No venture is successful without a vision. It is vision and visionaries who created and consistently re-create Center Berlin Toastmasters. Vision starts in the realm of ideas and culminates in tangible results.
Center Berlin Toastmasters was founded in 2015. But its story goes back to 2012 when I joined Toastmasters. My first club was Mercury Toastmasters Berlin … a club with some of the finest speakers in the area … a dynamo! Mercury membership grew consistently and astronomically. Our meetings became so crowded, some of us sat on the floor. We had to wait 3 months for a speaking slot …. a dilemma! … The solution? …. Plant a new club using our members as seeds. “No! It’ll tear us apart!” some cried. “Yes! Grow and multiply!” others exclaimed.
Out of this friction, Center Berlin Toastmasters was conceived.
On the first of June 2015, a dozen Toastmasters from a variety of clubs brainstormed a three-fold vision for a new club. Center Berlin Toastmasters was to be a Center of Process, a Center Of Connection, a Center of Excellence. That vision became our guiding principle and our measure of success. Everything we did was anchored in Process … Connection … Excellence.
On October 1, 2015 Center Berlin Toastmasters officially chartered with 23 members, eight of whom came from Mercury Toastmasters.
Our first meetings were at Forum Factory near Checkpoint Charlie. That central location and professional space created a buzz of excitement and drew guests to our doors. Forum Factory generously sponsored us our first year and then an additional six months at a reduced fee.
Late February 2017 we moved into our current home in the hall at St. Lukas-Kirche at Anhalter Bahnhof near Potsdamer Platz. Here we’ve enjoyed a cozier atmosphere along with a constant inflow of new members.
Starting in March 2020, with the onset of the Covid pandemic, we quickly moved online offering exciting meetings and opportunity to grow new skills. We gained members from outside Berlin adding to our international flair.
As a Center of Process we have seen timid speakers turn into outspoken lions.
As a Center of Connection we have fostered member networking and exchange with the international Toastmaster community.
As a Center of Excellence we have offered and shared expertise hosting, among others, a workshop by World Champion speaking coach Olivia Schofield who drew a crowd of over 100 participants.
Process. Connection. Excellence. Since 2015, we have continuously built on that vision.
Khushi Pasquale, DTM
Founder, Center Berlin Toastmasters