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Meeting 173 – Club Officers Elections

Yesterday we had our Club Officer Elections and we must say that our president managed to make us nostalgic about the Toastmaster year 2014/2015 which went surprisingly fast!

It was the meeting of retrospections with emphasis on the activities done by Club Officers however we didn’t give up on our core meeting roles: speakers and evaluators. For the curious ones, here is what actually happened during the meeting:

We had two prepared speeches: Simeon with Project 2 from Competent Communication manual talking about his current passion – teaching to share the knowledge accumulated as professional. A subject close to his heart he said as he is providing courses to his IBM colleagues regularly (up to 25% of his time!). Then we had Anna with Advanced Manual – Speaking to inform project and she told us the secrets of what to do and how to do when your luggage gets lost while travelling by plane. Things to keep in mind: don’t panic, don’t leave the airport without a reference number once you reported the luggage loss, get a phone number where to ask for information about its status and ask about the compensation package!

The prepared speeches were evaluated by Josef and Martin and they both gave pertinent suggestions and praised the good preparation of the speakers!

The second part of the meeting was dedicated to Elections: Mary, the Toastmaster of the meeting had a presentation about each and every officer role for everyone to know what these roles imply and require. Then Simeon held an absolutely amazing press conference with our current president Jerome. There were so many questions asked and we found important information about the club activity during this year! The officers team was successful as we had monthly meetings without exception, everyone was involved in raising the meetings content quality and we supported each other as friends and colleagues!

Obviously the last part was the highest-pressure one. For each officer role the candidates had to come on stage and tell in 1-2 sentences why they want to become club officers, what is their motivation for it. We are pleased to announce that all the officers have been elected by 100% votes ‘FOR’ from the present active members.

Here are our new officers:

President:  Ioana Florentina Pop

Vice President Education: Pavlina Marsalova & Simeon Iskidzhiski

Vice President Membership: Jana Weinlichova & Jan Grund

Vice President Public Relations: Josef Hertl

Treasurer and Secretary: Martin Plsek

Sergeant at Arms: Eva Vodickova

Big congratulations to our new crew that will start its activity on 1st of July and good luck in the new roles!

Ioana Pop, VP PR


Meeting 170 – Rituals

Do you wonder how the last meeting was? If you missed it here is a short overview:

Meeting theme was Rituals and we found out that everyone has rituals from ‘a very good cup of coffee every morning’ to starting their daily work in a specific manner. Toastmasters too have rituals and if we think about it the entire meeting is a list of rituals very well linked together.

We had one prepared speech presented by Jan RejchrtProject 3 from Competent Communication Manual called Beekeeping and money. Jan proved that he knows a lot about apiculture: his father is a beekeeper and his university degree was about beekeeping and the benefits it brings. According to his research the benefit that the beekeeper obtains is only a small part of the huge impact that bees have on the agriculture. The bees are the only ones that pollinate flowers, vegetables and trees so we should be really mindful and use more honey to support the natural process and the earth.

And as Jan says ’Many people like honey but everyone likes … money! ‘ so we might consider beekeeping as a really profitable business!

Those who missed the District Conference in Bratislava last month had the chance to see a great workshop held by Michal Holub on Toastmasters lessons from real life. His life completely changed after joining Toastmasters and started to apply the lessons learned in the real life such as leadership skills, presentation skills, and the idea of having a manual to follow for sales, prepared and impromptu speeches. He moved from a developer up to International Sales Director and he strongly believes that there are many similarities between the real life situations and the toastmasters meetings whereas you need leaders in both; you need to be a very good communicator. The difference is clearly a skill builder: if in real life everything is serious and your job might depend on it, in Toastmasters you have the freedom to play, to forget about limits and not be afraid of others opinion or the feedback you might receive. A very inspiring workshop!

Elections are coming (in 3 weeks) and to make sure that everyone knows well what are the roles and responsibilities of Club Officers we had a presentation about them instead of the Table Topics Session. To sum up each role, the current officers told us the following:

President – Jerome: The President is the one who directs the club in meeting the members’ needs for educational growth and leadership, establishes long-term and short-term goals for the club and he is Club’s representative on Area and District Councils.

Vice President Education – Marie: plans, organizes, and implements the meetings to fit the chosen speeches, educational modules, and related events to the members’ needs. When members complete a speech or a major achievement, it is the VPE who initials the manuals or contacts Toastmasters to ensure proper recognition.

Vice President Membership – Zuzana and Tomas: plans, organizes, and implements a continuous marketing effort to ensure that club membership remains above charter strength (20 members). This is done both by retaining current member, with the VPE, and by gathering new members, with the VPPR.

