Welcome Axel and thank you Michael

With the new toastmasters year we also got a new president: Axel Kraut. He takes over from Michael Sühling. A few days back they met and handed over the gavel.

Axel receives the gavel from Michael

The Romans had the Fasces to represent power, in Music it is the baton that indicates who directs an ensemble. In toastmasters we use the gavel to indicate who is the presiding officer

fasces, baton, gavel

In 2011, Toastmasters rebranded itself with the tagline “Where Leaders Are Made.” This roots in the observation of behavioural scientists that leaders are not born, but rather leadership skills can be learned by training, perception, practice and experience over time. Leadership learning is lifetime activity.

Where leaders are made

This is why we elect our club officers every year and the position of the president cannot be hold two times in a row. This way more members can receive training, perception, practice and experience in our clubs.

We thank Michael for his encouraging and prudent leadership. Our club was the first in our division to reach the highest level of distinction: president’s distinguished. This shows our club served its members well with well-trained officers, many members making progress in their educational paths with measurable achievements and attracting new members to our club.

Ribbon (not yet officially received)

We wish Axel and his team all the best for his term, that started July 1st. May our club continue to prosper and serve its members well.

All the best!

Our first online meeting was a success

On Wednesday we had our first online toastmasters meeting. It was a great success!

Prior to the meeting we had 30 minutes of technical warmup, where we familiarized ourseves with the software and got instructed how to

  • set the camera
  • mute ourselves
  • visibly clap

At 7pm our president opend the meeting and our toastmater of the evening Christian led us through the evening. It was his first time that he served as toastmaster of the evening – and that in such completely new environment. Chapau!

As you can see in the small print of the picture we had 22 people present – that is 20% than in our in person meetings. One guest even particpated from an other continent!

We had prepared speeches from

  • Axel on our upcoming Online Division Conference
  • Mayank on his upbringing and how he was often quite different than others
  • Alexander on Why beliefs are worth talking about

They all received lots and lots of applause – and rightly so.

I cant wait to seeing all of you soon again.

Online-Meeting on Wednesday

Zoom Meeting

Meeting-ID: 576 510 766

Quickdial mobile
+496971049922,,576510766# Deutschland
+493056795800,,576510766# Deutschland

Sandbox time: The call will be open starting 18:30. So you can familiarize yourself prior to the official start at 19:00.

Our District Director has kindly asked us to refrain from meeting in person and this is in line with recommendations to the public health.

Please switch to online meetings

Here is also a message from our international director Deepak Menon to all toastmasters clubs in affected areas. http://bit.ly/TI_Covid19.


In our club we plan to use a software called “Zoom” for our first online meeting this wednesday.


You can get Zoom to work on your device, in case you have not used Zoom before.

You can download the Zoom client before the meeting if you’d like. It can be found here:

You can also just click on the meeting link and then download it at that time. Here’s a short video (< 1 min) re. how to do that:

Here’s another short video (1:02 min) about the controls in Zoom:

There’s also a test room available, if you’d like to familiarize yourself a little bit before tomorrow’s meeting: https://zoom.us/test

Thank you to our VP Education Birgit for collecting this information for us.

Talk to you on Wednesday.

Alternative greetings

On March 4th we had our meeting in a slightly different place. Our normal meeting place at FIS was unfortunately not available. Sophie moved on short notice to the restaurant “Rundblick” Uttenreuth.

Our Meeting Place on March 4th

We had two speeches and two guests and we to learn something new: how to greet properly in the times of the coronavirus 😎.

Michael and Axel greeting properly

This clearly shows, that in unsure times it is good to show some humor!

Spring Contest 2020

What a wonderful evening! Two dozen people in the room and three contests:

  • International Speech
  • Evaluation and
  • Table Topics

Morag and David served us contest chairs. Olga served as chief judge 👩‍⚖️ .

For international speech contest we had two contestants: Dorleta and Mathias speaking about winning and Franconian happiness respectively.

For evaluation contest and table topics we had five contestants

  • Dorleta Gonzalez
  • Alexander Katzmann
  • Christian Riegel
  • Matthias Senn
  • Sukhminder Singh

In the Evaluation contest our target speaker Ute gave a speech with the title “participation”. Then the contestants had to give feedback. The more valuable the feedback the better the placement.

In table topics our contest master Morag asked all five participants the same question: “People wait in line for three hours to ascend the Eiffel Tower. For which monument would you be willing to wait in line for three hours?”


