22 Oct I’m in by Andrew
The evening kicked off at 7pm, with a short introduction from the group’s president, Ruta. This was followed by an impromptu and humorous recap of Thorsten’s recent trip to America. What should have been a nice and relaxed business trip with a standard presentation included turned into something a lot more challenging when he found out that there had been some changes made to the plans at the eleventh hour. Nevertheless, he gave a successful speech, thanks in no small part to the experience which he has built up during his time as a member of Linz Toastmasters.
Next up was the group’s Grammarian, Oliver, who provided the word of the day. He chose ‘enjoyable’ based not on the difficulty of the word, rather because he felt it was a word which everyone knew, but very few people were incorporating into their speeches. With a lot of people tending to over-rely on words such as ‘good’ and ‘nice’ when describing situations, I felt this was a good choice on his part. It was used well throughout the session.
We then had our first speaker of the evening. Jürgen’s speech title “The Little Ugly Sister?” had everyone’s interest piqued from the beginning. Was he about to speak about a family member? Was he about to call her ugly? No, we soon found out that he had recently attended a Toastmasters event in Hungary, and the similarities between Vienna and Budapest led him to the conclusion that Budapest was indeed the smaller and less beautiful of the two cities.
Up next was Patrick to deal with the topic of how to improve your persuasive speaking. His short but very effective speech was followed by a mini-workshop in which he generously gave each of us a copy of his Speech Pad, so that we could all plan our next presentation. Talking us through the various stages of his Speech Pad, it became clear immediately how useful this tool could be to anyone wishing to give a speech or presentation of any kind. Every aspect is covered; from the main message you want to convey, through the research stage, choice of metaphors, right up to the preparations which should be carried out on the day of the speech. In this digital day and age, I have to say that it was very refreshing to get back to a pen and paper approach to planning your public speaking.
Overall, it was a very enjoyable evening. This was only my second time attending a Toastmasters event, but what I saw impressed me and convinced me to join. Now I’m a proud member of the Blue Danube Speakers, and I look forward to giving my icebreaker speech at the next session on November 3rd.