WHAT IS TOASTMASTERS?
Toastmasters.... Toastmasters....What is Toastmasters? Is it a bunch of guys in stuffed shirts & suits standing around and pontificating about people. Is it a secret society where everyone looks furtively from side to side before giving the secret handshake? Is it a cooking class where everyone brings in their breadmaker and makes the latest recipe and then toasts it to see how it tastes? Or is it a bunch of guys drinking in a bar?. - "Here's to Joe, what a schmoe, so grab your beer, let's give a cheer -- to Joe". Toastmasters is an international, not-for-profit organization designed to help people become more confident in public speaking. Why would anyone want to go to Toastmasters? What do you do there? What kind of things do you learn? Do you have to talk all the time? Why would I go? I'm afraid to go there - what if someone asks me to get up and speak? I can't do that - what would I say? The most common reason given for joining Toastmasters is to conquer shyness, stage fright or fear of public speaking. Some members have said they couldn't enter a room without worrying about talking to people. There are many courses designed to help people develop their speaking skills. Most of which cost hundreds or thousands of dollars and may require you to travel long distances to the training location. Toastmasters cost is less than $100. per year and training takes place in a supportive atmosphere at local club meetings. People progress at their own pace through a professionally prepared program. There are manuals which offer a step-by-step approach to speech organization and presentation, covering topics such as: Speaking With Sincerity, Organizing Your Speech, Vocal Variety, Working With Words and Using Props to Add Impact. Did you know that success in your occupation is directly related to how well you can speak? Research shows that people who can express themselves effectively advance further and faster in their careers than those who have difficulty speaking. Toastmasters provides the tools you can use to improve your performance in a variety of situations. Club meetings include opportunities to practice spontaneous thinking and speaking with an activity known as Table Topics. It is fun and participants are often very creative in their responses to their topic. But Toastmasters is not just about speaking. It is also about listening. At the end of each meeting the person who is appointed Quiz Master quizzes the group about things that have been said during the meeting. As the "Ah" counter, you will listen for filler words such as um, and, er, or lengthy pauses during a speech. The Evaluator listens carefully for strengths and weaknesses of the speeches or the meeting. Listening is a large part of Toastmasters. Observing also plays a part in Toastmasters. If you are not the person speaking, you have the opportunity to observe how a speech is given, how props might be used, or the effective use of gestures. You can observe the audience reaction to the speaker and the connection between them. All these observations will help you when it is time for you to give your first speech. Toastmasters membership offers: