It’s Mainz Blowing!

Fitting the theme of the evening It’s Mainz Blowing, the meeting on 11th May started with a motivational quote,

Set a goal so big that if you achieved it, it would blow your mind.

Rhonda Byrne

With 7 members and 5 guests, the atmosphere was overwhelming. We enjoyed the moments together and learned from each other.

Andreea opened the evening as Toastmaster of the Evening with her personal story about one of the goals she had as a child, and invited everyone to share about the goals they have already achieved or are on their way to achieving. Members and guests reflected on their past successes and goals for the future.

Felix provided the nifty Word of the day – staggering, which we tried to use as often as possible.

Nadine delivered the first speech, titled Orgy of Inspiration. She entertained us by sharing ideas on ”Understanding Your Leadership Style.” Leadership is about inspiring others no matter what your style is. The brainstorming session Nadine facilitated as part of her speech led to wonderful ideas on how to improve our Toastmasters Meetings.

The second speaker was veteran Toastmaster Al, who gave an inspiring speech titled 100 minus 1 equals growth. Al demonstrated the importance of gaining the attention of even one person. His eye contact with each of us as well as his interactive approach and studied body language captivated us and motivated us to fight for the best version of ourselves.

The role of Table Topic Master was taken on by Felix, who challenged us to be as creative as possible, based on provocative introductions such as “War is peace, because…” or “Damn the environment, because…”. Great participation of members and brave guests!

Nadine’s speech evaluation was done by Jasmin, who did an amazing job of adapting to Nadine’s style, highlighting the important aspects of her speech, and encouraging her on the leadership style while being impressed by the spontaneity Nadine showed during her performance on stage.

Russell provided an appreciative evaluation of Al´s speech, pointing out the good structure of Al’s speech and describing the power of the repetitions he used in his speech, as well as gestures and eye contact.

The role of Ah-counter was also taken on by Felix, who stepped in for a third role, proving that he is a very good team player.

The role of Timekeeper was taken on for the first time by Iara, who did a great job telling us the time slots of each speaker. Way to go!

Russell took on also an additional role, namely one of his favorites – the Grammarian – and highlighted some beautiful uses of language, such as Nadine’s alliteration “On a sunny summer Sunday sitting with Susana…”, but also some misuses that we should watch out for next time to get better and better.

The General Evaluation of our meeting was done by Al, who gave us valuable feedback based on his long experience with Toastmasters in order to grow, because

Growth is never by mere chance, it is the result of forces working together.

James Cash Penney

Our guests let us know how impressed they are by our warm and supportive atmosphere so that everybody feels encouraged to speak and grow. This feedback means a lot us! It was one more fabulous meeting. Proud to be Famous!


The theme of the online meeting was Perfect Strangers – the eleven people who met on Zoom had a lot of fun speaking, listening, and meeting two new guests who are no longer strangers to us, but are now two new friends. Felix, our Grammarian for the meeting, provided us with eerie as word of the day (meaning “spooky”).  

The first prepared speech, Anna’s second ever speech as a member of Toastmasters, was a fantastic true story of hiking in deep snow and darkness in her native Norway – an eerie tale with a terrific delivery.

The second prepared speech was a recorded speech as is now the pattern for Famous Toastmasters Zoom meetings – in this case a short TED Talk that was truly inspirational. Delivered by a 13-year-old Kenyan it told the story of how he had sought a way to stop the lions killing his family’s cattle and developed a flashing light based on cheaply available car components and a solar panel. Jasmin selected and introduced this impressive performance by a young problem-solver.

We were fortunate to have Divison F Director Peter Blaskoda join our meeting to give our third prepared speech, an educational overview of the Toastmasters International organization from local to global level, and the number of clubs and members. Many thanks to Peter, especially given the huge time commitment he already makes by volunteering to take on the work of Division Director. This insight into the big picture of Toastmasters International was really helpful, especially for newer members.

Improvised speeches in the Table Topics session were led by Andreea who set out a short scenario for each speech, and then asked a clear question for the speaker to answer in a one to two minute speech. Both guests and members took part, we enjoyed interesting and well presented speeches all of which were within the time limit. Andreea, presenting Table Topics for the first time, as well as all participants did a fantastic job!

The evaluation of Anna’s speech was given by Nadine who enthusiastically detailed many good points, and also provided a couple of suggestions where improvement would be possible. Jasmin expertly guided participation in the group evaluation of the recorded speech, including contributions from guests, so that everyone had the chance to contribute what they found most effective, and where changes might make the speech better. Famous Toastmasters does this type of group evaluation regularly in Zoom meetings as a way for everyone to build evaluation skills in a participatory approach.

