May 22nd, 2015 was a special Toastmasters Demo meeting dedicated for young researchers in Luxembourg. We did have a very cosy but productive meeting conducted by the Toastmasters from the Casemates and BossuetGaveliers clubs, with enthusiastic young researchers actively participated as guests. Some highlights: Dermot greatly led the meeting as the Toastmaster of the Evening (TME) as well as the Grammarian; a special table topic session had brought us to 1000 years in the future by the Table Topic Master Deyan!; an excellent Ice Breaker speech given by Arnoldas is a perfect combination with an advanced speech related to research delivered by Marina; These two speeches which had been correspondingly evaluated by Phu and Sophie really demonstrated different levels of speeches for our guests. Sophie also gave a general evaluation for the meeting with the help of Mariana as the Ah-counter and Timer.

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Opening the meeting, Phu, the host, introduced the main goals of the Demo meeting that were specifically for demonstrating how young researchers could benefit from joining Toastmasters’ meetings. He by the way gave the word of the day for using during the meeting: DILIGENCE (DILIGENT adj). This word is to honour the participants of this meeting who diligently came to the meeting to learn and also help others to learn how to become better speaker, in the Friday evening of a long weekend!

Phu then welcomed Dermot as the TME. Dermot nicely presented the structure of the meeting, and different roles that the Toastmasters have taken for the meeting. To give young researchers more ideas, he briefly explained different speech projects in the Competent Communication Manual as well as different tasks in the Leadership Manual.

After that, Deyan was introduced by Dermot to take the stage for conducting his favourite Table Topic session. This time, the table topic session was like thinking “out of the box” when Deyan randomly asked participants to pick different subjects out of a mysterious bag and talk about them. Not that easy because he brought us to 1000 years in the future, and the mysterious bag contains “ancient” subjects like a plastic bottle of water, plastic remote TV control, and plastic toys. Five chosen participants had given 4 impromptu speeches meaning that a team of two conducted an impromptu speech together: a Toastmaster (Marina) and a guest (Christian)! Their brilliant team work in describing and talking about a plastic noisy pink pig won them the title of Table Topic Master!

Dermot then introduced Arnoldas to the stage to take the role as the first prepared speaker of the night. His icebreaker speech, which is the first in the Competent Communication Manual, introduced himself to the audience as a shy person willing to develop his public speaking skills as a climber trying to reach the top of a high mountain till he can enjoy the great view from the top. For an icebreaker, his speech was already very great with hardly using note, few “ah, uhm”, and very appealing body language.

After Arnoldas, our second prepared speaker Marina gave her speech entitle “Publish and/or Perish” which is very relevant for young researcher. Her speech is to fulfil a speech project from the advanced communication manual.

Phu was the first evaluator and gave a very positive feedback for Arnoldas’ speech. Two young researchers also actively gave some impromptu feedbacks for Arnoldas. Sophie was the second evaluator, evaluated Marina’s speech. Dermot did an impromptu evaluation for Marina’s speech as well. Mariana then gave time report and how many “ah, uhm” in the speeches. In general, all speakers managed their time well and not too many “ah, uhm” used in the speeches.

Before closing the meeting, Phu nicely thanked the Toastmasters and the young researchers again for their active participation in the meeting. After the meeting, the Toastmasters and the young researchers kept on chatting until quite late, which really showed how successful the meeting was.

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