Vice President Public Relations – Ioana: plans, organizes, and implements programs to maintain the positive image of the club and Toastmasters for all guests, members, and the general public. Main activities include publicity campaigns, website maintenance, social media representation (Twiter, Linkedin, Facebook) and club newsletters.

Treasurer and Secretary – Martin: cares for the club’s records, including by-laws and constitution, new member applications, supply orders, officers’ lists, and past club records fall to the Secretary for execution. The Secretary also records and reads the meeting minutes, for meetings of the club and of the Executive team. As treasurer he is responsible for Club financial policies, procedures and controls. The role involves the club’s finances, including dues collection and materials purchasing.

Sergeant at Arms – Eva: arranges setup for all meetings, sets out and cares for the club’s materials and supplies, Club property, including banner, nametags, and supplies, and greets members and especially guests

Next meeting we will be talking about Gadgets, don’t miss meeting 171!

Ioana Pop, VP PR

Meeting 168 – Challenges at work

Yesterday we had our first meeting in Impact Hub Brno with the theme ‘Challenges at work’ with more than 20 people attending. It was a special event as we had Evel Meckarov who works as a Transformation Portfolio Manager at IBM and has many years of experience in building trainings and education programs for different types of audience. The Table Topics were also different thanks to Libor Mattus from Brno Toastmasters.

As a short overview, let us tell you what did we have as prepared speeches?

The Weak and the strong – Jan Grund, CC4

Should we help the weak one? This was the question asked by Jan in his 4th speech of the Competent Communication Manual and he exposed the two answers: Yes, we should help the weak ones as they can become strong and No, the strong one should exclude or even isolate the weak ones. We definitely found his opinion and enjoyed the speech ending stated as : ‘Any weak can become an IT geek’ .

Runecast – Stanimir Markov, CC4

Stanimir presented us for his 4th Project of Competent Communication Manual his Startup company Runecast and what they offer to their clients through their platform. His purpose was to inform and convince us that his platform build with 2 of his friends offers Proactive Support, Expertise, Deployment, Security, Integration and Prevention in a simple and unique manner.

Modern teaching and development techniques

We are all surrounded by education, workshops, self-help books, development articles. How to make sense of it all and how to choose the most effective development source for yourself. Evel taught us how to take it to the next level and design our own workshop or education material to be effective and fun.

The session was a true ‘wow’ for our audience as the 10 minutes of Q&A session seemed to be insufficient for all the questions we had and details we wanted to know.

A Different Type of Table Topics?

Yes, we can! Libor Mattus from Brno Toastmasters delighted us with a different type of table topics. Passionate about Chinese language he presented us 3 Chinese characters and how they are build from 2 other characters(words). The audience then had to think out of the box and explain why the specific character chosen would mean that (e.g. two characters ‘man’, ‘cloud’ would mean in one ‘to be able to , can’ so we had to think why the man on the cloud means to be able to do something).

The Club Officers are trying to do the meetings better and better so stay tuned for the upcoming decisions that we will communicate in the following days!

Hope to see you next week,

Ioana Pop

Challenge yourself in a Contest!

On 10th of March our club held the International Speech and Evaluation Contest 2015 where our members had the chance to prove their public speaking skills, all they have learned in Toastmasters and give their best.

We had Speeches in Czech and English and Evaluations in English and probably the very first time in the history of our Club two ladies will be representing us further in the Area Conference that will be held on 28th March in Olomouc.

The lucky winners are:

  • Prepared Speech in English – Tomas Galik 
  • Prepared Speech in Czech – Eva Vodickova 
  • Evaluation in English – Ioana Florentina Pop


Have you ever really considered what are the advantages that participating in a competition? There are indeed many as the competition is the ‘speaking skills booster’ that challenges you and gives you a totally different view on the following challenges such as completing your Toastmaster manual. It is a challenge because it might be one of the most stressful and demanding experiences for a club member but it is worth saying that:

  • Preparing for competition is a different level of preparation: you will use more your imagination straight from beginning to get  a great topic then you will refine it thinking ‘I compete with this!’
  • The contest atmosphere is giving you a special energy and once you accomplished your goal the next speeches seem much more enjoyable and ‘not so difficult’
  • Your confidence grows exponentially and if you also prepare for the contest the best you can, you learn how to structure and have better speeches

Anyone who joined a contest can say it’s a MUST TRY for any club member! So why not to dare next time (in less than 6 months) and see it yourself how it really is?

Good luck for all participants in the upcoming Area Contest!

Ioana Pop, VP PR

Let’s share experience!

Dear toastmasters and friends,

We learn weekly many useful tips during our Toastmasters meetings but only the ones present can take advantage of this. Why not publishing time to time the things we find useful and interesting?

From speeches, professional tips, ideas discussed before/after meetings, trainings or workshops, anything you might find useful for your fellow toastmasters and guests.

Happy sharing!