21 Nov

Three Reasons Why

Are you looking for reasons to spend your Monday evenings virtually with us? Now, look no further.

Reason #1: Sharpen your virtual communication and leadership skills. Covid-19 has triggered a paradigm shift towards virtual meetings. Business trips, which deemed indispensable just a year ago, now look superfluous. Experts reckon that virtual meetings are here to stay. Without the luxury of body language to accentuate your message, your new tools for effective communication will be, among others, your facial expression and vocal variation. Also, explore digital tools with us and start impressing your colleagues at work.

Reason #2: Network virtually. At BASF Toastmasters, social distancing means socialise distantly. We are part of the global BASF Toastmasters network which consists of 13 clubs in Asia, Europe and North America, the Area F1 family (Rhein-Neckar) and the Toastmasters International. Whether you are a seasoned networker or networking newbie, our virtual meetings offer you a unique opportunity to polish your virtual coffee-break skills.
P.S. Join our Yammer and MS Team groups if you have not done so already!

Reason #3: Because you want to have a fun evening with fun people. Really, that goes without saying.

06 Nov

Global Open House 13 Nov 2020

BASF’s Toastmasters Clubs all over the World organize an online “Open House” on Friday 13 November 2020. The events will start 11am CET in Malaysia, transfer to Germany (1pm CET) and finish in North America (3pm CET). The whole event will focus on Leadership – Communication – Networking – Education with speakers of diverse cultural and professional background sharing their perspective on these topics.
Four speakers will represent BASF Toastmasters Ludwigshafen. Listen to Rolf’s speech about “Connecting with People”. Learn with Martin “How to Conduct Productive Meetings”. “Get Better at Impromptu Speaking” by joining Melanie. Or find out with Jan Lukas “Why Al Won’t Take Over the World (Yet)!“.
All of the speeches and discussions can be found here. The “Open House” is an online event conducted on a WebEx platform. Please contact Weng Khong or Martin for access details!

06 Sep

Summer Picnic 2020

We invite you for a picnic outside at the Rhine river bank on 07 September 2020. To us it is high time to meet personally again, you are also welcome to bring a friend or colleague who is interested in Toastmasters. Following these guidelines to us it should be possible in the current situation:

health

  • we will keep the recommended distance of 1.50m to each other
  • the names of everyone attending will be noted
  • install and activate the Corona App on your smartphone

food & drinks

  • though bringing and tasting food is definitely a fun factor at a picnic we ask you to bring and consume your own food,
  • sharing may be ok, if food portions are separetely packed
  • bring also drinks and your own glass / mug, nevertheless sharing a glas of cola or wine by pouring from the bottle should be ok

other equipment

  • blankets, pillow etc to make it more comfortable are highly appreciated
  • bring a frisbee or another outdoor game — it can be fun also to be a bit acitve

You did not receive a personal invitation by e-mail! Get in contact with us for details!!

22 Apr

Characteristics of Effective Leaders


On 04 May 2020 Toastmaster Lei Du-Cuny will conduct an online workshop on her way to achieve Advanced Communicator Gold status. In this workshop, we will look at the definition of leadership, discover our present leadership skills, see how our skills are perceived by others and learn how we can become better leaders.

You are welcome to register through easySPEAK https://tmclub.eu/view_meeting.php?t=142293 .

16 Mar

Cancelled: Spring into Action 2020!

The ongoing meeting restrictions due to coronavirus force us to cancel our spring 2020 special. We decided to postpone this concept to fall 2020 and hope to welcome you then for these face-to-face meetings!

In April and May 2020, we will host a series of special meetings that will boost your communication skills. For an extra portion of fun and learnig, join our activities that are creatively different from our well-known Toastmasters sessions.

27 April – Table Topics® Gala
A whole evening filled with impromptu speeches? Yes, please! Three Table Topics® Masters will prepare fun, creative and entertaining questions to test and sharpen your spontaneous speaking skills.

04 May – Characteristics of Effective Leaders (workshop)
In this workshop, we will look at the definition of leadership, discover our present leadership skills, see how our skills are perceived by others and learn how we can become better leaders.

