible contest officials, EmilioSvetlanaHugoAnna, and our Area Director Santhiago for their invaluable support. Managing formalities may not be easy, but it enriches our educational journey by providing insights into what makes a speech excel at the competition level.

 To all members, I encourage you to consider stepping up and taking on a role in the upcoming season contests. Whether it’s as a judge, timer, ballot counter, or any other vital position, you will undoubtedly grow and contribute to the success of our Toastmasters community.

In closing, let’s celebrate the success of our recent contest and look forward to the growth and inspiration that future contests will undoubtedly bring. Who knows, perhaps a Zuriberger will represent us at the District Level Competition in Istanbul on May 11th!

Thank you all for making the Club Speech Contest Zuriberg 2024, a truly memorable event!

Best regards,

Vanessa Stournari

President Zuriberg Toastmasters Club

🌟 Toastmasters Club Contest Announcement: Showcase Your Skills! 🏆

Get ready for an exhilarating challenge at our upcoming Toastmasters Club Contest! It’s time to showcase your speaking prowess and compete with the best.

Date: Tuesday, 23. January 2024
Time: 18.45
Event: Toastmasters Club Contest

🔥 Contest Categories: Prepared Speeches & Table Topics.

Featured Quote: “A good speech is like a pencil; it has to have a point.” – Anonymous

Join us for a thrilling evening of competition, where eloquence meets excitement. Witness our club’s finest speakers, engage with captivating speeches, and be part of the vibrant Toastmasters community.

🎉 In the spirit of friendly competition, let’s come together to celebrate talent, hard work, and the art of public speaking. Ready, set, speak!

An evening of delicacy – meeting September 26th

Fellow Toastmasters Zuriberg and friends, 

Last Tuesday, we gathered for yet another exquisite evening at our beloved Zuriberg Toastmasters club. While the space was limited, our spirits were soaring high, and the word of the day was “exquisite.”

The Evening’s Flow

Our Toastmaster of the evening, Elias, guided us through an intriguing exploration of what delicacy means to each of us. Delicacy, as we discovered, transcends mere food; it encompasses the subtle beauty in nature, cherished memories, and, in our Toastmaster community, the art of delivering a near-perfect speech. Elias’s eloquent introductions set the tone for an evening filled with charm and grace.

Elias closed the evening with a personal inspirational quote: “Delicacy is a fine speech. That speech keeping you on your toes. That speech that is composed not by words but by exquisite music. That speech that we will remember forever”.

Speaker Highlights

“Conquering Procrastination”: Ruxandra‘s speech emphasized that the pursuit of perfection can hinder our growth. She shared techniques to overcome procrastination and encouraged fearless public speaking. Her message was clear: achievement triumphs over perfection. Christina’s engagement to the speech resulted to an inspiring passionate evaluation resonated with the audience.

“My Bed, Your Bed, or Our Bed?”: Ana-Maria artfully coupled conflict management strategies with storytelling in her speech, depicting the comical situation of sharing a guest room with two unwilling cats. Her creative approach earned her the Best Speaker award. Ettienne, provided a well-constructed evaluation to help Anna to bring her speech to the next level of story-telling. The holistic analysis approach  with the engaging delivery, granted him the best evaluation award.

“The Language of the Body”: Svetlana explored the impact of body language, highlighting its role in conveying attitude, mood, and vulnerability. Anna’sevaluation provided practical insights into controlling nervousness through breathing techniques.

Kevin brought a delightful array of table topics, from memorable childhood moments to mastering new skills. Pietro’s tale of the perfect gelato recipe earned him the Table Topics award.

The evening concluded with a thoughtful evaluation by General Evaluator Thomas and his team. Fereshte, Vadim, and Gabriele provided their insightful reports on time, filler words and use of language, while Thomas emphasized the power of a passionate engaging evaluation in both educating the speaker and captivating the audience.


Toastmasters Zuriberg proved that delicacy extends beyond the culinary world. It resides in the finesse of speeches, the art of storytelling, and the skillful evaluation of our fellow members. As we continue our Toastmasters journey, we are reminded that it is not just about perfection but about growth, engagement, and the joy of sharing our voices.

What is on the horizon? 

The next regular meeting is on October 10th under the theme, “appraisal”. On October 17th we host the panel discussion, with two panels proving insights on two topics: “Impact of Technology on Daily Lives” & “Ethical Leadership”.

 Kind Regards 

Vanessa Stournari

President TMC Zuriberg

Fata Morgana: Illusion or Unfulfilled Expectation? – meeting September 19th

Last night, in the cozy ambiance of Thai Heaven restaurant, we hold another invigorating Zuriberg Toastmasters meeting.

Our Toastmaster for the evening, Monica, set the stage with a well-researched introduction on the theme of the day: the illusory phenomenon of Fata Morgana. This question got us thinking, what is our own Fata Morgana?

Learning Through Speeches

Our evening was filled with three captivating prepared speeches, engaging table topics, and insightful evaluations, all contributing to our ongoing journey in mastering the art of public speaking.

Joran kicked things off with his icebreaker titled “Time for Some Action.” He shared his journey in overcoming his fear of public speaking, emphasizing the value of preparation, reading on public speaking, and inspiration from fellow Toastmasters. Svetlana, his evaluator, praised his colorful language, making his icebreaker truly engaging.

Anna earned the Best Speaker award with her speech “In the Mind of a Tour Guide.” She skillfully wove her experiences as a Zurich tour guide into a compelling storytelling technique. Roland, her evaluator, praised her excellent technique,  giving the characterization of the perfect packaging. Roland not only praised Anna, but he also coupled masterfully the storytelling technique of her speech into his own evaluation speech. And that succesfully granted him the best evaluator award. 

Toastmasters isn’t just about public speaking; it’s a community where we grow, connect, and find inspiration for life projects. Eric, a long-standing Zuriberg member celebrating a significant milestone of 10 years with Zuriberg, delivered an engaging speech titled “Reaching Out for Research.” He shared how his Toastmasters experience had helped him master the art of interviewing, emphasizing the values of intent, trust, agreement, and comfort.

Michelle provided a tailor-made evaluation for Eric, highlighting the need for more information about the project while acknowledging his passionate delivery. Speeches can be informative, humorous, or personal, but it was Eric’s personal, participative style which resonated with the audience.

Meeting Reflection

Our General Evaluator, Tatyana, and her team diligently monitored the evening, commending the meeting organization by our Sergeant at Arms, Samira. They also highlighted the effective evaluation techniques used by our evaluators. Our grammarian Seline and ah counter Fereshte contributed with excellent language usage and real-case filler word avoidance.

The word of the day, “spectre” (wisely chosen by Seline), was aptly matched to the theme, adding a touch of mystique to our evening. Table Topics, curated by Pietro, further embraced the Fata Morgana theme. Elias won the Table Topics session with a captivating tale of overcoming drinking problems by making a deal with the devil, delivered with vivid facial expressions. Tall-tale at its best, let the imagination go wild!

What’s on the Horizon?

While delivering a speech may seem like a Fata Morgana for many of us, there’s no better way to turn fear into achievement than by taking the stage. Our next regular meeting is scheduled for September 26th. Please step up and assign roles and speeches through Easyspeak. Additionally, note that our next meeting will be held in the first-floor restaurant, so kindly confirm your attendance or absence in Easyspeak ahead of time.

Don’t forget to sign up for the Panel Discussion on October 17th! With two moderating panel discussions, each featuring four panelists and an open floor for Q&A, it promises to be an exciting event.

Best Regards

Vanessa Stournari

President Zuriberg TMC