Welcome From Our District Director

11288942_1109296832418734_3549929248404890762_o-1_Fotor A new Toastmasters year has just begun for all of us.  What does it mean for me?  During this year: I will make mistakes that I will be sorry for.  I will be asked to make tough decisions without knowing all that is necessary to make proper ones. I will probably try and fail many times over.

As Toastmasters, we are all asked to do “stuff” we have never done before.  One year from now,  we,  your officers,  will have all the knowledge and skills required to do our jobs properly… One year too late, but that’s how Toastmasters operates and that’s why it works so well.  We will acquire skills that we can apply in our private and professional lives. We will be better managers, better organizers, better communicators. Better people.  Let this year be a year of learning!  At the end of it, I wish that everyone of us can stand in front of a mirror say:  “I learned, I grew, I did well.”    – Michal Talaga, District 95 Director, 2016-2017


WE DID IT! Good News from Tuire

tuireDear Members,

Today I received the end of the year phone call from Jim Kokocki, our International President. He congratulated   our District on reaching President’s Distinguished status and shared this good news:  OUR District 95 is ranked number 8 in the world and number 2 in net club growth! During our discussion, Jim referred to his visit to our District Conference in Prague. He’s still impressed by the number of attendees and what an inspiring atmosphere we had.      He also expressed concern about the  Munich tragedy       yesterday and hoped that all our members are safe.

Today I send warm wishes again to all of our members there.

I want to thank you all for the great numbers! This huge achievement is the result of a joint effort by all 6953 members in District 95.  We had an exciting Toastmasters year focused on growth and excellence! The numbers speak for themselves:

  • 95 clubs reached President’s Distinguished Club status
  • 19 Areas were President’s Distinguished Areas
  • All Divisions reached at least the Distinguished level –  11 President’s Distinguished + 1 Select Distinguished Division

Special thanks to our Club leaders, Area Directors and Division Directors for a job well done!

We also grew geographically! At the Fall Conference we voted to welcome two new countries, Bulgaria and Moldavia, into our District. The Reformation proposal, approved at the Spring   conference comes at the right time: currently we’re number 3 in the world in terms of  number of members and number 8 in terms number of  clubs. However, we were the only District spreading over so many countries: 15

Thank you for the spirit and commitment that made these great numbers possible.

Tuire Vuolasvirta,  Immediate Past District 95 Director, 2015-2016

“All for one and one for all”


Fall Conference, 2016

… as Maciek always says …


These people are working hard to make the last weekend in November colorful and exciting!     Say hello to our organization team for the District 95 Fall 2016 Conference in Warsaw, Poland!

Untitled_FotorconteamOn November 25 and 26 – you have the chance to UNBOX YOURSELF!  Watch this     brilliant Trailer to get a taste of what’s in store! The team is putting together a great program featuring the Humorous Speech and Table Topics contests, Workshops, Networking and Entertainment. 

The Keynote Speaker will be George Yen, DTM and President of Toastmasters International 2013-2014.   As a top, global executive, who has been with Toastmasters for more than 20 years, Mr. Yen credits much of his success to the training he received in our organization: “My Toastmasters training gave me the confidence to stretch my comfort zone.”  Go to the main TI website to read his biography

No doubt he is the perfect person to give us insights on how to UNBOX.  Download this flyer and share the news! If you have never been to Warsaw you may wonder how to get to the venue, where to sleep and where to eat?  Of course, the team has answers for you here at the  main conference website.

What are you waiting for?  Save the DatesMark your Calendar and UNBOX YOURSELF starting here: http://fall2016.d95conf.org/register See you in Warsaw!

Milena (Conference Chair) –  Ania (Events, Sponsors) –  Krzysztof (Education) –  Marinela (Venue) –Naska (Registration)

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Danusia (Accomodations, Catering) – Maciek (Marketing) – Michal (IT & Website) – Ola (Contests) – Tomek (Finance, Sponsors)


These Boots Were Made for Leading

District Leader Bootcamp – Helsinki – 17/18 June 2016 


When I think of Boot Camp, I think of tough guys or GI Janes crawling on their bellies through mud and slime! Fortunately, this D95 Officers Boot Camp focused on education not endurance. (Exception: Division E Director, Wiktoria, who showed great endurance while traveling to the venue. Well done!  Material for your next speech?)

