My ToastMasters Experience
I was invited as a guest to the Redwood Area Toastmasters meeting on October 22nd. Not sure what to expect, I came into the meeting with an open mind. The president of the chapter started off the meeting with quick introductions and shared the word of the day. Each meeting there is an assigned Toastmaster that runs the meeting, he followed the president and kicked off the meeting with sharing the theme of the day (Colors of the Wind), and introducing the General Evaluator, the General Evaluator will evaluate the whole meeting. The General Evaluator will then introduce his/her Evaluation team, which consists of an Ah-Counter, Word of the Day/Grammarian, Timer, Speech Evaluators, and a Table Topics Master. Once the General Evaluator is finished they return control over to the Toastmaster who then introduces the speaker of the day. The speaker gave a 5-7 minute speech and was evaluated from group. The presentation was focused on being creative and memorable journeys throughout her life. The speaker focused on looking at the group and not the power point screen, trying not to say um, and, ah, and giving a great presentation.
Once the presentation was done we moved to table talks. This allowed the group to get as engaged at they wished. The Table Topics Master created questions and picked one at a time out of the bucket and read it out loud to the group. When the question had been read she asked for someone to come up to the front and give their answer (they should be about 1 – 2 minutes long).
Now we were ready to hear from the General Evaluator and his/her Evaluation Team that did the evaluating throughout the meeting. Each one stood up and shared their results, whether good or bad they remained positive and gave really great feedback. After all of the evaluations were done the General Evaluator returned control to the ToastMaster. He shared his thoughts and outcome from the meeting. The meeting was returned over to the President, which she then takes club roles for the next meeting, and she asks for any questions or comments. The meeting was then adjourned at 12:50pm.
I have personally been to many meetings, organizations and clubs but Toastmasters made me feel very comfortable and open. Everyone was very kind to each other but also gave points on which presenting areas needed improvement. I found that the group was very supportive and understanding no matter the situations and aspects other members had with public speaking.
We could all be Toastmasters!
Toastmasters International is the world’s largest volunteer organization dedicated to communication and leadership excellence with over 12,500 clubs in 113 countries. Toastmatsters provides the tools that enable employees to become effective communicators and leaders.
* give better sales presentations
* hone their management skills
* work better with fellow employees
* effectively develop and present ideas
* offer constructive feedback
* accept feedback more objectively
The mission of a Toastmasters club is to provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every member has the opportunity to develop communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster self-confidence and personal growth.
Speeches are not the only thing you learn while in the club but you will also have the opportunity to learn and fill key meeting roles: Toastmaster, Table Topics Master, Speech Evaluator, General Evaluator, Ah Counter, Grammarian, and Timer.
10 Tips for Public Speaking
- Know your material
- Practice. Practice. Practice!
- Know the audience
- Know the room
- Visualize yourself giving your speech
- Realize that people want you to succeed
- Don’t apologize
- Concentrate on the message – not the medium
- Gain experience
To learn more information about The Redwood Area Toastmasters find us on Facebook!
‘Connecting Rural Minnesota’