15 Years Erlangen Toastmasters

On January 27th we, Erlangen Toastmasters, celebrate our 15th anniversary. We are proud to be a vibrant and fun club dedicated to improving communication and developing as leaders. As a result, after chartering in 2006 we earned Toastmasters International’s highest club recognition, the President’s Distinguished Club Award, every single year thereafter. Over the years, many members participated in our program only to advance in careers and life ambitions. We’ve culminated countless friendships and produced multitudes of international speech competition winners.

While the past 15 years were remarkably successful, we see another 15 years of accomplishments ahead. We intend to honor our successes and present continued success for the future on the 27th. That is why we’ve secured the best possible keynote speaker, Past International President Pat Johnson, to join us for our Anniversary Meeting.

Pat Johnson joined Toastmasters in 1983 and has been a member ever since. In 2004 she was elected and served as International Director of Toastmasters International until 2006. In 2010/11, she served as their International President and Chairman of the Board. During this time, Pat earned her reputation for inclusive, fair, and honest leadership at the global level.

Come and visit our anniversary meeting. Listen to Pat and, of course – become a Toastmaster yourself. Only by doing so, do we learn. Here you can see the agenda and you will also find the Zoom login information 30 minutes prior to the start of the meeting.

Zoom link:

Meeting ID: 844 3375 3057

Please feel free to download the flyer and post it in your favorite social media channels:

Yet an other great meeting

Alexander as first time toastmaster of the evening

On December 12. we had a great meeting. Alexander had his premier as toastmaster of the evening. He did a fantastic job by combining his musical skills with facilitating the evening. He played the guitar, the piano, the saxophone and the drums to guide us through the various part of the evening.

20 people present

Three beautiful and fun speeches

Our speakers tonight were

  1. Jonas Ritzer, Why are we here?
  2. Mayank Patwari, The Quest for Charisma
  3. Matthias Senn, Digital beyond the scanner

And the awards

go to ….

  • Best Speaker Award Jonas Ritzer
  • Best Table Topics Award Jake Tuschinski
  • Best Evaluator Award Christian Riegel
  • Most Improved Award Jonas Ritzer

Morag Mathieson, DTM: Elected International President

Our Member Morag Mathieson got elected as Toastmasters International President.

As first Vice President, she is now an International Officer and on her way to becoming International President 2023-2024. This makes her the first member of District 95 and the first woman from Europe in this position.
She is a Toastmaster since 2006, lives in Bavaria, Germany, and is a member of the following clubs in District 95: Fraenkly Speaking Toastmasters, and of course: Erlangen Toastmasters.

She chose to name our club as her home club. We are delighted and honored to have you as our member.

When asked about her home club she stated:

Erlangen Toastmasters – where leaders are made.

On August 30th she posted on her facebook page:

Thankful to be elected Second Vice President of Toastmasters International! Thank you to everyone who put their trust in me. I look forward to serving with sincerity, courage and compassion. Thank You to my campaign team for all your support and encouragement and for the beautiful roses you gave me yesterday (one from each of you).
Thanks also to
Don Bittick and
Radhi Spear
for running this race with me. We each ran in our own way and I’m glad we ran together. Wishing you success for whatever lies ahead.
Grateful for all the new and returning board members I will serve with: President
Richard Peck
President Elect
Margaret Page
First VP
Matt Kinsey
Deepak Menon
Region 1
Naomi Takeuchi
Region 2
Karen Marie

Region 3
TK O’Geary
Region 4
Harold Osmundson
Region 5
Mohamad A. Qayoom
Region 6
Melissa Davis McGavick
Region 7
Salah A. Asad
Region 8
Roy Ganga
Region 9
Stefano McGhee
Region 10
Elizabeth Nostedt
Region 11
Aletta Brune Rochat
Region 12
Lesley Storkey
Region 13
Sudha Balajee
Region 14
Dorothy Isa Du
Thank you to all the other candidates who ran for election this time:
Tod Henry,
Rob Christeson,
Linda Rhea,
Avis Brodie,
Shirley Daley,
Rebecca McGilton,
Patricia O’Reilly,
Pedro Casillas,
Jan Vecchi, Liva Wan.

Vacation reading

On vacations I enjoy reading books. This year I choose to book “together” from Vivek Murthy, A former surgeon general of the United States.

To my delight he described on page 71 a member of the city council of Anaheim who overcame his stage fright with friends he made in Toastmasters.

A perfect example of what Toastmaster’s should be about. Glad to read that this happens obviously quite often.

That’s what our club stands for as well.

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.