Equipped with information, ideas and COOKIES from our home countries, we were ready for two action-packed, yummy days – expertly managed by our Program Quality Director, Andrei, and our Administration Manager, Joanna.                                                                                          IMG_3728

Here’s a short re-cap of the main points:

Day 1 featured the voice of our District Director, Michal  – who was plugged in virtually. (Had to stay home to greet his new baby girl! Congratulations!)   The direction for this year:  “Aim for Presidents Distinguished District – nothing less”.  Our Club Growth Director, Neal, who was handily assisted by his two surprise Deputies David and Ewan, is building and implementing the strategies to achieve this aim.  We got a good picture of each Division thanks to creative and informative presentations from our Division Directors.  (Super!)

Day 2 was a deep dive into key issues: Club and Membership Growth, Club Visits, Budgets (tips from our Immediate Past District Director, Tuire and Finance Manager, Càlin) and the upcoming Dues Increase.  I presented a metaphor for the state of our District’s PR landscape (improvement is TOP priority) and we previewed a Controlling tool developed by Division F     Director, Mirja.  Spirits were light and energy high thanks to Lukas (Division L Director), Krzysztof (Division J Director) and Karla (Division I Director) who lined us up, stretched us out and made us laugh.

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Next up:  What can we expect from our new Division Leaders?

Warmest from your Public Relations Manager, Wendy


District 95 2015-2016 District Council Meeting – 14th May 2016, Timisoara

District Council Meeting is a meeting during which the most important District decisions are made. The participants eligible to attend and vote are Club Presidents, Vice Presidents Education and District Officers (Division and Area Directors and District Core Team).

District 95 Director Tuire Vuolasvirta is opening the  meeting

District 95 Director Tuire Vuolasvirta is opening the meeting

The last District 95 Council Meeting took place on the 14th of May 2016  in  Timisoara.

It was especially exciting. The May meeting is always the time for  District Leadership Committee to present nominated candidates,  elected and appointed. The elected positions are filled through a vote.  During the meeting we made a decision who will represent us and direct  the work in 2016-2017 Toastmaster’s year.

Kees Broos is presenting Appointed Candidates

Kees Broos is presenting Appointed Candidates


The list of names and positions is available via http://toastmastersd95.org/big-applause-for-new-district-95-officers/

We also voted on the European Reformation Committee Report. According to the District Council decision the European Districts will undergo resizing changes in 2018. Decreasing the size of the districts will help the District Officers to be closer to their clubs and the clubs will be supported better.

The full proposal is available via European Reformation Committee Report ERC_European Reformation Committee Report May 2016 It will be implemented in 1st of July 2018.

We also discussed realignment plan for all Divisions plus Plan B for Division A, D, H, I and L. The decision on the Areas of this Divisions will be made on July.

Next District Council Meeting: Saturday, 26th of November 2016, Warsaw, Poland.



Know more about District 95 International Speech Contest Winner

Timisoara, Romania, 14 May, 2016 — Laszlo Szucs of BudapestHungary outshined six local participants to win the district-level competition of the Toastmasters International Speech Contest, representing 15 countries of Central and Northern and Estern Europe.

Laszlo Szucs has qualified to advance to the semifinal rounds of the contest. Szucs is vying for one of 10 spots in the http://www.toastmasters.org/Events/World%20Championship%20of%20Public%20Speaking to be held at the Toastmasters International Convention Saturday, Aug. 20 in Washington, D.C.

Just to let District 95 Toastmasters representative better I asked Laszlo three questions about public speaking.

While thinking about public speaking people usually point first association: stage-fright. Tell us about stage fright. Did you feel it? During finals? During semifinals?

Of course I did (smile), but only before the speeches. However, I would rather call it excitement and I love it. If I don’t feel this excitement that scares me, it means I will not be that good. The excitement can be transformed into a good energy which helps me to focus on the audience and my message. Before semifinals and finals contestants were doing their warm up tricks, we all have our “talismans”. I have 3 tricks, mainly coming from my boxing background:

  • I pull my shoelaces very tight, which is good at the beginning where the speakers are most vulnerable. I feel my stable stance thanks to this trick which gives me strength.
  • I drink a lot before the speech. This makes me relaxed. Of course, I am talking about still water (smile)
  • I set the competition mode like athletes: If I am too excited I take deep breaths which calms me down, if I am sleepy then I massage my ears which rises my blood pressure and gives me energy.

One more thing, part time I am holding public speaking trainings and just before the conference I had 7 days of training in a row. Stage time is extremely important.

