Interview of Gisela

After the interview of Olivier, we have interviewed Gisela, one of the most senior members of our club and holding the officer role of treasurer.

Stuttgart International Toastmasters Club: Could you introduce yourself to our readers?
Gisela: I was born into a middle-class family in Passau where my father worked as a lawyer. After leaving grammar school I found a job as an au pair girl in London. That was the time when I discovered my love for the English language. After taking my degree in English and Geography I taught those subjects at various grammar schools in Bonn and in Böblingen for 35 years. I loved my job, although teaching unruly children can be very straining being the head of the language department was not much easier either. When in the year 2000 I was sent into retirement that I had more spare time.That is why I looked for an opportunity to speak English and found it with Toastmasters.

SITC: Who told you about Toastmasters?
Gisela: A former colleague told me about Toastmasters. I accompanied her to a meeting and liked it.

SITC: What do you like best at Toastmasters?
Gisela: I like the mix of people best in our club, its international character and the fact that people from all walks of life meet there.

SITC: What were your expectations when you joined the club?
Gisela: All my life I had had problems to overcome my nervousness when speaking in public. This was my chance to learn how to overcome it.

SITC: Have you made progress? In which field?
Gisela: Yes, I have made progress. I am still not completely relaxed whenever I speak in public, but I am much less nervous now. In the field of leadership there was not so much need for improvement because I had practised those  skills daily at school.

SITC: Do you have an example of a situation in your personal or professional life when your Toastmaster skills were helpful?
Gisela: Time and again I can use my toastmaster approach of expressing my thoughts from a positive point of view e.g. telling my private students what they have done well or negotiating over money with the IBMKlub treasurer.

SITC: What do you think is required to become a successful Toastmaster?
Gisela: Becoming a successful Toastmaster requires a lot of practice. I think that also attending the meetings regularly and taking over roles is of great importance.

SITC: Which officer roles have you held so far?
Gisela: I started as Sergeant of Arms, continued as VPEducation for several years and was President twice.

SITC: Which role did you like best?
Gisela: I liked the role of VPEducation best because I like organising and I want to make sure that our club is successful for the good of all of us.

SITC: What would you tell a person reading this article hesitating  to come to a meeting?
Gisela: I would tell that person to come and see what our meetings are like. Furthermore I would explain how much more I could have profited in my work if I had heard of Toasters earlier.

Thank you Gisela for this wonderful interview !

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