miércoles, 23 de enero de 2013

The Grandmother of Toastmasters

First session after that Marisol left the committee… First session for Aga as our new VPE in English! and I have to admit, she did a really good job!! She found 3 speakers in 3 days and 2 evaluators in 10 minutes. Congratulation Aga for your motivational skills!

We started the session with Mariyana who, after giving her IceBreaker last week, was doing her first steps as the Toastmaster of the night. How brave and motivated is she! An example to follow.

Mariyana brought us all to her native country, Bulgaria. More specifically, she brought us there for a particular occasion: Grandmother’s day. What a good theme to remember what a luxury it is to be with the loved ones. 

Our “technical team” was enhanced by the presence of Dani as our timekeeper, Isabel as our ah-counter and Eric, a TM member freshly arrived from Canada, as our Grammarian.
We directly notice the difference when a native English Toastmaster from another club arrives, because he gives us very difficult word of the day!!! Try to use “PERIPATETIC” in a sentence…… “Traveling from place to place, esp. working or based in various places for relatively short periods”.

I was wondering if this word as the same meaning in English than in French… I’ll let you look online for the translation of “péripatéticienne”. For sure they have the same roots!

Mariyana explained the structure of the agenda with the prepared speeches, evaluations and Table Topics. Thanks to Hans who broke the ice with a very funny joke, as usual, we were to enjoy a delighting session…

Our 3 speakers were in order:
- Matthias, who told us the benefit of collaboration to be stronger and more visible
- David, who made us laugh out loud telling the story of great people from his school and … him. He prefers “just to be”.
- Marion, who tried to motivate our TM members to organize a conference to share with innovators our Public Speaking knowledge and help them shape a better world.

The 3 assigned evaluators were Katya, Hans and Aga. They all did a great job evaluating the 3 speakers, with positive feelings and elements to improve.

The session continued with Andrea who was our Table Topics master of the night. She used the theme of the meeting “Grandmothers” to create delicate situations of the everyday life when you have to use your communication skills:
- Djanira was the grandmother of a boy who couldn’t stop playing with his smartphone so she had to find a strategy to make him leave the device and play with her and go out.
- Lidia had to face her grandmother and explain why it was impossible for her to go back home after the party at 8pm. At the end, it seems that she had the midnight autorisation! Good job!
- at the end, Andrea picked a guest to respond to her last topic. He had to convince his son to come less regularly with the grandson because they needed time alone.

When the Table Topics ended, we got the general evaluation of the technical team and our General Evaluator Ana.

Again, we witnessed the difference between clubs and that we are so used to proceed the same way week after week.  When asked to give his report, Eric got up and walked to the stage. Of course, like any other roles in the session, why not giving the speech in front of everybody… We got surprised! Thanks Eric to disrupt our habits!

Ana gave at the end a particular thank you to Mariyana for her first time as the Toastmaster of the night, to the technical team and to Aga for the great effort (and success) she accomplished for this session. And since we looooove it, we all applaud our new VPEs (Aga & Ana)!!!

If you had to read just one thing in the whole article, it’s the following:
Ana gave a specific advice for all of us: please, confirm your attendance to the meeting every week, check if you’re coming to the session, it makes the VPE’s job much easier because they know to whom they can ask for collaboration.
So thank you to ALWAYS confirm attendance on EasySpeak. For the next session, you can confirm here.

At the very end, we all celebrated Mariyana’s IceBreaker because the President forgot the week before… (shame on her!) so she received her very first ribbon. She has now started her career as a Toastmasters. Keep an eye on her, she is very promising!

Finally, Marion asked for volunteers for 2 events:
- the club contest that will take place on March. We need volunteers to organize it with Katya who will be our Chairman.
- Volunteers to organize the conference on April to help the social innovators with their public speaking skills.

