Essen on fire

The world of Toastmasters bristles with legends about the establishment of new clubs, such as “120 people attended our first meeting and we established 3 clubs right away” or “we called a demo meeting and launched an extensive campaign throughout the region, the result being 4 guests… I felt like crying…”. I could not help it, I had to try it myself – after all my Area (A4) includes the city of Essen, with 500 000 inhabitants at least someone would want to join, I thought.

On 13th July 2019 I invited the area boards to the usual Club Officer Training. The Toastmasters could not refuse, because the event included talks by two professional trainers. I jumped on the stage and announced the establishment of new clubs, one of them being in Essen. I also announced that I needed an Assistant Area Growth Director. Within hours the inquiries started to come in, the most promising of them all was that of Frank Beckert.

Two months later Frank and I found ourselves bathing in endorphins and enjoying the feeling of energy condensing into a real Demo Meeting, which actually turned out to be a Launch Meeting. We were celebrating with 60 members of over 6 different clubs (Düsseldorf, Cologne, Bonn, Münster, Dortmund…). I think that Einstein was right – the large amount of energy indeed can be turned into real matter – our Ruhr Speakers Essen club. It is as simple as that – we just want to present the world with a club, which would popularise rhetoric in Essen, and people just follow us. The combination of this simple formula with excessive using of Facebook and visits of neighbouring clubs as ambassadors guarantees inevitable success.

This is a short summary of my biggest Toastmasters project by now. I wish you all to feel the satisfaction of making rhetoric accessible to many new people at a new place. And the stunning feeling of those people’s euphoria.

Stefan Zahov, A4 Area Director                                                                   

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