Wendy took her first ever role as Ah-counter and gave us not just a numerical count but helpful background for each speaker, Felix our Grammarian for the evening highlighted a few errors but also drew out particularly good phrases and resonant expressions that had been used during the speeches as examples of good use of language. The timekeeper for the meeting was Jasmin (stepping in at short notice – thanks !) and the Toastmaster of the Evening was Russell.

Naomi was another member taking on a role for the first time – General Evaluator. After an insightful summary of the meeting she suggested a couple of points to reflect on for future meetings to continue the development of Famous Toastmasters. Well done, Naomi!

In regular Club Business at the end of the evening, members were reminded to please go to the EasySpeak website, and for each and every meeting click on the box to say if they will attend, they are not sure, or they are unable to attend. This one quick action really helps the Toastmaster of the Evening – even if you tick to say you cannot attend or don’t know.

All in all, another meeting with friendship, fun, learning and practicing. Overall aim achieved: a safe space to improve public speaking skills as well as pass an enjoyable evening. Thanks to members and guests who contribute to this positive atmosphere every time!

Courage Over

Courage over Comfort – A theme that made everybody think about those moments where courage was moving us forward. A fantastic evening where we met at Studio H49, a creative, inspirational place. We were 14 people (9 members and 5 guests, one of them coming from EdC Club in Frankfurt). All of them feeling integrated as Famous Toastmasters know how to make everybody feel warmly welcomed.

Toastmasters is opening the door to be more aware of how words and the way we communicate creates endless possibilities of being courageous. Susana, the Toastmaster of the Evening, read a quote at the beginning.

Courage doesn’t mean you don’t get afraid. Courage means you don’t let fear stop you.

Bethany Hamilton

The word of the day was provided by Jasmin: audacious. It was used several times during the evening.

Our first speaker Naomi gave her Icebreaker Speech with the title: The Phoenix Rises. First time on stage and a great personal, intimate and emotional speech where we had the opportunity not only of listening to a courageous woman for the first time, but also to know more about her life.

The second speaker was Udo, who visited from EdC Club. He delivered a speech that he had prepared for a contest titled How careless you are. He let us know how engines for planes were working in the past and how safe we are nowadays.

Nadine was the Table Topic Master of the evening. She used the theme of the day for the questions she had prepared. A nice surprise was the way she was using the stage and how this can be used in future speeches. Great participation of members and courageous guests!

The evaluations of the speeches were coming, Jonas gave feedback to Naomi and Felix to Udo. It was great listening to them as giving feedback is a skill that not always is easy to master.

The Ah counter (Anna), Timer (Russell) and Grammarian (Jasmin) gave their reports.

The general evaluation of the session was done by Russell who fantastically pointed out that the only way to develop ourselves to become better communicators is to practice. He used a lovely metaphor: “If violinists want to master the violin, they have to play it. If we want to master public speaking, we need to give prepared speeches”.

We had an amazing evening, as Mark Twain once said,

Courage is the foundation of integrity.

Mark Twain

Toastmasters once again was a place to learn, have fun and grow. Many thanks to all participants!

Grit or Quit

A huge shoutout to the energetic crowd attending our meeting on 23rd March! We were 12 members and 4 guests, including Janosch who was visiting from Wiesbaden Toastmasters. Participants dialed in from at least six different countries – from the USA and Brazil, to Luxembourg, Germany and Romania, over to Taiwan. We deeply admire our member Iara’s commitment! She pulled an all-nighter to join us.

As Toastmaster of the Evening, Jasmin introduced the thought-provoking theme – Grit or Quit, and guided us smoothly through the session.

With her speech titled Is sleep a superpower?, Susana made us reflect on our sleeping habits and the potential we might be wasting. Who knows, maybe we could keep up with our Superheros if we had more and better sleep?

As a second speaker, Russell invited Marianna Pascal onto the virtual stage and presented the video of the Humorous Speech Contest 2009. Her speech with the title Local English or Standard English was fun to watch and had quite a unique charm.

Daniel G. was a lovely Table Topics Master and engaged members and guests with some brilliant questions.

Anna once again gave a fantastic evaluation for Susana’s speech and seized the opportunity to practice for the division contest. Russell facilitated a panel evaluation for the recorded speech – a great way to make us learn and include everyone.

Willy served as Ah Counter, Daniel L. jumped in as Timekeeper, and Andreea, who provided the Word of the Day Helplessness, was a very helpful Grammarian. Our General Evaluator Jonas delivered compliments for the overall meeting as well as some very useful suggestions for improvement.

Thanks to everyone who took part in our Famous meeting for making this gathering special!

