13 Dec

Season’s Greetings 2020/2021

Dear fellow Toastmasters and Guests

Our last meeting in 2020 will be different. At the Online Christmas special event on 14 Decenber, we are going to unwrap our virtual Christmas gift, take a look into fellow members’ fridges and listen to an inspiring speech given by dam McConnaughy, President of Ramstein TM club. For those accepting the invitation, we kindly ask you to provide pictures of your (virtual) Christmas gift and your fridge inside & outside (yes!!)

For the start of 2021 we will firstly meet on 11 January.

Please note that these online meetings will be conducted on Skype. Have a peaceful holiday season and a happy new year!

Sincerely Yours
Officers 2020/2021 of BASF Toastmasters

21 Nov

Stay connected with Toastmasters!

The COVID-19 global pandemic is challenging us. Actions used to be harmless – handshake, hugs or just being in a group, now have potential to make us sick and spread the virus even further. In order to follow the government order, our club decided to move our Face2face meeting back to Online.

However, social distancing does not need to mean social disconnecting. Thanks to the Internet and today’s modern technologies, we don’t have to stuck at home alone, feel lonely and isolated. We can still keep seeing each other every two weeks via Zoom/WebEx to check on everyone and to keep our sprites light. We can even consider volunteer efforts to provide needed services in order to stay together, while keeping ourselves and others safe at the same time. As a team, we believe we can overcome this hard time easier together than alone. Thus, please come to join our Online Toastmasters meetings.

Please stay safe and stay connected.

07 Sep

BASF Toastmasters returns On-Site!

Since Covid started, our meetings have been affected and we haven´t seen each other as wanted! Now that the summer is ending, we are foreseeing a possibility to start our F2F meetings on-site again! We would be very happy to see your beloved faces again, taking the existing Covid requirements into account!

According to a TEDEx guys (they seem to know what they are doing), effective presentation skills reduce miscommunication, which is likely the biggest cause of work-related stress. That means better presentation skills lower the stress on presenters which means the successful delivery of the message we are trying to transmit, so let’s improve all together and show off what are we capable of!

Next meeting will be held on the 14th of September in Ludwigshafen (BASF) and we are really looking forward to welcome you all again.
Since BASF Toastmasters could not meet personally for so long we also plan to have a picnic at the beginning of September. Join in to see members and guests and spend a few hours outside at the end of summer!

31 Jul

Webinar: Spontaneous Speaking & Table Topics®

Are you the one on the stage to answer the Table Topics® Master’s question?
Sweaty hands and a hot head?
No words in mind?
No idea how to fill the next two minutes?
You’ve got the chance to find out more about Table Topics® and how to approach the successful delivery of an entertaining speech. Have a look at some strategies and methods that help you to find the right words. Overcome the scary ideas in your hot head that are slowing you down in being an excellent impromptu speaker!
Join our Toastmasters’ ONLINE Meeting on 10 August 05:45 pm! You can register directly on easySPEAK for this event and will get online access to this meeting.

10 Apr

Spring into action!

In April and May 2019 we will host a series of special meetings that will boost your communication skills. For an extra portion of fun and learning join our activities that are creatively different from our well-known Toastmasters sessions.

29 April Backwards meeting
With an agenda upside-down all events have a new order. Yes, this means functionary reports start the meeting. Speech evaluators go before prepared speeches. Table Topics answers are given before their questions. It’s a fun and rewarding exercise in impromptu skills and creativity. For example make the club president sing in the middle of his or her speech, have the lights go out in the middle of the Toastmaster’s introduction, or encourage guests to laugh like hyenas during the meeting. Imagine the possibilities!
06 May How to conduct productive meetings (workshop)
Meetings are a vital communication tool. They produce understanding, eliminate confusion, generate ideas, stimulate action, clarify goals and objectives, define roles and responsibilities, solve problems, and disseminate information. In many of today‘s organizations, decisions are made in meetings, not by individuals.
13 May The art of debating
Two debating teams will battle it out to convince the audience to support their view. Participate actively and train your argumentation skills in a constructive way.
27 May Speakerthon
With the club constantly growing in size we dedicate an evening comprising solely on prepared speeches. This gives more people the chance to present a speech and the audience can enjoy a variety of topics and speech types.

Meetings start at 17:45, BASF site, J660 / R136
Invitations will be sent out individually by our VP Education. You can also check the agendas on EasySpeak or our website. We look forward to welcoming you and spending a wonderful, entertaining and productive evening together. Should you have any inquiries, please feel free to contact us.

27 Nov

Season’s greetings 2018/2019

Dear fellow Toastmasters and friends,
Whatever is beautiful. Whatever is meaningful. Whatever brings you happiness. May it be yours this holiday season and throughout the year 2019.
It would be a great pleasure to see you at our meeting on 10 December where we will have our legendary White Elephant Gift Exchange, speech presentations of our club members and other activities to train public speaking skills. We also in invite you to join in for a glas of hot wine and seasonal food on Ludwigshafen’s winter market! 2019 will be perfect to improve your skills of leadership and rhetoric — visit our meetings on January 14th and 28th!

