Why Toastmasters?

If someone asked me; “Why do you go to Toastmasters?” I would answer: we discover things we didn’t know about ourselves and they turn out to be things that could use some improving. Public Speaking obviously, it is amazing how Toastmasters cuts to the quick and helps one overcome a fear of public speaking.

Toastmasters’ simple methods far exceed the usual goal of speaking in public. It opens pathways to self-critique. For example, in my most recent speech, I presented examples of using diet to enhance mood. I showcased a grocery list of food items made up of simple and complex carbohydrates, items rich in Omega-3’s and some protein.

My self-evaluation is that I may have been overzealous in the number of food items I brought. By turning to retrieve items from a grocery bag, throughout the speech, I inadvertently turned away from the audience fairly often.  There was a nifty cart from the library that was used for the display, but if I had arrived early for a run through, I might have decided to set all the food items out on the cart ahead of time. In this way I might have stayed more focused, engaged the audience better, and delivered an overall better presentation.

I know the first rule of being on stage is to never turn your back on the audience , but recently I seem to be a repeat offender. In just the speech before this one, using a projector, I kept turning sideways to “click” the next slide! A relevant point of the evaluation of this speech was to show up early enough to do a run through and adjust the stage props as necessary so I, as the speaker, would be more comfortable.

From now on I will show  up early for my next speech and actually get  a “lay of the land” to ensure the physical props being used enhance, not distract from my presentation.  This valuable experience is sure to benefit me at work, school or anywhere I go to give a presentation.

This is why I go to Toastmasters.

1 Comment

  1. Rukhsana

    Doug I admire your enthusiasm, your encouragement of fellow Toastmasters and your courage to keep going. I agree with your critique, there is one thing I would add and I am sure your lovely wife will agree, is to time yourself and practise. You told me once after my speech that I was not prepared and that was one of the most valuable feedbacks anyone has ever given me…thank you. When you practise your speeches I would recommend that you time yourself to the lower end of the allotted time since one tends to go over by a bit.

    Hope that helps.

    Reply

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