As a Computer Science student and later an engineer, I like to shine only behind the scene. Six years ago, a friend of mine recommended that I try Toastmasters. It took me a while to take it seriously and join a club, and now I understand some of the benefits that Toastmasters could bring to one person. I LOVE Toastmasters and I couldn’t wait for its 90th Anniversary. But now it is over. Ninety people celebrated the 90th Anniversary Toastmasters on Friday, the 17th of October.
The location of the Anniversary was the Arminiusmarkthalle, where we had a big and very original space in the heart of the city. The perfect location in Berlin! We had preassigned places at the table, sitting near Toastmasters members from other clubs, because Toastmasters is about meeting great new people, right? I had the great pleasure to meet and sit near the Mercury founder, Oliver Schubbe.
On that evening, we had keynote speeches, Table Topics speeches, awards, yummy food and, of course, welcoming proseco for our anniversary toast.
Morag Mathieson, the Region 11 Advisor (for Europe, Middle East and Africa) shared with us thoughts about Toastmasters. She gave a keynote speech and encouraged all of us to take as much as we can from Toastmasters and give it back. Pascal, the Area C1, District 95 Governor and Johanna, “the mother of Mercury”, an admiral in Toastmasters, as she likes to call herself, also shared with us thoughts about Toastmasters.
Table Topics was amazingly moderated by our lovely Eliza. She conducted a debate both in English and in German on well-chosen German topics: football and Berlin’s newest and inexistent airport. Taking into consideration that her mother tongue is Estonian, this is quite impressive. Chapeau!
What I liked the most was the Wings Award for “members who have noticeably overcome their fear of public speaking. Perhaps they have taken on leadership roles despite their shyness. They have made great effort – stretched beyond their comfort zone – and made visible progress in reaching their goals.” Out of twenty nominations, five people received the award and two of them are from Mercury: Robert and Diana – this is me!!! It was so great to be there, feel supported and encouraged by so many people. Thank you Toastmasters for giving me such a precious award.
We had a delicious food menu for every taste, be it for vegetarians, fish or meat lovers. As a desert, we had home made cakes. Worth mentioning is the “best cake” contest, which was based on a raffle. Three lucky winners got nice souvenirs to remind them of this special evening.
The event closed with some elegant dancing; we all left inspired and happy to be part of such an organization. As for me, I am grateful to Ralph Smedley, the founder of Toastmasters, to Oliver Schubbe, the founder of Mercury Toastmasters Berlin and to every Mercury member who makes each of my Wednesday evenings joyful, enriching, and special.
Thank you Khushi for the flawless organization and for making such an event possible.