23 Feb Blue Danube Speakers @Residential Weekend 2015 by Peter
The Toastmasters Residential Weekend has taken place again! This time the venue was chosen to be the wonderful Wellness Hotel Akademie Naháč in Chocerady, an artistically-painted village in the Bohemian Region of Czech Republic. A weekend conference full of Workshops to Educate yourself, networking opportunities to Engage in and Entertainment for you to Enjoy.
A small delegation formed by Jürgen and my humble self (Peter) was sent forth on a journey that turned out to become an incredible and priceless experience full of fun, getting to know interesting people with diverse backgrounds, and above all great speeches and workshops by professional speaker.
The first evening began already well-organized in the lobby of the hotel, where we already had the chance to get in touch with some participants. Name tags were handed out, the agenda got introduced and sign-up sheets for all the offered workshops were ready to be filled out. Thanks to the name tags, you could keep your cool in case of forgetting someone’s name 😉 We were surprised to find out that some people came from even further places than Linz. Especially this exhilarating mix of people coming from the U.S., Australia and several European countries created a promising atmosphere for the rest of the evening. Whether through exciting conversations while enjoying delicious typical Czech cuisine, or funny impromptu games at the bowling facility of the hotel. The aspect of socializing among all the Toastmasters was guaranteed.
After a very short night, the workshops began in the morning with a very motivating keynote speech by Kees Bros, our Honored District Governor. The topics themselves ranged from how to present complex solutions to customers, improvisation techniques for business, untying your tongue, impromptu speeches, miscommunications in teams, finding and getting out the most of your personal Morpheus.
A special workshop was the Master Class. Master Class means that speeches are prepared and then analyzed by experienced Toastmasters. Objective of the Master Class is to improve the speeches in the direction of structure, body language and vocal variety. This constructive feedback of 80 people was given to the speakers. They then had the opportunity to incorporate the feedback and repeat the speeches the next day. Jürgen was selected to be one of the three Master Class Speakers, and could experience the power of good feedback, hence the improvement of his speech first-hand.
We also discovered that great and vivid toasts can also be given in the Sauna, especially while sipping extraordinary local wine. Not to forget about Sauna experiences itself and deep-thinking conversations about trucker magazines.
The Master Class on the last day was the completion of this awesome Residential Weekend. The speakers had obviously taken account of the feedback. The result was impressive. We found the speeches as they were first presented already very good, but the improvements broke through the ceiling. J his structure, the timing of his body language and vocal variety to get the most out of his speech. The technique of “making love” with the flip chart to prevent losing your audience, can highly be recommended.
The closing ceremony concluded the weekend with handing out awards for recognizing various achievements, such as the ‘most eco-unfriendly speaker’, ‘the most silent participant, but with incredible observing skills’, and so forth.
Many Thanks and a tip to the hat to the team behind Ewan Scattergood who organized this amazing weekend, and above all for the warm welcome to this conference. Hope to see you all next year.