Improve Your Communication Skills

 Klaus Roth from Bonn International Toastmasters has just come along from the airport arriving from Germany when I met him in Katowice yesterday. A little bit wearisome, but still eager to tell a lot about his workshops and his own experiences with Toastmasters International. Just read the whole story!

What is the main idea of the workshop you will deliver on 22th of August, 2013 in Katowice?

It is about evaluation and feedback which is often not given properly so people are destroyed and blamed. The aim is to evaluate people positively so let us see the process in general, about the mental proceedings, and how to make improvements using this tool. When you say it is wrong, wrong, wrong... you destroy people. You must do an evaluation correctly to show it is a good training to have a speech during a Toasmaster meeting. It is very benefiting in your business life, negotiation proceses, while dealing with employees, etc. If you are not a good evaluator you do it in a way which is not motivating. We will talk about it how to make a change.

How the International Toasmasters organization improves your life?

At the very beginning i was not found of meeting people because I cannot speak. I had “no voice”. I hated public speaking beacuse I could not impress not only myself. I knew it. When I met the Toastmasters for the first time I thougt myself: “Yes, that’s something for me”. We started with easy topics like our family, pets, friends, hobbies...but in fact this “kindergarden” prepares for real life. In an interview you should not say: hmmm, omm, etc. When you are a trained Toastmaster you win in real life.

Are you German? Is it your first trip to Poland?


Is it your first trip to Poland? What are your impressions from our country?

No, the first time was about fifteen years ago. I love Poland because people here are always on the move. You are ready for changes and you do them. I am sure in a few years it will be different country. Comparing with Germany a few years ago the country was the same as today. Poland is rather an upcoming country and nation. I see enthusiasm in your eyes, and beacause of such eyes I come to Poland.

Are you involved in any networking organization in Germany, e.g. Business Networking International?

No. We have BNP (Broadcast Networking International), but it is the same system. I have been several times guest there. BNP is more focused on entrepreneurs which have 5 to 10 employees. It is mostly addressed to small and middle companies. They have no members among big ones. The decision process in bigger companies is more complex. BNP (Broadcast Networking International) is more focused on entrepreneurs which have 5 to 10 employees.

On 24th of August, 2013 you will deliver a workshop in Cracow which also touches the topic of cultural differences in body language. Please, tell us more about that issue.

I have experienced some of them even in Poland when I was in Bydgoszcz. There was a lady in service there who had helped me and when I thanked her she made a special body move.

It is considered very appropriate when you are a maid.

Fifty years ago it was very popular in Germany, too. Another example is a so called Becker fist. In my club of Toastmasters is a young lady who lived in Malesia with a Chinese backgroung. While welcoming each other she shakes hands and then put the right one to her heart. I asked her of the meaning of such a gesture. “ I take you to my heart”, she explained to me. Now, I am telling nice stories, but not knowing cultural differences you can totally hurt people. Do you rememer the scandal made by Bill Gates in China? He said “hallo” to the prime minister of PRC with one hand in his pocket. Gates was very easy going but for the Chinese it was like slash in their face. By this beahaviour Gates demolished the image of Microsoft. He can afford it. He is like a king. When you are a smaller entreprenour you have to be more carefull. When you destroy your contract by such a stupid attitude your boss will kill you.

I know the importance of sensitivity to cultural differences...

Some young boys do many gangster’s gestures. Cultural differences can help you or distroy.

Eating manners are also very important...

Sure, some people eat with hands on the table. When you go to McDonald’s primitive way of eating is OK, but when you go to a banquet the rules are different.

Adaptation to the environment plays a crucial role in many situations...

Yes, but you must be able to switch between these two kinds of manners, to modify your behaviour. In my club 50 % of member ar not German from origin. They come from India, Malesia and so on.

Thank you very much.

Thank you.


Motivation is a complex corundum. Proficient speakers should also master the art of delivering bad news in a positive, professional, and respectful way. Giving feedback is an important part of clear communication. It is not about pointing out flaws. It shall be like a motivation to improve. If given correctly, motivates the receiver to share responsibilities, complete task properly, and increase productivity. Evaluation skills seems to be like a pure gold.


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