02 Jun

Make them say “Yes” (2/2)

As a speaker you try to convince the audience of your opinion. They should agree to the major views of the speech. Apart from the contents there are certain techniques that can be uses for to create a feeling of firm conviction. Proceeding one of the previous posts I’d like to give some more suggestions that are based on Robert Cialdini’s principles of persuasion.

Liking or “just be nice”

Have you heard that a waiter in a restaurant can increase the tip simply by adding another peppermint sweet to the bill in front of the customers? Showing sympathy to someone increases your chance that she / he will agree with your own needs. So try to buil a good relationship to your audience. How can you do so if you have just limited time in your speach? Some ideas:

  • use positive body language techniques,
  • share something personal with the audience that makes them feel special
  • show appreciation that people came along to listen to your speech.

Authority or “the prove by power”

Usually we tend to follow people in positions of authority, we feel more obliget to accept what they say. Most of us will do what our managers request us to do or agree with someone who is in a high position.
For this reason try to find a prominent and outstanding personality of your point of view or your proposal. Got a quote or an example given or experience by a well known person with best reputation? Brilliant — take her / him to strengthen your thesis.

Scarcity or “now or never”

If people have the feeling that they might miss something if not acting immediately they decide quicker. To pile pressure on customers limited stock or closing dates for special offers are announced to gain a buying decision on the spot. That way you can influence your audience if you expect them to support your idea or project. By exposing an urgent problem that can (only) be solved by your suggestion your audience will likely agree. When speaking in front of a decision-making body point out the need for a clear and positive decision.

Give it a try, working with the specified techniques will make the audience agree to the strong points and ideas of your speech!

pictures:
Jetti Kuhlemann / pixelio.de
Tim Reckmann / pixelio.de

16 Apr

“PS: I Love You” or How I Broke the Ice

A post by our co-blogger and member of BASF Toastmasters Subhamoy Bhattacharya.   
Quite aptly the first speech for a new member in a Toastmasters Club is called “The Ice Breaker“. The competent communication manual mentions that in this “project” the speaker introduces him/herself to the audience and also gives them some information about his/her ambitions/interests and background. Below are some excerpts from the speech I delivered which might be helpful for some future Ice Breakers 🙂

Since I find it a bit awkward in general speaking about “myself” (maybe its a cultural aspect I am still to overcome), I decided to narrate a few anecdotes from my life and in the process outline my experiments with public speaking in the short 6 minute speech cryptically titled: P.S. I Love You

My first experience in public speaking came at the early age of a few days. A week after my birth I was “displayed” in front of my relatives and since I was too overwhelmed by all the attention, I didn’t manage to “say” anything. My audience returned disappointed. Lesson learnt: “Audience is everything, keep them engaged”.

My second experience came during my school days in Kolkata (India) when I for the first time faced a “real” audience for the inter-class debate competition. I was selected to represent my class and had 7 days to prepare a speech and deliver in front of a 50 member strong audience. Sounds like an easy job now, but would have been impossible had it not been for my first unofficial speech writer: Dad. He wrote, I learnt and delivered on D-Day the mugged up version. The audience cheered, I came second and learnt the second lesson: In a speech “Content is king”.

With experience and exposure, I very soon was a confident debater still mostly using learnt material to deliver speeches. This changed one fine day when in a fit of excitement during an external visit to another school I forgot my lines. I stumbled, fumbled and luckily could come up with something completely new but thankfully relevant to the theme faring not so bad in the end. I learnt pretty quickly my lesson this time: A good speech should have elements of “Improvisation”.

The next lesson I learnt came during my days in College when as part of the Dramatics team I used to stage plays and sometimes used improvisation in the dialogue delivery styles to make the audience laugh. With the limited independence I got in terms of improvisation during those days I realised interestingly that I derived energy from the laughter of the audience and an aspect I later successfully transferred to my speeches as well. Lesson learnt: “Humor” is to a speech what oxygen is to life.

My final learning experience so far was at the Inter-University debate competition when in a foreign location, devoid of supporters and in front of other seemingly favourite speeches I stuck to the basics, incorporated the above elements and still came out on top. Lesson learnt: “A good speech never fails”.

When people ask me, despite all these experiences so far why I joined Toastmasters, I put on the table two primary reasons:

  • A quote by my favourite public speaker: “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” (Steve Jobs, Stanford University Commencement address 2005).
  • The title of this speech itself: “Public Speaking: I Love You

picture:  Rolf Handke  / pixelio.de / Image-ID: 441778

28 Feb

Starting the new Toastmasters blog

In this blog, we want to let you know some information about Toastmasters, advice on improving your public speaking qualities and pointers on how to develop leadership skills. “The Art of Communication Is the Language of Leadership (James Humes)” — according to this motto content will include:

  • The development of BASF Toastmasters club,
  • news and stories that focus on improving yourself in communication and leadership that we come across
  • our personal experiences and ideas and the structure and organization of Toahttp://www.librarything.com/author/humesjamescstmasters International as well as its activities in the Rhein-Neckar-Region.

Variety is guaranteed because experienced Toastmasters from our fellow club in Mannheim and strong supporters of our club, will contribute as guest bloggers. Furthermore everyone of our community is welcome to join in and provide a blog post!

Looking forward hearing from you, your BASF Toastmasters team!