Back from the District Conference

OK, I am back from the District 59 Toastmasters Conference in Hamburg, Germany.  The conference was held in a hotel just off the Reeperbahn, which made for a unique venue.

As usual, it was a great time.  The best part about the weekend was the people.  This was my fourth District Conference and it was great to see other Toastmasters from around Europe who have now become good friends. You learn a lot during these weekends and I encourage Toastmasters who have not been to a District Conference to try to attend one in the future.  As I said in a previous post, they add a whole new dimension to the Toastmasters experience.

As for the contests, well, I had a good weekend as it turned out. Representing the International Geneva Toastmasters, I placed first in both the Humorous Speech Contest and the Table Topics (impromptu speaking) Contest. Sometimes everything just clicks and this was one of those times. A good thing too as the competition was terrific.

My congratulations to my fellow competitors, especially (a) Claude Desroches (Berlin Toastmasters) and Peter Zinn (Utrecht Toastmasters) who took, respectively, second and third in Table Topics; and (b) Paul Rulkens (Eindhoven Toastmasters) and Lena Fredriksson (Gothenburg Toastmasters) who took, respectively, second and third in the Humorous Speech Contest.

The conference featured top speakers from 18 countries in Continental Europe. There were contests in English, French and German and also some great educational sessions. And of course, there was the gala dinner and dance which went on well into the night.

Here is my humorous speech. I had tremendous fun giving it and the audience was just great. Almost too great! They laughed so much in some places that I was afraid that I would run out of time! For those interested in competing in a humorous speech contest, I will try to analyze the speech in an upcoming post to give you my thoughts on how I constructed it. Meanwhile, enjoy!


About John Zimmer

International speaker, presentation skills expert, lawyer, improv performer
This entry was posted in Humour, Toastmasters and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to Back from the District Conference

  1. Mahesh says:

    Brilliant content and idea, great execution.

  2. Rehan A Khan says:


    Is it possible to forward the video of this speech to me please.


  3. Hi John.

    Nicely crafted speech, well delivered. Thanks for the detailed dissection of the speech. Will certainly use what I have learnt in our upcoming club contests.

    BTW warm wishes for a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

    Sailesh – Based in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

  4. Hi John.

    Nicely crafted speech, well delivered. Thanks for the detailed dissection of the speech. Will certainly use what I have learnt in our upcoming club contests.

    Sailesh – Based in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

  5. Awesome speech! It’s given me lots of ideas for the female rebuttal!

    Look forward to the next one!

    Cardinals Toastmasters

    PS. I competed in London this year for the first time. I didn’t win the District Humorous Speaking Contest, but did win the Club and Area… what a great feeling to be able to make people laugh!

    • John Zimmer says:

      Thank you, Laura. I look forward to the rebuttal. If we play our cards right, it will catch on and we can take the show on the road. Congratulations on your wins. Onward and upward!

  6. mferrar says:

    Brilliant. A laugh after 10 seconds, and they only got more. And a two-second punch line! A natural comic, and every word exactly chosen. Many thanks. Marcus

  7. Dawn Watson says:

    Yeap, that’s a winner alright! Great stuff John.

  8. Thank you for a truly amazing speech! It both set a new standard for me regarding entertainment, and also gave me some creative ideas I must try out if I ever get the chance to get into a conflict with a woman…!

    • John Zimmer says:

      Thanks for the comments Mikael! Glad you enjoyed the speech. Let me know if you have any success with the “techniques” that I proposed. I am beginning to wonder whether I should have added a disclaimer in the event that things go wrong! 😉

  9. Jo Ann Hansen Rasch says:

    Wonderful – and what a great subject. You were the perfect rational.

    I agree with your comments about Benjamin Zander’s speech. It’s one of the most moving I’ve ever heard, not only because he brilliantly explains music, but most of all because he is so generous with his soul.

  10. Joyce Feustel says:

    John, what a brilliant concept to use the concept of evaluating your wife as a way to defuse a tough situation. Wonderful take off on well known TM technqiues.

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  12. Freddie Daniells says:

    Haha! Brilliant. Well done John. Put a big smile on my face!

  13. Irina Kremin says:

    Hilarious, John,
    You rock!

  14. Thomas says:

    Hey John,

    congratulations from the TM club Rheinreder ( in Cologne, Germany.

    You truly rocked the audience.

    (VP ed)

    • John Zimmer says:

      Thanks very much Thomas and everyone at the Club Rheinreder. Ich habe viel Spass gehabt mit meinem humorvollen Reden! (How’s that for bad German?)



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