Monday, November 30, 2009

Table Topics Contest

I love Table Topics! Love participating in them, love conducting them, love evaluating them, and just plain watching them. Because a Table Topic session is always a show, it's the most exciting and dynamic part of every meeting where everyone has the opportunity to think and speak on their feet.

And of course the key to a successful T
able Topics session are the witty, intriguing and entertaining questions and comments of the person leading the session – the Table Topic Master. Every meeting we reward the best impromptu speaker; there are all sorts of speech contests, but the Topicsmaster always remains the man behind the scene.

That's why last week we held our very first Table Topics Contest. This was a great opportunity for the members to achieve recognition for their creativity, presentation and organizational skills and to exchange experience and some exciting new ideas for Table Topics.

The results exceeded all expectations. All Table Topics were unique and riveting.
First, Yaroslav took us on a journey in time, to the far past, to bring civilization to primitive tribes. We were to explain to the prehistoric people how to use some of the everyday appliances we have in our time.

It's amazing how we take most of the things we have for granted, so when it comes to explaining them, we don't know where to begin. Especially if the questions are a bit... unexpected :)

The next Topicsmaster, Olena has provided us some food for thought with her Table Topics devoted to emotions, good and bad. With her Table Topics session she showed that everything is not black or white and even anger can sometimes be useful.

Table Topic session was rather unusual. It transported us to a courtroom where we took part in a civil case process between a dog owner who was walking his dog without a leash and a man, whom the dog allegedly bit. Despite the gravity of the matter, the whole trial was hilarious, thanks to the colorful and vivid acting of the participants.

The next Topicsmaster, Reno, had some deeply philosophical questions. He drew parallels between human behavior and the survival mechanisms of orchids. Apparently no matter how evolved we may be, we still adhere to the same rules as the rest of the animal kingdom.

The last participant was Andriy, who also made us travel in time, this time into our own childhood. It was very interesting to hear about the childhood memories people have. And some of the stories were really amusing. Like, you know that cats always land on their feet, and a sandwich always falls butter down. But do you know what happens if you put butter on a cat's back and throw it out the window? It lands on a tree. Go figure... :)

At the end of the meeting 3 winners were determined.

The best impromptu speaker chosen by the majority of votes was Christina, our new member, who won the audience over with a hilarious story from her childhood.

The best Table Topics Master was Yaroslav and the audience choice award went to Andriy.

Overall, the contest turned out to be a success. It was a lot of fun and very educational. I think we'll make such contests a tradition along with the annual speech contests.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Welcome a brand new VP PR

At the yesterday's meeting the President of Lemberg Toastmasters welcomed a brand new VP PR - Olena Derzhko - our devoted member who already has shown a lot of interest in contributing to the club's success and has been actively promoting it among her peers.
We welcome Olena to our team of officers!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Splendid meeting

We had a really good meeting lately, so I want to share with you what I liked most. Maybe, it will give you an idea for your role preparation next time.

First, a grammarian’s word of the day: «to take one’s goat». Usually, the most used words are synonyms to «good»: they are easiest to insert into prepared speech, or to use in some meaningless sentences to fill gaps between speakers. Words with more complex meaning or concerning a particular subject barely make their way to speeches of one or two speakers. This time it was a completely different story. Perfectly announced by grammarian, and promoted by toastmaster, it was used several times by each member!

Then, there was a viewpoint. Rules are following: speaker has 2 minutes to deliver a very controversial speech, a statement that causes a holy war. Each response is 1 minute long. I decided to discuss attitude to police. The statement was that nobody likes them, for good reasons, but still apply for help. We should appreciate their service and collaborate when we can. Certainly, everyone has their own experience with police, and different attitude, so there was a certain flame. Just as planned!

As a tabletopic master, Lena arranged a «job interview in a company of your dream». «Interviewees» needed to answer one question each:

  • What are your greatest weaknesses?

  • Tell us about the latest problem you encountered. How did you solve it?

  • What recent accomplishment are you most proud of?

  • How would your colleagues describe you?

