09 Sep

Officers‘ Meeting: 4th of September 2014

We met at Alex Cafe (Ludwigshafen) to discuss a bunch of topics. The most important point was our first club contest. Exciting! Its goal besides having fun is to choose club members who will represent BASF Toastmasters during the next Toastmasters Area Contest (11th of October, Heidelberg). Another hot topic was the promotion of the club within BASF organization. We’ll let you know soon more details!image

 

 

20 Jul

The new (Toastmasters-)kid on the block

In September 2013 a group of BASF employees started to have Toastmasters meetings at The Chemical Company. Thanks to the support of the established Clubs Mannheim International Toastmasters, Rhetorikclub Mannheim and Heidelberg International Toastmasters from the very beginning professional meetings could take place. In June 2014 BASF Toastmasters was officially chartered as a regular club, the only “Company Club” of Toastmasters in Germany at the moment. From now on every member will benifit from all the advantages that the organisation of Toastmasters International can offer.

BASF_TM_club_board_2014-07_web Leading BASF Toastmasters in 2014|2015 (left to right): Martin, Gabriela, Joanna, Hye-Jin (VP Membership until Oct 2014), Subhi, Ben, Nok-Young.

Club Executive Committee, feel free to contact usª:

President: Martin Ernst
VP Education: Subhamoy Bhattacharya
VP Membership: Kathrin Isenbügel
VP Public Relations: Joanna Martyna Krawczyk
Club Secretary: Gabriela Fonseca
Treasurer: Nok-Young Choi
Sergeant at Arms: Ben Kan
Immediate Past President: —

ªAccess to BASF intranet required, alternatively use the contact form.

 

15 Jul

Joke of the Evening — present it in comedy style!

The “Joke of th Evening” is part of most Toastmasters meetings. It’s an oportunity to train your skill in providng BASF Toastmasters Germany presentation joke fun comedy blog public speaking formulahumor to the audience. Many jokes consist of one finishing punchline. At BASF Toastmasters we recently had a different kind of presentation. Kathrin Isenhuegel, members of our BASF Toastmasters, presented a joke in comedy style with contradicting comparisons about everyday people where the audience saw themselves in both, the set-up and the punch lines.

Two new additions to the periodic table of elements

Element Name: WOMANIUM
Symbol: WO
Atomic Weight: (don’t even go there)
Physical properties: Generally soft and round in form. Boils at nothing and may freeze any time. Melts when treated properly. Very bitter if not used well.
Chemical properties: Very active. Highly unstable. Possesses Strong affinity with gold, silver, platinum, and precious stones. Violent when left alone. Able to absorb great amounts of exotic food. Turns BASFTM_20140714_Chem_Original_689471Tim Reckmann_pixelio-deslightly green when placed next to a better specimen.
Usage: Highly ornamental. An extremely good catalyst for dispersion of wealth. Probably the most powerful income reducing agent known.
Caution: Highly explosive in inexperienced hands!

Element Name: MANIUM
Symbol: XY
Atomic Weight: (180 +/- 50)
Physical properties: Solid at room temperature, but gets bent out of shape easily. Fairly dense and sometimes flaky. Difficult to find a pure sample. Due to rust, aging samples are unable to conduct Electricity as easily as younger samples.
Chemical properties: Attempts to bond with WO any chance it can get. Also tends to form strong bonds with itself. Becomes explosive when mixed with KD (Element: CHILDIUM) for prolonged periods of time. Neutralize by saturating with alcohol.
Usage: None known. Possibly good methane source. Good samples are able to produce large quantities on command.
Caution: In the absence of WO, this element rapidly decomposes and begins to smell.

sources: http://www.jokebuddha.com, Tim Reckmann / pixelio.de

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

07 Apr

Your audience is special?!

Different characters can be convinced by different methods. While writing your speech it is important to know characteristics of your audience and to make sure that the style of your presentation and your arguments stay on target.

Of course your audience usually consists of various personalities but ask yourself – do they have something in common, e.g. working in the same field or sharing a similar interest or motivation? Especially in this case take a closer look at them. Finding out the audience’s basic personality type can lead to a special design of your presentation. Some ideas how to develop your speech according to the majority of characters in the audience.

Idealists are sympathetic, helpful, loyal and patient. People of this type like to work together with others to achieve results but don’t have a need to appear in public. You will find idealists especially in caring professions like doctors at a hospital or social workers.

The dos…

  • focus on team orientation,
  • strengthen the sense of togetherness,
  • show care about people within and outside the audience;

the donts…

  • isolate a group or a person,
  • show contrasts (“what is right and what is wrong”).

