The Magic of Paris
I celebrated the City of Light by visiting a Toastmasters club.
By Linda Cohen, ACB, ALB
This will be my 10th year as a Toastmaster. I learned about the organization by accident when a stranger overheard me giving a sales presentation at a Starbucks coffee shop and recommended that I check it out. I’ve stayed all these years because I believe it’s one of the best personal-growth organizations in existence.
Last year, while serving as president of my club, I volunteered to be the target speaker for several Speech Evaluation contests at other area clubs. It was valuable for me to receive a variety of speech evaluations from members of different clubs. Visiting multiple clubs was so enlightening that when our family planned a vacation to Paris in the spring of 2016, I decided to visit a club there.
Paris has several English-speaking clubs. I contacted two and realized one was within walking distance of the apartment we had rented near the Pompidou Center. The meeting of the Paris Speech Masters took place at a lovely French restaurant in Le Marais, a historic district in Paris. At the request of the club’s vice president education, I served as general evaluator. We met on an upper floor in a cozily lit room, and it was a leisurely meeting, lasting almost 2 1/2 hours with a break in the middle for dinner and wonderful red wine. This was France, after all.
The 15 or so members in attendance, who spoke excellent English and came from a variety of other countries, created a highly interactive and inclusive meeting, punctuated by laughter and camaraderie. When I delivered my general evaluator report, I shared a story. While in Paris, I’d had two experiences related to turning on the sink water in the bathroom. (Many sinks there have foot pedals to do this.) The first time, while I was struggling to figure out how to get the water on, a stranger kindly showed me where to step. The second time, in the bathroom during the break at the Toastmasters meeting, I was able to help someone else who apparently was as clueless as I’d been. While I playfully demonstrated my story for the group, including hand and foot motions, I shared my own sense of humor.
Peter is an amazing example of what’s possible if we decide that age doesn’t determine our opportunities.
I offered my compliments to the club. The members had made me feel so welcome; many had even given me advice about activities our family could enjoy while in Paris. I also offered the group a few suggestions for improvement. All feedback was warmly received.
One of the highlights for me was meeting club member Peter Kenton—a 91-year-old DTM. Peter grew up in New York and joined Toastmasters after a visit to California, where his brother invited him to attend a Toastmasters meeting. The chemical engineering company Peter worked for sent him to Paris in 1959, and he loved the city so much he never left.
Peter eventually joined a Toastmasters club in Paris when he was in his 60s and earned his DTM when he was 73. He belongs to three clubs in the city and has given speeches in English, French, German and Hungarian. Peter is an amazing example of what’s possible if we decide that age doesn’t determine our opportunities.
No matter where we go in the world, when we are with other Toastmasters we are part of the same family. I encourage you to find a club on your next travel adventure, and if that happens to bring you to the Portland, Oregon, area, we’d be delighted to welcome you to our club, Toastmasters for Speaking Professionals. Don’t let the name scare you: All visitors are welcome, speaking professionals or not, and we have as much fun and as many laughs as any club I know!
Linda Cohen, ACB, ALB is a member of Toastmasters for Speaking Professionals in Tigard, Oregon. The author of 1,000 Mitzvahs: How Small Acts of Kindness Can Heal, Inspire and Change Your Life, she speaks to associations and businesses on how to cultivate a culture of kindness. Learn more at lindacohenconsulting.com
Source of the article: https://www.toastmasters.org/Magazine/Magazine-Issues/2017/Jan2017/MyTurn
Area A4 Spring
International Speech and
Registration : http://bit.ly/contestA4
To the order of, Paris Speech Masters.
Send your check to: Karim Awad 8 rue Edmond Gondinet, 75013 Paris
Paris Speech Masters
IBAN: FR76 1820 6004 1760 2745 9691 292
The Division A Fall 2015 Contest was held today, Saturday, October 31, 2015, organized by two of our sister clubs: Toastmasters 75 and Club Expressions.
Let's see who the all the winners were, who will be going on to Amsterdam in a few short weeks, and especially who is in the Paris Speech Masters Winner's Circle!!
A lot of work went into preparing for these speeches! Here are the Contest Masters and Contestants!
(You can click on the photos to enlarge.)
We are very proud to report that our club had a fabulous day at the Division A Humorous and Table Topics Contests with our members winning FIVE PRIZES out of the 14 available. Yes, over a third
or 36 percent of the prizes (for those of us who like numbers). Our members excelled themselves in THREE LANGUAGES: English, French and Spanish.
The full list of winners were:
1. Carol Bausor, 2. Mark Finneran, 3. Aude Armanini
English Table Topics:
1. Carol Bausor, 2. David Martin, 3. Shelley Mulon
1. Stephane Gantzer, 2. Aude Armanini, 3. Alain Petillot
French Table Topics:
1. Patrick Udwedk, 2. Daniel Kervarec, 3. Albena Gadjanova
Spanish Humorous: 1. Juan Pablo Chaclan
Dutch Humorous: 1. Alexandra Dimian
Carol, Juan-Pablo, and Alexandra will be representing Division A in their respective contests at the District 59 Contests on November 13 - 15 in Amsterdam.
Albena gave a very good speech in the French Humorous Contest while Sean competed in both the French Humorous and the French Table Topics.
Thank you to those of you who came yesterday to support us as it was a great comfort to see familiar faces among the 100 Toastmasters and guests.
Join me in giving our encouragement and support to Carol and to Juan-Pablo as they prepare for Amsterdam. I would like both to reach out to us so that they can get feedback and any help needed to improve their speeches.
I know a number of members have signed up to attend the conference so they will have vocal supporters in the audience!
We are truly putting our motto into practice where Good Speakers Become Great.
See you in Amsterdam!
Paris Speech Masters Club President
See more photos from the last Toastmasters SPECIAL EVENT, held on Sat., October 17, 2015 was AREA 4's Humorous Speech & Table Topics Fall Contest. Our sister club, La Defense Toastmasters, organized and hosted the event. Speech Masters was so glad to be part of the fun!
Congratulations to all the Paris Speech Masters Winners!!! So proud of you!
New photos just upload by our wonderful club photographer, Gabriella Benko! Thanks for all your hard work Gabriella!
You told a wonderful story of our Area 4 contest!
Humorous Speech Contest (English)
1st place: Mark Finneran (Paris Speech Masters)
2nd place: Carol Bausor (Toastmasters of Paris)
3rd place: Shelley Mulon (La Défense Toastmasters)
Humorous Speech Contest (French)
1st place: Albena Gadjanova (Paris Speech Masters)
2nd place: Sean Ryan (Paris Speech Masters)
Table Topics Contest (English)
1st place: Carol Bausor (Toastmasters of Paris)
2nd place: Shelley Mulon (La Défense Toastmasters)
3rd place: Juliet Meere (Toastmasters 75)
Table Topics Contest (French)
1st place: Sean Ryan (Paris Speech Masters)
2nd place: Albena Gadjanova (Paris Speech Masters)
Humorous Speech Contest (Spanish)
1st place: Juan Pablo Chaclan (Paris Speech Masters)
Thanks again to all those participants who have worked so hard to get here!
Good luck in the next round!
Thanks also to our new club photographer, Gabriella!
A big THANK YOU to everyone who made it happen behind the scenes, participated, and joined in the fun!
The Speech Masters Team