We Are D95: Christoph Wanzke

If you hear the sentence “Bowties are cool” does one of our D95 members come to mind? If it doesn’t, you clearly don’t know enough about Christoph Wanzke. Want to learn more about him than his impeccable fashion sense? this is your chance.

Christoph was kind enough to answer my 20 rapid-fire questions and through his answers we get to know a lot more about the person behind the title and know who we are in D95.

Here are 20 rapid-fire Questions and answers with Christoph Wanzke, District 95 Administration Manager for this Toastmasters year.

What is your full name and what do you like being called?
My full name is Christoph Wänzke, no middle name or anything. I prefer being called Christoph although in the English speaking world they prefer Chris, which can also be ok. However the funniest thing is that lately, whenever someone calls me by the wrong name, they tend to call me Stefan. No matter where they are in the world or what language it is, if they get my name wrong it is always Stefan, never Sebastian or anything else. I don’t like it but it always happens. It’s  been happening for 15 years and it’s always Stefan.

What are some common misconceptions about you?
There are probably a lot but the one I encounter most is that people think I’m good at arithmetic because I’m a mathematician but this is so wrong, I’m so bad at this, and most fellow mathematicians I know are also bad at this. Mathematics is about structures and proving that things are always true, and not so much about calculating things.

What is something that you believe that other people think is insane?
Bowties are cool.

What is an unusual habit that you have?
I get up at 6am on Saturday morning to go to the farmer’s market and get what’s possibly the best coffee in the world.

Favorite ice cream flavor?
If it’s just one flavor it will always be vanilla flavored ice cream. But if I can choose any ice cream then always the combination of pistachio and mango, two scoops.

The most useful thing you’ve purchased for under 50€ in recent memory?
I just recently bought a spirit level because I had some furniture and pictures on my walls that weren’t perfectly leveled, and I definitely wanted to have those things perfect.

What is one irrational fear you have?
The thing that annoys me the most about myself is the fear that asking other people for help will cause them undesired effort that they are not willing to take. This is something that stops me from asking for help from time to time.

What is the book that you give or recommend the most?
That is easy it’s “The Art of Possibility” The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life by [Rosamund Stone Zander, Benjamin Zander]by Rosalind and Benjamin Zander. I have given this book as a gift in many Toastmasters Events to Target Speakers for the Evaluation contests and things like that.

When you think of the word successful, who is the first person that comes to mind and why?
Jürgen Klopp the football coach, currently the head coach in FC Liverpool. He is successful in the sense that every single club he comes to he makes a success, it may take some time but he tends to transform all his teams into very successful teams.

How has a failure, or apparent failure, set you up for later success?
A couple of years ago I gave a talk in a programming conference, and after giving that talk I thought that my English was total rubbish. So at that time I started to learn more about the English language and even attended a course in Ireland for some weeks. I think it turned out quite well, I’m not perfect but it was a major kick off for improving my language and exploring the language capabilities I do have.

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?
You must do things in the prescribed way.”

In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
I started photography as a hobby and it turned around how I see the world and how things work together and in an aesthetic way. It definitely shifted my perspective on looking at the world.

When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do?
I binge watch series on Netflix.

What is the funniest thing to happen to you recently?
I discovered the British Graham Norton Show  and there’s this hilarious episode with Matt Damon, Bill Murray and Hugh Boneville and they came in drunk from a premier and got even more on set. I could watch this over and over again and I’m still laughing.

What is the song that you can’t help but sing along to?

This is a German song by the German singer Peter Fox, he was part of a band but he had a solo stint and the song is “Haus am see”

If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it, getting a message out to millions, what would it say and why?
“Join a Toastmasters Club”, for obvious reasons.

How did you discover Toastmasters?
I read about it in the newspaper long before I even joined. It was in one of the major newspapers and the author went to a Toastmasters meeting even though he wasn’t a Toastmaster. He described the roles in detail and was very puzzled that we do the Ah Counting. I read this 8-10 years ago, and when I had a summer without too much activity I remembered that and went to my local club that I’m still a member of.

What’s your favorite role in a Toastmasters meeting?
I like being Toastmaster of the evening because I like hosting. Although I also like being speech evaluator.

What’s your most used filler word?
In English it’s “Ah” and in German I don’t have any so it’s become a running joke in my local club when I do have one, everyone starts roaring.

Can you teach me something new in one minute?
I’ll teach you about how I make the best coffee in the morning when I’m not at the farmer’s market.
First you boil some water and then let it rest for a while. If you use the water at boiling point it’s too hot and will ruin the coffee and make it bitter.
Then you take 18gr of coffee beans and grind them.
Then with a machine called an aeropress you press the coffee and water into your mug.
This is the way to make really really good coffee.


Cologne Toastmasters im Toastmaster Magazine • Oktober 2023

Cologne Toastmasters im Toastmaster Magazine • Oktober 2023

Peter Ratko 🌟 Unglaublich stolz und dankbar! 🌟 Was für eine außergewöhnliche Ehre für meinen Club, die Cologne Toastmasters, und mich persönlich! Mein Interview mit Toastmasters International ist in der aktuellen Oktoberausgabe unter dem Titel "The First Moment of...

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