Embrace Change

Team Famous dared to Embrace Change in this inspiring meeting on 9th March. We were proud to welcome Naomi and Willy as our new members. Overall, we were 9 members and 4 guests.

Michael was our charming Toastmaster of the Evening and led us with ease and flexibility through the session. Naomi stepped forward and challenged us to use articulate – the Word of the Day – as much as possible.

Every new beginning has its own magic – and so Willy becharmed us with his Icebreaker Speech titled Starting Point. We were impressed and look forward to accompanying you along your Toastmasters Journey, Willy!

With TM, AI, GPT our second speaker Russell took the opportunity to try out his speech for the Area Contest. Pointing out what artificial intelligence can do for us and where its limits are, everybody could relate that nothing can replace a Famous Meeting.

Susana challenged us with entertaining Table Topics referring to change before we went on with evaluations. Nadine gave encouraging feedback to Willy and Anna assessed Russell’s speech as an exercise for the Area Contest.

In the evaluations section we had many firsts: Willy shared the role of the Timekeeper with Russell, our brave guest Swarnalekha was the Ah Counter for the first time, our new member Naomi had her debut as Grammarian, and Jasmin premiered as General Evaluator. Great job, everybody!

Dedicating the meeting to Famous’s late Club Coach, we closed the official meeting with a minute of silence in memory of Peter Smith. As Peter would have wished, the inofficial part was filled with joy and laughter.

Kudos to Susana and Marcus for being FANTASTIC hosts at Studio h49 and a big THANK YOU to all participants. You rocked this, Team Famous!

Take a Leap
onto the Stage

Own the Zoom

Whoop whoop! What a terrific Zoom meeting we had on 23rd February themed Take a Leap onto the Stage.

We were 7 members and 8 guests, including 3 members from other clubs. We feel honored that Craig, the Social Media Manager for District 95, visited us! Daniel L. was a lovely Toastmaster of the Evening and invited us onto the stage. The Word of the Day was provided by Jonas. He not only asked us to use terrific as much as possible, but also very as few as possible.

Jasmin’s speech was titled Mentor Me! After she gave us insights into her experience as a mentee, she shared some useful information on the Odyssey Project, a Toastmasters Mentoring Program where mentors and mentees get matched globally. “Odyssey is like Tinder for Mentoring” was what stuck with the audience.

For our second speaker, Russell used a clever trick. He invited Paul Miller onto the stage – by sharing his speech Value Generated vs. Mark-up Fund Raising via YouTube. We learned what a good informational speech and smart fund raising looks like.

Table Topics Master Nadine used her innovative talent and asked us to grab a random thing around us. Then she let us speak through the object, which made it easier to leave our comfort zone. Terrific contributions by The High-pitched Hamster aka Jonas, The Camera aka Daniel G., The Guitar aka Swarnalekha and Atomic Habbits aka Willy.

We moved on to evaluations, where Daniel G. gave helpful feedback to Jasmin and Russell facilitated a group evaluation where everybody was invited onto the stage to share their observations during the recorded speech. A terrific way to include everybody and make us all think!

Jonas delivered his report as Grammarian, Anna was our Ah Counter and Andreea kept track of the time. Melatwork, our charming friend from Toastmasters Ethiopia, wrapped our meeting up with her appreciative General Evaluation.

Once again you’ve done a terrific job, Team Famous! Many thanks to all participants!

Never Tried,
Never Failed

Vibrant gathering

A big THANK YOU to everyone contributing to the fabulous gathering we had on 9th February! Our theme of the evening was Never Tried, Never Failed.

We were 7 members and incredible 13 guests! Andreea rocked her first time being Toastmaster of the Evening, making everybody feel warmly welcome and paying tribute to our members in such a charming way. Not even the very experienced General Evaluator Jonas from Erlangen Toastmasters had a clue this was her first time guiding through a session.

Michael provided the humongous Word of the Day which we tried to use as often as possible.

Daniel G. swept everybody of their feet with his purposely unprepared prepared speech with the title Authenticity. It was impressive to watch Daniel bravely getting closer to himself on stage.

Our creative mind Nadine involved us all in her speech Beyond the Box. It was a memorable experience how physically changing our position helps us to create new ideas and perspectives.

Russell, our witty Table Topics Master, brought thought-provoking and funny questions. We had terrific contributions from members and many guests.

Daniel L. gave helpful feedback to Daniel G., and our wonderful Special Guest Melatwork from Toastmasters Ethiopia presented a very professional evaluation for Nadine.

Daniel L. also served as Grammarian and Jasmin was our Timekeeper and Ah Counter.

Humongous job everybody!

