Thursday, August 21, 2008

Visit To Berlin Toastmasters Club

I was guest speaker at First Berlin Toastmasters club last night.  The club's president, Claude Deroches, an ex-patriot Canadian, organized my visit.  Claude has been a Toastmaster for about 12 years and is currently ACS.  He is the only remaining charter member of this Berlin club.  The club has about 22 members currently.  I was their third speaker on the lineup and their first DTM there.  

There are only five TM clubs in Berlin and only two are in English.  Members often have to travel to neighbouring countries for contest events as well as club officer training.  So we should all consider it a bonus here in Mississauga that we have all our events locally.

The members are about 75% Germans who want to improve English and 25% ex-patriots from other countries.  There were members from UK and USA there as well.

The Germans themselves were surprisingly good speakers in English.  I was quite impressed.  Vocal variety and clarity were great.  There were even two members of another Berlin TM club who came because they wanted to see me as a guest speaker.  

One thing that was interesting was that they had real champagne glasses there for the toast.  They provided mineral water as well as white wine.  

After the meeting, we all went to a restaurant for their version of post-toasties which was nice.  There was about 8 of us and they do this as a regular thing even after a weeknight meeting.  

I'll definitely be keeping in touch with Claude since he returns to Canada for about two weeks each summer.  I told him that when he comes next year, I'll set him up at our club and maybe a corporate club too.  He would be a good person to not only give a speech here but also serve as an external evaluator for our club.