Thoughts from our new Club President – Paul Rocks:
“In my experience, most guests or a potential new members main question on turning up is “What can toastmasters do for me?” I am going to tell you about what the toastmasters programs have done for me since I first joined, five years ago.
It’s been a long time since my first speech, I remember the day well, I had researched and rehearsed everything. I was prepared for everything, except the unexpected wave of apprehension that washed over me. You expect it, you prepare for it, but until you experience it, it’s only a concept in your head. However, the preparation I’d made according to the guidelines in my manual, the repeated practice of the speech that I had done allowed me to side step the effect of the nerves to get through the initial stage and then I was able to focus on the delivery of my speech. 2 months later, I hosted the IT department monthly meeting, in front of 300 people, without notes
Last year I interviewed for 2 jobs. The evaluation, speaking and team skills I have learned from hosting meetings, giving feedback, organising events, impromptu speaking via table topics and delivering prepared speeches meant I was extremely well prepared. I literally had everything timed down to the last second in terms of my personal statement, the description of my roles and how it was of relevance to my prospective employers. The preparation and skills I learned from evaluation and being Toastmaster were particularly effective on helping me prepare everything so I could deliver my ideas and get my points across in the interview. The skills learned from table topics mind allowed me to think on my feet when i was caught off guard with something. I was offered both jobs.
The Toastmaster program offers you several ways to develop. You develop your speaking skills by doing impromptu speaking with table topics and prepared speeches from your competent communicator manual. You develop further communication and leadership skills by giving evaluations, one of the most valuable soft skills you can learn. Your leadership roles are developed by fulfilling roles and following the projects in your leadership skills manual
Leadership, team work, organising meetings, time keeping, organising events, team work. Giving constructive informative feedback, being able to speak about a topic you’ve not prepared for confidently, being able to prepare a speech, technical talk or presentation on any topics….If that is you want to learn, at your own pace for a a fraction of an expensive crash course, then toastmasters is the right choice for you.
For me, its been the cheapest but best value, most practical thing I have done in terms of public speaking and soft skills improvement. Can’t say more than that.”
Thanks Paul, see him in action giving his latest advanced speech this Tuesday 18th August.