Any question about these 2 events or if you’re interested, contact Marion: marionc.tmt@gmail.com

I’ll stop writing here because afterward we all went to have a beer at the “bar de la Tostada de Juan” and I don’t remember!   ;)

See you next Wednesday!

domingo, 20 de enero de 2013

La sesión Toastmaster Barcelona del 16 de Enero arrancó con novedades... Un esperado icebreaker, muchos invitados y “sesión ciega”! De nuevo nuestro comité nos sorprendió en otra ocasión con un nuevo formato de sesión por el cual cada uno de los miembros Toastmaster escribían en un papelito su nombre y casi sin darnos cuenta... TACHAAAN! Teniamos un rol asignado en la sesión (es por ello que hoy soy vuestro orgulloso bloggero ;)

Marisol (nuestra sexy del día) nos explicó la aventura que nos esperaba. El comienzo de la sesión daba pistas que esta era nuestra primera vez a ciegas y se tardo 25 min para que todo estuviese organizado y comenzásemos la sesión con cada uno metido en su nuevo y repentino rol. En este tiempo tanto Agnieska como Lucie charlaron con todos los invitados para explicarles como funcionaba toastmaster. 

Thomas dio paso una divertida sesión y nuestra presidenta Marion dió el primer paso presentándonos como se iba a desarrollar la misma y acogiendo a Isabel Valdivieso como nuevo miembro de nuestro club.

Aunque para primer paso, el de nuestro Toastmaster de la noche Oscar González que a pesar de no haber hecho nunca de Toastmaster de la sesión, un rol esencial ya que es el nexo de unión entre una y otra intervención, solventó con su buen hacer y humor la situación, felicidades Oscar!

Y después de la presentación de nuestro improvisado equipo técnico con Djanira como Timekeeper, Eduard como ah counter y Joan como gramarian proponiéndonos la palabra del día “despiste”, nadie se despistó y comenzaron los discursos preparados.

El Icebreaker fué a cargo de Mariana Tasheva que nos explicó que de pequeña ella queria ser futbolista y la forma como de regate en regate ha llegado a Barcelona, Gol seguro Mariana ;)

Andrea Burón nos conmovió explicándonos como Miguel dio su valiente paso para ser María.

Siempre con nuestro cohesionante Toastmaster Oscar como vehiculador de la sesión, Brock evaluó a Mariana con toques de humor aportándole un feedback constructivo a su discurso.

Magdalena por su parte evaluó a una muy perfecta Andrea lógicamente encontrando más puntos positivos que puntos a mejorar...

Y por fin, el momento de los Table Topics! Al son de “carnaval, carnavaaaal... carnaval te quieeerooo” nuestro nuevo fichaje Isabel “disfrazó” (dandoles el papel a interpretar) a Marisol de monja-sexy, que con su divertida intervención nos hizo imaginarla a todos en el traje, y a Teresa que nos metió en el cuerpo el ritmo rockero de Elvis.

Ambrós hizo de General Evaluator dandonos pistas de como mejorar las sesiones. También dio paso a nuestro equipo técnico. Un Ah counter Eduard muy contento ofreció un reporte mayoritariamente positivo. Nuestro Gramarian Joan hizo un conciso analisis de la gramatica utilizada a lo largo de la sesión. Y nuestra Time-Keeper Djanira también se mostro muy satisfecha con los tiempos utilizados en las intervenciones y remarcó que a pesar de empezar con retraso, finalmente acabamos “on time”.

Finalmente nuestra presidenta Marion cerro la sesión con su simpatia y pidió feedback a los invitados y toasmaster acerca de esta original sesión.

