Josep introduced the theme of the night by telling us how a recent trip childhood memories flooding back: nostalgia! Vicki chose “remember” as word of the night. Alex suggested that it is soothing to think back to happy times, but his toast included “Great times past and future”.
Looking forward to the future, Amine stressed that mastery is achievable with hard work, discipline, and passion – and there is no better group with whom to explore this than TMP. He promised that, having been touched by our warmth, he will offer the same in return should he be granted membership.
Nikoleta’s table topics encouraged people to remember –
Silvia recalled a special song that reminds her of a place she loved… Patrick explained how his family had influenced his values and beliefs, teaching him to think ahead… Suzanne brought us back to a day she will always remember when she was touched by her parents’ love for each other… Martin told us about his relationship with his daughter and how, although they disagree on certain topics, they come together over the grandchildren… Lars introduced his childhood friends and the “shenanigans” they got up to… Oana remembered being “rebellious”, “a rock girl” who enjoyed friends and concerts… Mohammad H told us how he wanted to be a chemist, intrigued by the magic of chemical reactions – but his experiments were explosive, one ejecting him from the school lab and another almost blinding his brother!
Caroline’s “From the Future to the Past” was evaluated by Connal. He suggested she was “wonderfully entertaining” with “a naturally warm and engaging manner,” and commended her effortless eye contact, animated hand gestures, and ability to leave the lectern and her notes. She could, he argued, rehearse a little more in order to abandon her notes completely and avoid any stumbles.
“Visionary Communication” by Nadege won praise for meeting the objectives of “good speech delivery aligning content with body language”. Paula, evaluating, cited examples of interesting body language, for example, acting out using the phone and placing her vote in the ballot glass. She noted that Nadege showed no stress: she “shines”, apparently in her “happy place”! However, Paula recommended tighter structuring of the ideas.
Siobhan evaluated “Apples”, commending Cindi’s eye contact and body language, storytelling, and humor, and suggested that Cindi is a “Renaissance (wo)man”, knowing everything and applying knowledge with a light touch. She applauded Cindi’s spirit – she has stepped in several times at the last minute to entertain with a non-Pathways speech – but recommended that Cindi now challenge herself with a serious topic.
Suzanne, Grammarian, said she is proud to be a member of this club where “good grammar is not dead!” There was praise, too, from Larry, General Evaluator. He liked Claudia’s simple and funny joke, Vicki’s pairing of the night’s word with the theme, and Nikoleta’s excellent table topics. He applauded club members for their willingness to take on roles at the last minute, but he also reminded the group of the difficulties posed by last-minute changes, suggesting that these should only be requested in emergency.
Guest evaluations included “interactive” from Stephanie, former Toastmaster from New York – “storytelling” from Karen, a first timer – “fantastic”, “inspirational”, and “warm” from Mohamed, Dania, and Ella, all visiting for the second time – and “shenanigans” from Amine, guest for the final time. Razak, President of a toastmaster club in Togo, said it had been “great”. To Oana, a former TMP President, the experience was simply “home”, and we were delighted to welcome her back.
The evening ended with several pieces of news. First Connal announced a new restaurant payment process, which he demonstrated. Next Vicki told us she was visiting the American Embassy to present the clubs under her jurisdiction as Area Director; she will encourage people to visit us. She and recommended that we should also see other clubs, assuring us that speeches given elsewhere count for our Pathways programs. And finally, news of the evening’s winners: congratulations to Suzanne and Martin for their table topics, Cindi for her speech, and Siobhan for her evaluation.