11 May – Backwards meeting
With the agenda upside-down, all events have a new order. Yes, this means functionary reports kick-start the meeting. Speech evaluations go before the prepared speeches. Table Topics answers are given before their questions. It is a fun and rewarding exercise in impromptu skills and creativity. For example, make the speaker 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!

18 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.

25 May – Sound Great with Mic (meeting at / with John Deere Toastmasters, Mannheim)*
Whether you are speaking at an event, making a recording or being interviewed, talking into a mic is not exactly like talking without one. You will receive practical tips on how to use it, have the chance to present with a mic and get useful feedback on your skills.
*Location and time of this meeting will be different!

Meetings of BASF Toastmasters start at 17:45, J660 / R136
www.basf-toastmasters.com/contact
meetup.com/Toastmasters-LU

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!

28 Nov

December 2017: “Winterdorf” & White Elephant Gift Exchange

Dear colleagues and fellow Toastmasters,
in December we will meet for a glas of hot spiced wine in the “Winterdorf” at Rhein Galerie. A doodle survey to find a date / time for as many as possible will be sent out soon.
On our last Toastmasters meeting on Mon 11th December we will have a White Elephant Gift Exchange​. This funny part of our last session in 2017 has become a nice tradition.
Looking forward to see you all in December and again in the new year!
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

23 Mar

Make them say “Yes” (1/2)

By experimental research Robert Cialdini found out major principles of persuasion. He focussed on the behavior of   “compliance professionals”, e.g. people working in sales, adertising or marketing. People working in these fields find themselves often in a position where they have to persuade their vis-à-vis for a positive decision.

Usually a speaker isn’t in such a “dialogue” situation, but she / he also wants to convince the audience of an opinion or make them agree to the speech content. So why not try to adapt Cialdini’s principles of persuasion to your speech?

Reciprocation or “give & take”

It’s human nature that we respond to try to react in a corresponding matter to someone’s (friendly) gesture or action. This principle is used in sales – you get a taster or a freebie and feel obliged to buy a product or service. As a speaker you usually would not scatter little presents among your audience like pens or pocket lighters.

But sometimes you have prepared a handout of your presentation anyway. So why not handing it on to your audience with a remark like “It was an additional effort for me to prepare this handout / paper but I thought it might be useful for you.” May be you have arranged an object of demonstration or a special simulation to support your speech. Talk about it: “Especially to make it clear for you I have this and that, I hope you like it”. Receiving a “gift” like this makes your audience feel that they are in your debt. The need to “repay” can lead them audience to agree, for example if you need acceptance of a proposal or a project.

Commitment and consistency or “yes, yes, yes”

Once we are dedicated or used to an activity or an attitude we usually remain constant to it. Quite the same is with opinions or commitments.  The challenge is to find a basic opinion or question the audience will easily approve. Have a look at your them main idea or assumption of your speech, is there a part in it acceptable for everyone? Then you can build on this first acceptance and create a chain of agreements that lead to your request.

Let’s make a simple example. If you want to convince your audience to exchange conventional bulbs to energy-efficient lamps you probably won’t succeed with a statement like “You should exchange every bulb in your household immediately!”.  Instead try this one

  1. For sure reduction of CO2 emission is a major challenge of our society.
  2. Do you agree that energy efficiency is a key factor for reduction of CO2 emission?
  3. And everyone can contribute to make energy consuptiom more efficient.
  4. Even small measures are helpful.
  5. It’s clear that it’s up to each and everyone of us to each do something about it.
  6. So a change to a change to energy-efficient lamps can be implemented easily by everyone.

Social proof or “success by imitation”

Our behaviour is mostly orientated to successful patterns we already know. Feeling uncertain about an issue we try to follow proven examples and decide in accordance.

Ask yourself: How do recommondations for a product or a service affect your personal buying decision? So by mentioning successful examples of similar cases in a speech your audience will follow the suggestions you make. Try to provide cases where the concept or the ideas of your presentation were already effective.

pictures:
S. Hofschlaeger  / pixelio.de
Thommy Weiss  / pixelio.de

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!