El uúltimo verso fué a cargo de Marisol que se despedia de nosotros como VP haciendo un brillante trabajo en todo el tiempo que lo ha desempeñado. Gracias Marisol!


domingo, 13 de enero de 2013

THE RETURN - Wednesday, January the 9th

Wednesday, January the 9th

It´s the return for the toasties, if you're one of those who could not come, you have done well, you would not have to sit. Here is a little summary of what happened in a broken English (I will do my best ;-)

Thomas Ronholt, who will now be the sergeant at arms of the new season, opened the first session of the year in front of a room full to the brim. Our President Marion, super enthusiastic wished us a happy new year and asked the guests who were there for the first time to íntroduced themself: they were not less than 10, probably a result of the effect "good new year's resolutions" .
Ana Villar, our toastmaster of the day, took the lead of the session and shared with us an emotional experience that she lived last week, performing in a the Ballet Barcelona show given to the children of San Pau Hospital for “los reyes”. She especially thanked us, toasties, to have encouraged her to participate in this adventure.
After a presentation of the proper conduct of the upcoming session, it's a guest who volunteered to tell a joke: a short one, as I like, and based on a play on words (on pronunciation of words). Oops, not necessarily easy to understand by all. Perhaps a lesson to take here?
Anyway, thanks Mr Guest.
For the first time, our VPE in charge, Marisol Cifuentes decided to include in the agenda the presentation of the blogger, it is to be considered a way to promote this role, who worked until now in the shade. Good initiative.
Also for the first time, we saw a speech duet whose goal was to experiment the vocal variety. A dared exercise in which Christian Clottu and Agnieska Gut developed their idea of ​​success and happiness. Each one of them alternately illustrated moments of personal success (their decisions and accomplishments that ensued) and lessons learned of happiness from the observation of attitudes and behaviors in others.
At the time of the assessment, I got the confirmation that our English was a bit oxidized. Since the beginning of the session, I could feel how words of different languages were fighting eachother to finally leave the way for English words in the mouths of our non-English speakers.
Unlike the speech, the evaluations were made individually. Is it that which generated an incertain beginning from the evaluators? Perhaps, but once started, Rubén Martínez and Judith Permanyer respectively commented Christian and Aga performance giving specific issues and concrete recommendations to our 2 speakers.
David Smith came on stage to present us the Table Topics part, with a seasonal theme: Thomas came back to his eight years and discovered the great lie of his parents (Santa Claus didn't exist, it was them) . Andrea, converted in an Algerian girl, for the cause, found herself having to explain to her parents the strange Dutch tradition related to Santa's Little (Slave) Helper. For the third topic, David wanted a perspective of a third party to tell the tradition of the famous Catalan Tío-caga, and it is our super pro-active Mr Guest (I apologize for not having noted his name) who was volunteer to improvise something .
Ana who was, resolutely, in a gratitude spirit, thanked us again before handing over to General Evaluator of the evening Katia Georgieva and her technical team to open the feedback part of session.
As ah-counter, Edu Couchez, a little stressed has successfully mentioned the filler words of everyone within the allotted time, bravo. It is with a radiant smile that Sandra Guerrero submit its detailed report about how we used the time of the session, a topic very dear to me. Hanz Pubanz, our vigilant grammarian, has let us know with a lot of humor, our errors of syntax and pronunciation. Thank you for the quality of the assessment that I think, is necessary and useful for our multilingual group.
Finally, Katia went through each role of the session in detail, managing different states: hesitant at first, disconcerted by the cheeky humor of Hanz, and confident at the end to give her recommendations.
Assuming a technical role, it's an opportunity to start to experiment the art of public speaking, on a small scale, begin to practice the language with which you are least comfortable and quietly, gradually, improve yourself while participating in the improvement of the session.
In the last part of the session, and because life is life, always in motion, we held elections to replace some current members who have decided to quit their current rol. So, a big thanks to Carmen Pazos, my partner in the role of VPM, to Marisol Cifuentesour super active VPE, and to Sonia Rosales, our discreet secretary.
A warm welcome
  - to Katia Georgieva, my new partner as VPM
  - to our two VPE, and yes, a novelty, we now will have Agnieska Gut as VPE for english sessions and Ana Villar as VPE for spanish sessions.
  - to Andrea Burón, our new webmaster who will work in partnership with our VPR Judit Permanyer.
This concludes my personal report of the meeting, see you on next wednesday with our first blind session. Sure it´s going to be very a funny and creative session.