Club Officers 2018 – 2019

President

 Kostas Christidis
Kostas Christidis
Why did you decide to join the club board?
After discussing it with members of the previous board, it became obvious to me that I had two options. The first was to play it safe, avoid stepping outside my comfort zone and not participate in the board. The second one was to get actively involved – and this is the one I followed.
I welcomed this opportunity, not only as a personal challenge but mainly as an opportunity to serve my club the best way I can.
How long have you been with Toastmasters?
I have been a member of Toastmasters for exactly one year. I feel as excited as the first time and ready to learn a lot from fellow Toastmasters.
Why did you decide to join Toastmasters?
I guess I will not be very original – I became a Toastmaster to face my fear of public speaking. First I joined a meeting out of curiosity, and then slowly I got hooked to the speeches, the learning that takes place, the pace, the feedback, the atmosphere.
How has Toastmasters benefited you?
A big part is the Toastmasters’ program which worked very well for me. I am now able to deliver a speech with relative ease, even though a few months ago I would have significant challenges. An even bigger part is the people that I have met. Passionate, active, interesting people from all fields of life get to gather at Toastmasters meetings. It is my pleasure and honour to interact with them regularly.
What was your favourite speech you gave at Toastmasters?
My favourite speech was the icebreaker. Not in terms of technique or delivery, or rhetoric. But it was a symbol of breaking the ice – introducing myself to the club, and also making a small breakthrough. It signified the start of a journey with major implications for my personal and professional life.

Vice President Education

Marcin Fabiańczyk
Marcin Fabiańczyk
Why did you decide to join the club board?
I’ve been very engaged in the club’s life in the recent year. When an opportunity to serve as an officer arose, I decided to take it. Toastmasters is the place where Leaders are born, and I wanted to awake that leader.
How long have you been with Toastmasters?
I’ve been with the CBT exactly one year. My first meeting was the previous board election. I immensely enjoyed and benefited the membership throughout the whole year.
Why did you decide to join Toastmasters?
I knew Toastmasters from Gdańsk, the city where I lived before Berlin. I perceived the people connected with Toastmasters to be very inspiring and supportive. I wanted to belong to that! Besides my personal and professional goals correlated with the competencies, which we practice at Toastmasters.
What was your favourite speech you gave at Toastmasters?
Christmas Show was my favourite speech. I described how during Christmas in my family we play different games and share laughs. My goal, and call to action –  to encourage our members to play games during Christmas with their families – worked!

Vice President Membership

Felix Schnellbacher
Felix Schnellbacher
Why did you decide to join the club board?
Some tell me I’m good at selling. I’m not sure. What I do know is that I’m good at convincing others of the things I am convinced of myself. Toastmasters is one of them.
How long have you been with Toastmasters?
I am just a little bit proud to say that I was one of the founding members of Center Berlin Toastmasters in 2015.
Why did you decide to join Toastmasters?
To me, Toastmasters is both fun and learning. Plus, Toastmasters teach you about giving good feedback. Which is why with Toastmasters, you are extremely likely to receive the best feedback you have ever had. Oops, I am in the VP Membership mode again 😉
How has Toastmasters benefited you?
I have been a professional spokesperson for ten years, and I still learned a lot from Toastmasters. I still do. It’s fun and learning at the same time. I know I said it already, but it bears repeating.
What was your favourite speech you gave at Toastmasters?
My last one. I won the club contest with it but had the jury stuck to the originality rule, I should have been disqualified. I dropped out of that contest. I have an issue with the current originality rule of Toastmasters. I should write a speech about that!

Vice President Public Relations

Raymond Chenon
Raymond Chenon
Why did you decide to join the club board?
To make the club a better place
How long have you been with Toastmasters?
For 8 months
Why did you decide to join Toastmasters?
I used to speak at conferences and meetups. I felt confident but the recorded video showed there was some area of improvements. I knew I could be a lot better. This video inspired me to join Toastmasters.
How has Toastmasters benefited you?
Applied in real life, I am more conscious about body language, filler words and deliver a speech under a time constraint. My impromptus speech improved. Along the way, I met awesome like-minded people.
What was your favourite speech you gave at Toastmasters?
Hard to choose, my favourites are the wedding session and “HTML ( how to meet ladies )”

Secretary

Tanja Straka
Tanja Straka

I joined the Center Berlin Toastmasters in September 2017 after just moving to Berlin and enjoyed straight away the supportive and engaging club environment. Although I strongly believe that we can all become good speakers and leaders if we are willing and open to learning, to observe, to take some risks, it is much easier and also much more fun if you do it together with people who share similar values and goals. In the Center Berlin Toastmasters, I did not only find the perfect environment to improve my speaking and leadership skills, I also found a great team of people who help me to achieve my goals and to find my very own style of public speaking and leading. In addition, it is always fun to join a meeting; whether it is a themed event (e.g. wedding speeches) or just a regular meeting in which we go step by step through the different projects to become competent speakers and leaders. Bringing all of this together – it was very easy for me to agree to the question if I want to become the secretary of the Board. I think that it is an amazing club with great people and I am looking forward to supporting the Center Berlin Toastmasters in my new role.


Treasurer

Sabina Bychkar
Sabina Bychkar

I joined Toastmasters in September 2017. Since July 2018 I am a new Treasurer. Why did I choose it? I have studied economics. However, despite my theoretical knowledge, I couldn’t feel the power of money in my hands so far. Now I have the role of the finance minister in our CBT-kingdom. This gives me a motivation to be creative with numbers and to be an expert in our Toastmasters money world 😉


Sergeant at Arms

Joshua Jensch
Joshua Jensch
Why did you decide to join the club board?
I decided to join the club board to develop my leadership skills and have more stage-time to improve my public speaking.
How long have you been with Toastmasters?
Since February 2018.
Why did you decide to join Toastmasters?
To get better at public speaking and relating to people.
What was your favourite speech you gave at Toastmasters?
My icebreaker (and only prepared speech I gave yet).

Immediate Past President

Rayane Bachammar
Rayane Bachammar
Why did you decide to join the club board?
I have been a board member in my previous club, Barcelona Toastmasters, where I served as a Vice President of Education and Vice President Public Relations. I joined Center Berlin Toastmasters last year and I was asked if I would like to take over the role of the President. As I was familiar with the Toastmasters program and board work, I accepted. It was a new challenge in a new club.
Toastmasters gives you so much. So, at one moment, you have to give back.
How long have you been with Toastmasters?
I joined Toastmasters in February 2013. I was first a member of Barcelona Toastmasters and since April 2017, I am a Center Berlin Toastmaster.
Why did you decide to join Toastmasters?
I wanted to improve my spontaneous speaking skills. The table topic part of the meetings is perfect for this.
How has Toastmasters benefited you?
Toastmasters has changed a lot in my life. My communication style, my communication behaviour. Through the leadership roles I took over, I feel more self-confident and more secure in every life situation. You meet people that motivate you and inspire you to become better and better- so I also have become more positive.
What was your favourite speech you gave at Toastmasters?
My favourite speech was a competition speech in French: Dessins animés à vie.
With this speech, I made the second place at European Level in Porto 2015. The speech is available on Youtube 🙂