  • What was the latest mistake you made? What did you learn from it?

It was a constant flow of interesting stories, personal experience, brilliant solutions. I liked the section very much.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Trip to the TM OfficersTraining in Kiev

Teaching is extremely difficult, i did not realize that until my recent experience of being a trainer. This was my first time in such a responsible role. And I realized that profession of a trainer or a teacher has been underestimated, especially in our country. Training is about sharing the experience and helping others in what they are doing.
Mykola Latansky has shared with us his view on the opportunities in life, motivation and inspiration. I do agree with him in things like positive thinking, and I believe that thoughts do materialize.

Overall, it's been a great weekend in Kiev. I am very happy that my fellow Toastmasters from our club had joined me and got a valuable information and fresh ideas on how to make our club even better. For me trips like this one are always productive, cause i get to know new cool people form TM community, like our new Area Governor Yulichka Dmytryshin--a very sweet, braive and smart lady, and spend a quality time discovering Kiev and new people around me:)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Weekend with Kiev Toastmasters

"Never mess with Ukrainians"--one more proof of that statement was given by Vera in her fabulous speech last Saturday at the joined meeting we had held together with Kiev guests.

Well, that was not the main idea of her speech, but whoever attended the meeting know what i mean:) The rest--go figure.

What i also liked was the Table Topic part led by Irina Nikolaynko. She brought to us a sense of summer holiday which I crave so much for.
After the meeting we had a great time walking around the city and tasting good food of fine Lviv cousine. One of the interesting places we visited was Lviv Brewery museum with its long history and great story. As a treat we got a chance to taste a true Lviv beer. Well, I do hope the guys had fun and they will come back for more:)

Friday, June 12, 2009

Grabbing Audience Attention

Do you feel you have a difficult time with starting your speech?
Do you feel the audience is chaotic and not intersted in you?

Startel them!! Tell them a joke or ask them a question.

The very important part of any presentation or a simple speech is drawing the attention of your audience. Moreover, i think it is a milestone to any presentation, because you want to make your audience start listening to you, and furthermore, get interested in what you are about to tell them.

Turns out it is not that easy to do.

Thank goodness there are tips that you can learn to use. One of the valuable source is an article written by Rana Sinha a cross-cultural trainer and author. So, I'd like to share it with you, hope you'll find it useful:

Improve your technique and keep impressing your audience!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Toastmasters are out in the open air

Winter is over!

Although, such a cold and gloomy weather like the one we had for almost 2 weeks now, makes me doubt that summer has come.

Anyway, no matter what the weather is like, Lemberg Toastmasters are celebrating the warm season ( I am beeing a bit hypocritical) by going out side. This is actually our second picnic and we plan to spend it by the lake with tasty shashlik (aka bbq) and the fun activities.

Our heart to all Toastmasters:)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Officially Registered!!!

I would like to express my gratitude to every member of Lemberg Toastmasters club who contributed to make our club recognized in the Toastmasters community.

We are finally charted!
My congrats to all of our members! I hope this event will help us explore more possibilities the Toastmasters is offering.

Now our new goal is to become a Distinguished club.

Good luck to us:)

VP Membership

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mascarad Party 2009

Another fun meeting with Kiev Toastmasters community our guys had a chance to attend. This was a mascarad party where everyone had a costume.

Before the party 4 of us (Lena Koronenko, Olena Derzhko, Alex Sheremet, and I) togather with Vera Viter and folks from Odessa TM club went to see newly opened galleries at PinchukArt Center and drink a coffee cocktail in SkyArt Cafe on the top of the Center.
What was real fun is that we had a chance to meet other Toastmasters, exchange the experience with them and jus hang out in a party atmosphere while tasting good food, wine and hot dances (swing, tango and salsa).

Even though Olena was not chosen as a winner of the best costume (she was an amazing and hot Red Hood), we all considered her costume to be the best in all aspects:) Alex got so much into his character that he even started speaking and joking just like Dr.House does. Impresive, i must say.
Well, it was a good time for sure, and we are looking forward to have more of events coming up this year to visit in Kiev.