On 4th May, we had a special meeting of Toastmasters Aachen. The Board Elections for the upcoming Toastmasters year are approaching soon, so we decided to set the theme as “Leadership”.

The meeting featured a prepared speech by one of our newer members- Mehmet, who spoke about low-investment opportunities that we all have to improve ourselves. After that speech, we had an intriguing session of table topics hosted by Arun, who chose the names of the participants by spinning the wheel, which added to the suspense. In addition to that, each speaker was to speak for and against the given topic( by making an opinion switch at the one minute mark).

After the break, Mehmet’s speech was evaluated by Sushant, and the table topics were evaluated by Ximeng. Ita was our general evaluator, and she focused on the overall structure and layout of the meeting. We ended the meeting with a detailed announcement by the club president about the upcoming elections. My table topic earned a nod from the voters as the best table topic of the evening.

However, the highlight of the meeting were the leaders of the club- the Board Members!

The current board members gave us all a short recap of their motivation behind taking up the role, their experience of working for the club and tips for the future board members. Their goal was to encourage the members of the club to apply for the roles.

I introduced each board member with a series of tongue-in-cheek references, which I called the Principes of Leadership. Like most self-help and motivational books/seminars talk about the 7-Habits, the 3 Secrets, etc., this was our attempt at facetiously presenting our Principles of being an effective leader. Here are the 10 principles of leadership, along with a bonus 11th principle, exclusively for you, the reader 😉

1. You are the President of your life (President of the Club, Nils)
2. Always keep learning; it keeps you young (Vice-president of Education, Shams)
3. Make others feel special (Eventmaster, Julischka and Prunthani)
4. The show must go on (Vice-president of Membership, Ashika)
5. It’s all about teamwork (Vice-president of Education Support, Dwi)
6. It’s all about the money (Treasurer, Christine)
7. It did not happen unless everyone knows about it (Vice-president of Public Relations, Vivek)
8. Always be organised (Secretary and Seargent at arms, Monika)
9. Learn from the past (Immediate past president, Prunthani)
10. Stand on the shoulder of giants (Vice-president of Mentoring, Arun)
11. Be the change you want to see in the world

I would like to thank the speakers, the evaluators and everyone who took on a leadership role for the meeting. And of course, a special thanks to the Toastmasters Aachen Board:)

-Vivek