Asked “who invited bulb?” most people usually say “Edison”, without thinking he worked in team. Great inventors worked in team. Scientist make they dicoverys in team. And what about public speaking? Is it team work or individual work? You were alone on stage…

This journey was like walking a long distance along the beach with my mentors towards our destination. There were the footprints of many people in the sand, but looking back I noticed that at many times along the path especially at the very lowest and saddest times, one set of footprints was missing. And You know why? Because those moments they carried me on their back.

I love this poem and I like to use it as a metaphor for highlighting the importance of teamwork. Speaking is absolutely a teamwork. I had 4 mentors preparing me for this speech: some of them were focusing on the content, some of them on the delivery and one of them was next to me even in the last seconds before the speeches. If I could give you Fellow Toastmasters just one advice, I would say that go and get a mentor.

form left: 1st place Laszlo Szucs; 2nd place Vanya Eide; 3td place Ovidiu Oltean photo: Lukasz Koscinski

from left: 1st place Laszlo Szucs; 2nd place Vanya Eide; 3rd place Ovidiu Oltean
photo: Lukasz Koscinski

 You will represent District 95 on World Championship. How do you  prepare?

I was in national team of boxing in my country, but I admit this will be  the biggest competition in my life so far. It is hyper exciting. Therefore,  I  will recycle everything I learned about preparation and training  camps in  sport. I will do the preparation with daily practicing in  Toastmasters and  holding public speaking trainings.

Also, I will have some special preparation and “speaking tours”, I got  lots of invitations from Berlin to Moscow for which I am very thankful.  Regarding special preparation, I am going to a local high security prison  … to speak in front of inmates on a regular basis. I just got my striped prison uniform and who knows what else my mentors will figure out (smile). So after this preparation the World Championship will be a real relief (smile)


Just to help District 95 Toastmasters understand what you have achieved let me mention The Toastmasters International Speech Contest is the world’s largest speech contest, involving 30,000 participants from 135 countries.

It culminates with the popular World Championship of Public Speaking held annually at the organization’s http://www.toastmasters.org/Events/2016-International-Convention.

As you will compete against ninety-eight winners from districts around the world in the semifinal round we wish you fruitfull preparation process and a victory in the final contest.


Mariola Siorek was talking to Laszlo Szucs – District 95 International Speach Contest winner and representative World Championships of Public Speaking 2016. 


Beat the Clock Membership Campaign

Add 5 new, dual or reinstated members to your club roster between May 1 to June 30, 2016

Toastmasters International
Will reward your club with a special “Talk up Toastmasters” ribbon to display on your club’s banner. Qualifying clubs can also earn a special discount code for 10-percent off their next club order.

District 95
Will reward the 3 clubs adding the most new members each with a Standard Package Ticket to the District 95 Fall Conference in Warsaw.

Big Applause – New D95 Officers

During most recent District Council Meeting in Timisoara 14th May 2016 we have elected new District 95 Officers. Please see the results below:

Michal Talaga District Director
Andrei Popescu Program Quality Director
Neal Greenspan Club Growth Director
Wendy Wallace Husser Public Relations Manager
Joanna Chmiel Administration Manager
Calin Gilea Finance Manager
Tuire Vuolasvirta Immediate Past District Director
Ulla Törnroos Division A Director
Piotr Chimko Division B Director
Julia Möser Division C Director
Bea Bincze Division D Director
Wiktoria Kowalska Division E Director
Mirja Iannuccelli Division F Director
Dhiraj Paryani Division G Director
Emilia Bradea Division H Director
Karla Viebahn Division I Director
Krzysztof Kopec Division J Director
Gabriela Roivainen Division K Director
Lukas Liebich Division L Director


They start their term on 1st July 2016.

Let’s congratulate the new team members and let’s wish them a lot of satisfaction they may gain from cooperation and an exceptionally fruitful term.

Division L Spring Conference

It’s Saturday morning, April 23, 2016. 5:45. The sun will rise in ten minutes, the streets are deserted and the only other person awake at this inhuman time seems to be the tram driver.

But I know that in a little bit I’ll meet two more people who decided to get up early today, two people who will join me on my trip to the 2016 Toastmasters Division L International Speech Contest in Brno. Unlike me, who is going to compete and hopes to gain immortal fame, they have much more noble motivation. They’re coming to be there with me. And for me. Thank you, Milan and Vendula.

An hour later we are on the highway to Brno and Milan proves to be not only a good driver but also a great DJ. With songs from Czech fairy-tale movies and the soundtrack of Dirty Dancing, he keeps our spirits high. Much needed, much appreciated.