Congratulations to our winners! First and second place winners in contest will compete at the area contest in Bamberg on Saturday 28th March.

International Speech Contest
1st Place – Matthias Senn

Evaluation Contest
1st Place – Dorleta Gonzalez
2nd Place – Matthias Senn
3rd Place – Christian Riegel

Table Topics Contest
1st Place – Christian Riegel
2nd Place – Matthias Senn
3rd Place – Alexander Katzmann

Thanks again to everyone who made the evening possible.

Please find here a subset of the wonderful images taken at our spring club contest.

Competent Communicator and an other ribbon

What a wonderful evening! We got a new competent communicator in our club. Tonight Sukhminder Singh gave his 10th speech with the title back to basics and earned his competent communicator award.

Competent communicator Sukhminder

In addition the presidents distinguish club ribbon arrived at our banner. Our immediate past president David Mathieson is proudly presenting it to you. He has our reasons to be proud. During his leadership our club did very well in all areas important to Toastmaster’s: education and personal growth.

David presenting the presidents distinguished ribbon in front of our banner

Even so our banner already has quite a few ribbons it still can handle more! 😁

Welcome Mazhar

Toastmasters club provides a friendly environment where you can not only practice your public speaking but also get the feedback from our experts for further refinement.
Similar to many others, Mazhar has initially attended the Toastmasters Erlangen club as a guest. Now, He has taken a further step in order to improve his speaking skills by joining the club as a member on the first meeting of the year 2020.
We at Erlangen Toastmasters welcome you to attend any of our upcoming meetings and experience yourself how the club can support you to achieve your public speaking Goal.

X-Mas Party 2019

On December 18th we decided to have our X-Mas Meeting. As always we would have a party with wonderful food, a white elefant gift exchange and of course lots of table topic speeches. This years location we choose “Chez Mathiesons” as opposed to a normal restaurant.

As you can see from the pictures: We had a blast. The food was shared in a potlock fasion. It was plenty in variety and quantity. We started with Kir (almost royal) as aperitiv. Had first round of table topics before we went to the main course.

Then Dorleta was so kind to play a little a “left-right” game with us, where Steve and myself were the lucky winners.

After dinner we did the white elefant gift exchange as every year. And as every year we got a little into a sportive mode and it was easy for everyone to explain in a 2 minutes speech, why his or her gift was a perfect match.

We sing an old Scotish carol.

With a little singing we came towards an end of a wonderful evening.

We thank Morag and David very much for offering their home for this special meeting and look forward to see many of you in the next year again.

Lei Li gives his ice-breaker

The first speech a new member gives is called “Ice Breaker”. Lei Li has joined Erlangen Toastmasters club only a month ago and he has delivered his Ice Breaker speech on November 20, 2019. He talked about himself by focusing on how he is improving himself through quitting— 

  • worrying about opinions of others,
  • limiting believes of himself and
  • meeting expectations of everyone

The title of his speech was ‘I Quit’. We are proud of him and also encourage individuals like Lei Li to join Erlangen Toastmasters in order to become the better version of themselves.

Advanced: leader, feedback, pathways

Advanced Leader Bronze

For a good reason our tagline is: where leaders are made. There is a dedicated program in Toastmasters where you can learn and grow your leadership skills. Our member what are you going advanced in this program so far, that she received the official title: Advanced Leader Bronze

Olga receiving her new ALB badge

Congratulations to Olga for progressing in the program and achieving this award.


We all grow best when we receive feedback. Of course we also need to grow in giving feedback. This evening Axel showed us how he tackled this challenge.

While giving feedback in itself is based on what you see you nonetheless can prepare for it. Axel showed us his script and paper template to give feedback. We can see that the name of the receiving person is so important, that he writes it on top and bottom 😊

Feedback template from Axel

When looking more closely you can also see come out that Axel always structures his feedback in three sections

  • Observations and quotes marked with an eye 👁
  • Impact on him and the audience marked with an arrow ==>
  • Potential hint for improvement or wish

Zooming into Axels template

Thank you Axel for showing us your structure so clearly and hands on.

Level 3 in Pathways

As a third highlight of the evening we could congratulate our member Morag to finish level III in the new education program pathways. Morag is our first member in doing so.

I also took a picture of our president Michael handing over the level three ribbon. Yet somehow my mobile phone went out of battery and did not store it. Sorry for that and of course none the less: CONGRATULATIONS MORAG!