Scientists, engineers and technicians match above-average to the type of a logician. This personality strives for perfection and is quality conscious. Focussing on facts they want to know possible consequences of activities.

The dos…

  • present facts and statistics,
  • structure your speech,
  • go into details;

the donts…

  • press them for time,
  • demand creativity or a broad variety of alternatives.

A communicator stands out for inspiration and entertainment. This proactive personality is a team player and likes to establish contacts. In shaping the environment she / he tries to involve others. Especially creative people and artists represent this type.

The dos…

  • provide entertainment and humor,
  • show passion,
  • make a creative and colorful presentation;

the donts…

  • scare them with negative conequences,
  • bore with facts and figures.

The dynamic person is usually dominant. Willing to take risks these people are decisive. They want to achieve results and overcome resistance of others. This group of people is highly represented by managers and entrepreneurs.

The dos…

  • show clear goals and visions,
  • be enthusiastic,
  • rise to a challenge;

the donts…

  • be sceptic and ask to many questions,
  • show weakness.

Of course all of this is a rough description and simple categorization of personality types. Nevertheless it can be a guideline when you prepare your speech.

12 Mar

Proverbs liven up your speech

Speaking freely in a presentation or a key note you will certainly   know the language you are communicating in well. Though, especially in a professional environment, it may not be your mother tongue, it could be for example the country’s lingua franca or English. So you know the content of your speech but want to liven it up?

Of course there are many techniques how you can deliver a lively speech. What about using linguistic idioms? Idioms have several advantages, for example

  • you can use them as a conclusion to point out the main point of the visual type of the language catches the audience,
  • you create a feeling of familiarness if your audience knows the idiom.

Being a non native speaker, how will you find a suitable proverb? You will certainly know a suitable idiom of your mother tongue but usually translating it 1:1 into let’s say English an English / US-American audience won’t understand it. Translation tools like Google Translate come to their limits. You need an expression fitting to the particular context of a pthoroughroverb but not a translation word by word.

Using online dictionaries might be more helpful. Here are some examples I found online:

  • leo.org
    DE Man soll den Tag nicht vor dem Abend loben.
    EN Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.
  • languagerealm.com
    FR C’est au pied du mur qu’on voit le maçon.
    EN The tree is known by its fruit.
  • pons.com
    ES Camarón que se duerme se lo lleva la corriente.
    EN Devil take the hindmost.

Including proverbs into your next speech will make it even more lively! Furthermore doing so you show thorough understanding of the language itself.

03 Jan

That’s worth mentioning: New Year’s resolutions

Thinking about a professional development, organising a family reunion, a new hobby? How about becoming a Toastmaster and improving your public speaking skills?

Twice a month members of BASFToastmasters improve their communication skills in many ways. Every club member works step by step through the program of competent communication and competent leadership at his / her own pace. This way everyone becomes more confindent in talking in front of a group. The feedback by every member and the speech evaluations help to identify opportunities for improvement and existing rhetorical skills. Furthermore speaking spontaneously can be learned by participating in Table Topics — short impromptu speeches given on a keyword or a question.

BASFToastmasters belongs to Toastmasters International. Toastmasters was founded in 1924 in the United States. The well-proven Toastmasters concept allows you to learn communication and leadership . Membership in a Toastmasters club is unique and different from other offers of rhetoric training. Good news: If you want to join BASFToastmasters, you only have to pay as little as 6 EUR a month.

Every BASF employee who is interested to get to know Toastmasters is welcome to visit us. Our regular meetings in 2014 start on January 27th. From that on we me meet on the 2nd and 4th Monday each month.

04 Aug

Improve your public speaking skills at BASFToastmasters

Get to know Toastmasters International and the regular club meetings held on site at BASF in Ludwigshafen. During our first evening sessions we want to explain the idea behind Toastmasters and show how you can improve your public speaking skills. Each meeting will include

  • a warm up session to get to know each other,
  • Table Topics ® short impromptu speeches presented by the participants (no preparation in advance needed),
  • prepared speeches presented by experienced Toastmasters,
  • feedback on prepared speeches,
  • more information about Toastmasters International.

Meeting information:
Thu Sep 12th, 2013
Thu Sep 26th, 2013
Mon Oct 14th, 2013
Mon Oct 28th, 2013
starting at 6:15 pm for a duration of about 1 1⁄2 hours;
BASF SE, Ludwigshafen,
C104, room 240 (2nd floor), next to gates 1/2/7.
If interested, please contact us by e-mail or phone.