Toastmasters of Paris
Founded in 1975, our club is the oldest English-speaking Toastmasters Club in France.
We are a family of nations where everyone who masters English is welcome.
This worldwide organization establishes guidelines for all clubs, ensuring that they follow the paths of integrity, service, respect, and excellence.
Since early on, the club’s meetings have been held in an elegant restaurant in the heart of Paris: ‘Les Noces de Jeannette’
The pleasure of enjoying together a three-course meal and wine enables our members to relax while listening to excellent and informative speeches.
Does the wine help in stimulating its members to give such creative speeches and ingenious evaluations? Does the environment, together with the restaurant’s friendly service, contribute towards the enthusiasm of its members and their guests for these club meetings?
We think so!
Since 1975, Toastmasters of Paris has been winning awards almost annually, including the Distinguished Presidential Club and Selected Presidential Club. The banners seen in the photos are a testimony to the many distinctions TMP has won over its 45-year history.
Toastmasters International stresses four core values: Integrity, Respect, Service, and Excellence
and these are at the heart of our meetings.
Aligned with these values, Toastmasters of Paris provides a mutually supportive and positive learning environment: every member has the opportunity to develop communication and leadership skills, fostering self-confidence and personal growth.
Toastmasters of Paris is forty-five! Older than any other Parisian Toastmasters, the club was determined to celebrate this landmark in style. Taking place under COVID conditions, this took a good deal of creativity, but the meeting of Tuesday, November 17, 2020 was a masterpiece of stylish fun and festivity.
Club president Vicki Gerber, ably assisted by the executive committee, wanted a fitting commemoration of a forty-five-year history, and so, in addition to the traditional trappings of jokes, toasts, speeches and evaluations, there were some surprises with special guests and unusual moments.
A warm welcome was extended to former members who returned to join in the occasion. VIP guests included Toastmasters International President Richard E. Peck, DTM, who kindly agreed to serve as General Evaluator. He performed the role generously, concluding with fulsome praise for the event organization and the speakers.
Vicki coordinated the evening with aplomb, later remarking that she felt like a conductor of a talented orchestra. While our rendition of Happy Birthday – with its dissonant Zoom echoes – was perhaps less than classical, the theme, quotation, and table topics provided a subtle harmony, and there was talent aplenty in the speeches and subsequent evaluations.
The idea of the evening was that it takes a long time to become young (Picasso). Bertrand recounted the important events of 1975, and club historian Peter Kenton talked about TMP’s progress since that founding year, showing how the group continues to build upon rich traditions and heritage while cultivating a youthful spirit. Teamwork is responsible for the success of this club, he suggested.
Vicki has acknowledged this, thanking Peter for his contributions as well as the many other people whose work made the evening such a success. She singled our several ‘orchestra’ members, including Sam (Woodman) for the fabulous birthday card design, Martin (Raim) and Oana (Nitescu) for their creative ideas, Bertrand (Le Bris) for the excellent agenda, and Danielle (Willi) for her management skills.
The evening was an incontestable success and will be long remembered. Silly hats and party clothes, flags and birthday candles… It takes a long time to be this young at heart!
Meet Our Executive Team
Recently retired, I was looking to improve my social life. Diversity, speaking English and intellectual stimulation were at the top of my wish list.
With Toastmasters of Paris, I found so much more. It challenged my abilities to promote the club, increase membership, and animate a team of talented, enthusiastic people from different walks of life.
Through the roles that I played in the club, I was able to achieve these goals : making new friends, gaining greater self-confidence and finding a supportive learning environment.
Vice President Education
A good friend showed me to Toastmasters Club Bucharest, in 2011. I would love to say that since then I have been an active Member and tremendously developed my communication and leadership skills – but the truth is that I had an on/ off relationship with Toastmasters along the way.
When I moved to Paris, in 2017, looking for all the promised benefits and a positive social network, I started visiting Toastmasters Clubs. I knew it was love at first sight after the first dinner together at Noces de Jeanette.
To be continued…
Vice President Membership
I joined Toastmasters Paris in 2013 with a simple goal in my head – to overcome my stage fright!
Since then, I never regretted joining this club. I gained so much from it, not only learning how to speak in public but also meeting great, interesting people from diverse backgrounds, and most of all, the friendships I have made here.
This year, I volunteered to take part in the ExCom as VP Membership and enjoyed working with our highly motivated team members under the excellent leadership of our President Vicki.
Vice President Public Relations
Having spent the last 20 years working in digital marketing and communication, I have learnt that coming up with great ideas is never enough. Being able to communicate those ideas in a successful and inspiring way to others is the key, and that was my motivation for joining Toastmasters.
I really appreciate the non-judgmental and friendly learning environment where we all encourage and learn from each other.
I have been a member of Toastmasters since 2012, joining Toastmasters of Paris in 2014. Since then, I have reached the level of Competent Communicator (CC). I especially enjoy Table Topics (TT) either as a speaker or as a TT Master. My favorite – and only – trophy so far is when I took third place at a Table Topics Contest at the European level.
I am currently working on Pathways ‘Presentation Mastery’. I look forward to 2021 when the club should be able to meet once again at ‘Les Noces de Jeannette’. In the meantime, I administer the new Toastmasters of Paris website. Another challenge…
As a communications professional working at one of France’s Grand Ecoles, I am in awe of how easy it seems for some people to speak in front of a crowd. For me, it has always been difficult. But after my first speech in front of the incredibly welcoming members of Toastmasters of Paris, I realized that maybe – just maybe – public speaking didn’t have to be scary. After one year of membership, I’ve gotten much more comfortable with public speaking.
I’m also serving as club secretary this year, which means I’m responsible for taking the minutes at our Executive Committee meetings.
Sergeant at Arms
I joined Toastmasters of Paris in 2019. I wanted to meet and make new friends in Paris while working on my public speaking skills. I have given 5 speeches and the feedback for every one of them was very helpful.
I enjoyed our gatherings at “Les Noces de Jeannette” as well as online.
As Sergeant at Arms in 2020, I hope we continue to attract new members and connect with one another while learning and supporting each other.
Immediate Past President
A few months after my arrival in Paris in 2016, I felt the need to find a social activity I could enjoy in English and hopefully make some friends. I already had an interest in Toastmasters as I enjoy public speaking, and the minute I walked into my first Toastmasters of Paris meeting as a guest, I felt like I belonged.
Once I became a member, I was quickly asked to fill the role of VP Public Relations which was followed the next year by VP Membership and last year, President. This year, I play a consultative role for the new executive committee which gives me an opportunity to guide some of our newer members.
I’ve not only improved my speaking and leadership skills in my four years at Toastmasters of Paris, I’ve also met wonderful people at Club, Area, Division and District levels.
Peter is a lawyer and the historian of the club. He has been a Toastmaster in Europe since 1990, and is currently an active member of three clubs in Paris.
He has given presentations in four languages. He has achieved the grade of DTM, the highest accorded by Toastmasters International. He has earned recognition as “Toastmaster of the Year” by Toastmasters of Paris several times, “Best Area Governor” and “Outstanding Toastmaster of District 59”. He has helped establish new clubs in several European countries as well as the first bilingual club and has also been active in the organization of a professional speakers association in the U.K. and another in France.
As a student in France, he played sidewalk guitar at cafés and sang for coins; he also learned to appreciate French culture.