Speaking, Gathering, Learning

Growth Journey 2023

Team Famous started its Growth Journey 2023 with the theme Speaking, Gathering, Learning. What a delight it was to meet and learn from and with each other!

We were 9 members and 3 guests. Our Toastmaster of the Evening Russell did an amazing job in guiding us through the session. Susana provided the Word of the Day relish, which we tried to use as often as possible.

Andreea gave a speech titled “Just a smile” and made us think about how little things can have a huge impact. A smile can make somebody else’s day. Her words inspired us to try it ourselves. Give somebody a smile – it doesn’t cost anything.

To switch it up a bit, Russell shared a video from the International Speech Contest. We saw “I will show you dust” by Carolyne Gathuru. Not only was that an incredibly motivating speech on how to silence the voice in our head that tells us we can’t, but also a great way to bring another flavor of speeches into our club.

We moved on to Table Topics moderated by Michael who let us dive into tribal times in his renowned eloquent way. Great participation by our special guest Oliver from Würzburg Toastmasters, Wendy, Susana, and a duo performance by Russell and Daniel G.

The highlight of the evening came with Anna’s evaluation speech. Giving feedback to Andreea with ease and flow, she didn’t show any signs of being a rookie. We are lucky to have her as a talented evaluator among us!

Our special guest Jan Behling from Business Club Frankfurt evaluated the video contest speech and demonstrated what an elaborated evaluation looks like.

Daniel L. gave an Educational Speech on the Toastmasters Learning Program “Pathways” and presented some valuable insights, especially for recently joined members, but also for experienced Toastmasters and guests.

Susana gave the report as Ah Counter, Jasmin took on the double role as Grammarian and Timekeeper and Oliver was both a charming and honest General Evaluator.

Many thanks to all participants!


It’s a wrap!

Thank you everyone for making it a FAMOUS meeting! In our last session in 2022 we were 7 members and 7 guests.

Our Toastmaster of the Evening Daniel L. let us slide into the snowy season with the theme Winter Wonderland. Jasmin helped us to broaden our icy vocabulary knowledge with the Word of the Day – gelid, which we tried to use as often as possible.

Fitting well into the theme of the evening, we could encourage our newest member Anna to give her Icebreaker Speech. A FANTASTIC job! We’re so proud of you and curious for more to come, Anna.

Jasmin switched things up a bit and introduced a different style of table topics: She challenged us to narrate our own Famous Winter’s Tale together. Each speaker had to pick up where the previous one has left off. Eight speakers, with six guests among them, contributed. That’s amazing!

Anna received feedback from Russell who also served as General Evaluator. Our brave recurring guest Eric was the timekeeper. Nadine came up with an extremely entertaining way of presenting her observations as Ah-Counter and Grammarian: As an aid to leave her comfort zone she rapped the evaluation. Very unique and inspiring, Nadine!

You did a fantastic job, Team Famous! Have a wonderful Holiday Season. See you next year!

Bread and Circuses

Whoop whoop!

What an energizing face-to-face meeting we had! We were 8 members and 7 guests.

Michael was a lovely Toastmaster of the Evening, leaving lots of room for interpretation of the theme Bread and Circuses.

We had two thought-provoking speeches. Heartwired by Jasmin gave us an idea for how to foster belonging. Andreea’s speech I say nothing, but actually I say a lot gave us an insight on how we tell a lot about ourselves without using words.

Russell did an excellent job with preparing witty table topics by randomly combining different types of bread with circus artists. Great participation of members and guests. Nadine started, our first time guest Burcu was brave to follow and did a GREAT job, just like our recurring guest Eric. The capstone was reached, when our guest Johannes and Daniel L. did an impro together. FANTASTIC!!!

The planned speeches were evaluated by Susana and Daniel L. Felix was our Ah-Counter, Russell served as Grammarian and Susana took the time. Nadine evaluated the overall meeting.

Many thanks to all of you. Excellent job, everybody!


Meeting recap!

A huge thank you to everyone who participated on Zoom and made it a fun Awakening meeting! We were 6 members and 5 guests, including former Famous member Béa.

Nadine was the Toastmaster of the Evening and took us on a journey of HER awakening moment which ended up in an amazing speech on its own.

Daniel G. woke us up with an inspiring speech titled Punch in the face, followed by Russell’s thought-provoking speech on Mentoring. Table topics were led by Daniel G. where we had a great participation of members and guests.

Al was our General Evaluator. Jasmin gave feedback for Daniel‘s speech. Melatwork, a Toastmasters member from Ethiopia, jumped in to evaluate Russell‘s speech. Daniel L. served as Grammarian and Ah-Counter. Eric, who joined as a guest for the second time, was courageous and stepped up to be our timekeeper. Fantastic job, everyone!