Friday, October 2, 2015

Why you should join Toastmasters

Today's Dawn Patrol Toastmasters meeting was one for the ages! Near record attendance, first-time speeches from two new people, and multiple people spoke about how attending Toastmasters meetings had improved their quality of life: better work habits, better communication with spouses and significant others, keeping calm in tough situations, and overcoming obstacles (the theme of the meeting).

The kicker was, five minutes from the end, Karen Rossi, manager of the Smithfield St library, popped in unexpectedly to say goodbye, as she is retiring. She joined Dawn Patrol when I did in 2008, and said it really helped her with her job performance and speaking with the upper management of the Carnegie Library system.

Myself, I gave a "pocket speech", an extemporaneous speech I thought of while walking to the bus this morning (as opposed to one I researched, prepared and practiced). I used the example of President Obama's speech last night about the Oregon story to show how he applied each of the 10 speech projects in the Toastmasters CC manual. (CC=Competent Communicator, the first level.) Never mind what the president said or whether you agree with him or even like him. Watch how he talks, watch how he keeps calm though he is clearly angry, yet he expresses that anger through facial expressions and body language. And how that makes for a powerful speech and a call to action. All of those are straight out of the CC book.

Dawn Patrol is only one of a couple dozen Toastmasters clubs downtown and nearby. What makes us different is that we meet in the early morning (hence the name), 7:15 on Fridays (1st, 3rd, 5th Fridays of each month). If you cannot make any other Toastmasters club because of conflicts, join Dawn Patrol. We also have a good mix of veteran, new-ish (a year maybe two), and brand-new members, so you can see the distinct manner of progress in how well people speak. We're all still learning.

Club website:

Put us on your calendar. The doors are open at 7, but be sure to be in the room by 7:15 as the library itself isn't open until 8:30. We will have you on your way by then to continue the rest of your day. 

1 comment:

  1. The best way to learn something is by doing it, and the best way to do it is to have willing, knowledgeable help, giving you constructive criticism. That's what you get here.