And then we arrive. I understand right away why the organizers chose #HeavyIndustryBrno for this event.


I didn’t pay much attention when I read that we were going to have the conference at a freezing plant. Now I can tell the organizers stick to the theme dutifully and even sport hard hats. I’m spared this particular fashion accessory but the freezing temperature outside AND inside feels more than pleasantly authentic.

But there’s hot tea and as more and more people arrive, everything starts to warm up. After just a few final adjustments, we are ready to start.

worker TMConf

And what a start it is! Joanna Chmiel delivers a keynote address that touches everybody’s heart. Because we all, just as herself, know about the ink and the needle and the joy and the pain one feels when we get “Toastmasters” tattooed on our hearts.


But I’m here not to listen, but to speak, and my Czech/Slovak contest starts the whole marathon. No time to waste, I gear up, dress up, warm up and am ready to deliver my speech. Seven minutes later, it’s over. The audience laughed and applauded, which is good, and now I can get my coffee, which is great. I mean, it’s great that I can finally get my coffee. And the coffee is great!

The sofa is comfy and the fireplace is near, my favourite place. I hear the audience applauding fellow Toastmasters for their German speeches and English evaluations, but the early wake-up takes its toll. I even almost miss the lunch! When I arrive, half of the sandwiches are gone, but according to the reports, they were a bit on the spicy side anyway – nothing for a speaker to relish. I’m more than happy with the fabulous lentil soup of which I get two extra servings.

IMG_20160423_090227162As the day rolls over into the afternoon, the program continues with workshops and Czech and German evaluation contest. I hang around, drop in here and there, chat with friends and feel content and relaxed. Then I realize this feeling is a double-edged sword.

Many people think that I’m one lucky person not suffering from stage fright. That’s not the whole truth though. The truth is that I like stage fright. When I feel nervous before speaking, I know I have energy that I can channel towards the audience – so that’s a good thing. However, now, one hour before my English contest, I feel accomplished and a bit lazy. Come on, bring back the stress, the tension, the excitement! Pump yourself up!IMG_20160423_150510766

For a while I practice my flamenco routine and do vocal warm-up and finally feel energized and much more ready to deliver my speech. Just in time, because I’m the first of six contestants. Then I hear the Contest Chair announcing my name and for the next seven minutes, the stage is mine. Here I come!

This moment is magical. I’m on the stage, facing the audience, ready as I can be. I had people laugh, and even cry, during my speeches, such is the power of words. Yet now, before I start, I can only hope. It may, or may not work this time.

Then I open my mouth, and my heart, and my audience smiles, and laughs, and thinks, and finds their own interpretation of what I’m saying. Good. That’s how it should be.

When my speech is over, I listen to the other contestants. There are six of us, and while I want the best to win, of course, I cross my fingers a bit tighter for my three fellow women warriors. Amidst the competition, we support each other, cheer each other, hug each other, we feel like competing for one team, not against each other. Stephanie, Petra, Irina – thank you, you are the best! (Martin and Hristo – you are great too, of course 😉 )

The contests are over, and Tony Achmat is probably the only one who can keep the attention of the audience before the awards ceremony. With his speech You get what you give, he provokes us and motivates us to dig even deeper into our Toastmaster-selves.

Then is the waiting finally over – Ewan Scattergood, our Division Director, calls back the Contest Chairs and hands over THE envelopes.

Starting with the evaluation contest, we cheer for the winners.

German Evaluations: 1. Linda Skrobucha, 2. Daniel Samol

Czech Evaluations: 1. Jaroslav Kováč, 2. Veronika Danevová

English Evaluations: 1. Věra Oráč, 2. Róbert Srnka, 3. Jaroslav Kováč


And then the International Speeches:

German: 1. Petra Pálfyová, 2. Jakub Kratochvíl

Czech: 1. Dagmar Vilémová, 2. Daniel Samol, 3. Petrana Martineková

English: 1. Stephanie Brush, 2. Lenka Dvořáková, 3. Petra Pálfyová


WOW! I don’t think it has ever happened in our Division, three women in the first three places! Girls, we rock!!!

The journey back to Prague is smooth and happy, but Gee, am I tired. Věra Oráč, my fellow passenger on the back seat and my Toastmasters role model and icon, suggests we do a tabletopics session. Obviously I am not a Toastmaster enough yet, as I politely decline. But that may change. We’ll see next year.


