Issue 94, June 2024

Updates from OECD Toastmasters

Next Toastmasters Meeting: My interest or your interest?

By Katarina Vujović

Dear Toastmasters and guests,

The recent European elections have shaken expectations, with many surprised by the rise of the far right across the old continent. This outcome has even led to unprecedented decisions with France and Belgium dissolving their parliaments, to “better align with the people’s voices and interests”.

Voting is the ultimate expression of human rationality in democratic societies, translating into the behaviour to maximize the achievement of individual’s presumed interests. However, evidence suggests that voters do not make decisions after exhaustively processing relevant information but are instead influenced by their own biases and environment. Yet, at what costs does such a decision come, and who truly benefits?  In a global society where individuals are undeniably interdependent to each other (is your smartphone really made in China?), we tend to overestimate the payoff of individual’s interest.

Join us for the next Toastmasters meeting where we will explore historical examples of individuals favouring collective interests —from the creation of the European Union to the introduction of women’s suffrage in Switzerland—to understand the significance of this duality, which ultimately guides the direction of societal progress.

To take up an active role in this meeting, feel free to email me at katarina.vujovic@oecd.org, or sign up directly on easyspeak.

The team meeting will take place on June 27 in Boulogne in Room BB2385, with a kick-off at 18:30 (Swiss time).

Looking forward to seeing you all – in the interest of the Toastmasters club 😉

Not (yet) a member? We love guests! Register on the website.

Credits: Picture in Daily Sabah (2020)

Last meeting: Pride!

On the 11th of June, our Toastmaster’s meeting was themed around Pride🌈. What is Pride? How do you express it, and why is it important? Pride has been a powerful force for change, helping to promote acceptance and equality. Celebrating Pride means recognising the courage it takes to live authentically and the importance of supporting each other in our journeys.

Michael gave us the word of the day, which was “colourful,” reflecting the vibrant and diverse nature of Pride. Melanie proposed the joke of the day, bringing smiles to our faces.

We heard one impactful speech. Cibele’s speech, titled Some are more equal than others, informed us of the intersection between gender and the environment.

We had a special session featuring two table topics. In the first one, organized by Wonkyung, participants answered questions about Pride, sharing touching and personal stories. In the second table topic, Romain and Katarina engaged previous club officers with questions about their experiences in leadership roles.

Maxime provided feedback on Cibele’s speech. Joana, Andrew and Michael reported back on our performance regarding time management, filler words and the usage of the word of the day, respectively. Finally, Amrita gave a general evaluation of the meeting, highlighting our success and areas for improvement.

Meet our new Club President Katarina!

As of 1 July the new club officers take up duty under the leadership of incoming President Katarina Vujović. We asked Katarina three questions:

  • What does good leadership look like for you?

In my eyes, good leadership thrives on the powerful fusion of proactive bottom-up participation and visionary top-down direction. This dynamic synergy not only sparks creativity and collaboration but also ensures that every member’s perspective shapes the organisation’s growth. Such an approach enriches our collective journey and underscores Toastmasters’ role in cultivating confident speakers.

  • What is a valuable thing that you get out of Toastmasters?

Learning how to receive and apply feedback to enhance my public speaking skills. Equally important is developing the ability to provide constructive criticism to others, as it benefits both the speaker and the evaluator.

  • What can we expect from you as President in the coming Toastmasters year?

As your new President, expect me to create a positive learning environment that boosts your confidence. I’ll be there to support you on your journey to mastering leadership and communication skills. Plus, who knows? I might just sprinkle in some surprises to unleash the speaker and leader within you… Alea iacta est!

Upcoming club meetings

Register and come visit us!

  • 27 June, Boulogne-Billancourt
  • 9 July, La Muette
  • 25 July, Boulogne-Billancourt

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