YOLO – you only live once! This was not only the word of the day (presented by Nancy) in our first online meeting. It should be our motto in general, and especially in these crazy times. Necessity is the mother of invention! How do you host a Toastmasters meeting in times when people are asked to stay at home instead of meeting in person? You organize an online meeting!
Everyone on time
The first online meeting of Hamburg International Speakers on March 18th, 2020 was an interesting and exciting experience for all! While many of our members tend to come at the last minute (or even later……) during the on-site meeting, surprisingly this time everyone was there well ahead of time! It was just too exciting to go into the virtual space and play with the unknown technology, trying out the different views, virtual backgrounds, etc.. In the introduction everybody presented their personal way of “clapping”, a way of moving their hands and giving a signal of applause without making noise, since during the session all members, except the speaker, are muted. Franzi, our Toastmaster of the evening, reminded us that famous writers such as Shakespeare and Boccaccio also faced crises in their careers, as they both lived and worked during great plague epidemics. But they did not have the Internet!
In the first part of the evening we heard, as usual, three prepared speeches. Our President, Laura, expressed her frustration at what the virus is doing to her personal situation right now: It thwarts her plans to have her wedding party on the very day that she and her partner celebrate their 10th anniversary. Using visual aids, she explained the scientific approach to the topic: What happens in our brain when strong emotions hit us? In the second speech of the evening Markus told us a very personal story about a friendship which he eventually had to let got when he realized that values didn’t fit. And finally, Ruth invited us to a virtual tour through the “beautiful Lueneburg”.
Love is in the air
Love was in the air, even through virtual channels, when Marlen guided us through her table topics session. The evaluation part rounded off the meeting as usual. Olaf’s final verdict was positive: a smooth meeting with 18 people in one room and no interruptions! And Franzi concluded that “Boccaccio and Shakespeare would have been jealous”.
For the time being, until further notice, we will continue with the online meetings. The next one will take place on March 25th, 7 p.m. Will you be joining?