Thank you, Heavy Industry Brno team!

organizers TMConf

send by: Lenka Dvorakova

Division J Contest – Tram Stop Toastmasters

In the end of April (23-24.04), one of Warsaw’s universities hosted the Division Contest – Tram Stop Toastmasters.


On Saturday took place the international speech contest, evaluation contest in English and German speech contest. They were followed by a series of workshops in English and Polish.


The speakers coming from Toastmasters clubs from all over Poland taught us, for example, how to communicate in relationships, how to be more empathetic on the scene, or how to achieve a powerful voice pitch. One of the workshops included some physical exercises 😉3


The second day (Sunday) began with speech and evaluation contests in Polish. They were followed by a workshop organised by our special guest – Robert Trzebiński, who presented the topic: „The turning point: 5 important steps on the path towards success and balance in life”.








The final part of this conference was the award-giving ceremony for the best speakers and evaluators of the Division J. The winners of the first and the second prizes in Polish will represent Division J in the Polish Finals at the conference EFEKT TOASTMASTERS in Bydgoszcz. The winners of the first prize in speeches and evaluations in English will be competing for the title of the District Champion on the 13th May in Timisoara.


We congratulate all the winners and wish them victory in the further stages of the contest.



send by: Jakub Godlewski

Communications and leadership strike a balance at the Division G Conference

Copenhagen Toastmasters, is the first charted toastmasters club in Denmark and took pride in organizing the Division G Conference on 16 & 17 April 24, 2016. Copenhagen Toastmasters were not only hosting the event but was also celebrating their 20th anniversary this year! 12990927_1033849850041090_2435469476073354599_n

In conjunction of 20 years in Denmark, Copenhagen Toastmasters also hosted a Corporate Summit on the day before the Conference. The goal of the Corporate Summit was to introduce the concept of ‘Toastmasters’ to local businesses and together discuss how Toastmasters can help empower their employees to become more effective communicators and leaders.

Both the aspects of Toastmasters were taken into account at the summit and conference, participants got taste of good communication and the importance of leadership throughout three day event held at Kildeskovhallen, Copenhagen.


The conference started with Region 11 advisor Victoria Ferrer giving a inspirations key note speech about starting toastmasters clubs in the Middle East and starting her non-profit organization based in Jordan which conducts charitable projects for orphans, widows, abused women, and refugees. Victoria’s keynote set the perfect pace for the speech competitions.

The International speech competition was a combination of diverse topic ranging from following your dreams, prevention of diabetes and supporting a loved one who has addiction.  12994559_1033849863374422_3633001703194682194_n

Vanja Eibe from Götenborg Toastmasters, Simon Regnell from Ideon Toastmasters and Joachim Åfsted Göteborgs Talarklubb from Göterborg Talarklub,  placed first, second, third place respectively.

The evaluation competition was won by Elizabeth Nørsted Saturday Beakfast Speaker, Simon Regnell from Ideon Toastmasters and Peter Rogers from Stockholm Toastmasters took the 1nd, 2nd and 3rd place respectively.

The second day of the conference started with workshops and ended with the award ceremony right after lunch. Victoria Ferrer gave the first workshop which got all participants dancing to Pharell Wiliams song ‘Happy’. Victoria explained how we could use cultural intelligence as an advantage.

Andrei Popescu gave an entertaining workshop full of twist and surprises which gave valuable lessons about handling mistakes as a leader. Andreas Møgelhojb workshop about techniques of learning made participants stand on their feet and be interactive with one another on the floor.

13001029_1033849333374475_3401587798940913071_nDivision Director Svetlana Breum presented about the Revilised Education Progamme new education programme whereas, Maria Applekvist gave the last workshop about how to use energy when giving speeches.

The conference on Sunday afternoon with a tour by a new member Agnieska Paruzel and participants talking about reuniting in Timisoara.

Copenhagen Business School gets a taste of Toastmasters

We had a fantastic demo meeting at Copenhagen Business School (CBS) on 20 April at the vicinity of Frederiksberg, Copenhagen. President of Copenhagen Toastmaster Henrik Kammann and a few of his members made a demo meeting at the vicinity of CBS. The demo meeting was requested by 5 student organisation which included the debating society and leadership club of CBS.

The toastmaster of the evening Diantha Averil Nota started the meeting by telling the audience how toastmasters changed her life. The two speeches which followed were from Mary Consulate Cossy and Mette Marie Terp which were about the importance of education and entrepreneurship.

The participants who attended were interested in being better at public speaking, presentation skills, getting jobs and networking and leadership.


prepared by: Sajita Nair