Residential Weekend 2014


by Christian

What a weekend - our first Toastmasters Residential Weekend in Prague. A weekend full of fun, getting to know new friends, interesting workshops and great speeches.

By following an invitation of our friend Tomáš Sedlmajer from Prague Toastmasters and a founder of our club, the Blue Danube Speakers, we came up with the idea to travel to Prague. A small but mighty delegation hit the road to Prague without regrets. Toastmasters from more than ten different countries and different clubs took part.

The first evening began with getting in touch with each other and performing spontaneous and funny games. Of course, the parties did not come too short.

After a very short night, the workshops began in the morning with great and interesting guest speakers with various topics. Mind, Body and Soul-techniques, Humorous Speaking, presentation techniques, to name a few. We the audience had enough opportunities to contribute and help shape the workshops with group works, exercises and discussions.

A special workshop was the Master Class. Master Class means that speeches are prepared and then analysed by experienced Toastmasters. Objective of the Master Class is to improve the speeches in the direction of structure, gestures and language. This constructive feedback was given to the speakers. The speaker then had the opportunity to incorporate this feedback and repeat the speeches the next day.

A trip into the subject of Neuro Linguistic Programming was particularly interesting. In this special workshop - with a well-known NLP trainer - techniques of NLP were explained and examples shown. Nevertheless, being torn between believing or not in such things, we were very surprised because of the results.

During the breaks - of course - was enough time to get together and talk, all in English. Uncommon grammar and vocabulary weaknesses were balanced with the more commitment.

After an extensive, typical Czech dinner was again Socializing - as the Toastmasters so like to call it - announced. I describe it as talking to interesting people, having fun and party, party, party.

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. I have found the previous speeches already good, but what kind of an improvement. Story, gestures, facial expressions and language - great what the speakers made out of the feedback and the speeches.

This was the end of an amazing weekend. Such a positive mood, open and interesting personalities, great speeches, fun and interesting workshops.

Big thanks for being part of this weekend and I'm hoping to see these people again.