What do you get from Toastmasters?
What are your first thoughts about Toastmasters? Boring, place to learn to give toasts! FALSE!!!
I first came to Toastmasters to appease a friend who kept asking me to come and stayed!
What made me stay at first: the humor and good feelings I left with at every single meetings. I keep coming back because I gain something from every meeting!
How did I do my first few speeches? Lousy! I was very nervous and didn't know what to do. I even had to sit down before my speech was finished. I was so nervous!
Harlan Bran, was my mentor. Harlan kept telling me: "No one knows what you are going to say except you!" Those words of wisdom has helped me through so much since then.
What have I gotten from being at Toastmaters? I've developed some friendships and relationships I'll keep the rest of my life. Most of all, I learned how to put my thoughts on paper and into the spoken word!
Why bring others into the fold? You want to brighten their lives a little. You want to help them. You don't get anything monetarily from them, but you do get a feeling of satisfaction seing them grow.
What does a new person gain from being a Toastmaster? TM offers education. We learn how to peel potatoes; make soap; deal with opposing opinions; but most of all How to listen; How to speak is a small part; but mostly how to respond extemporaneously; how to write letters and articles using our Opening, Body, and Conclusion techniques we learn here. Even in our extemporaneous, we always have an opening, body, and conclusion - and we learn to take it with us from here to the outside.
We learn not to use crutch words, like "uh", "well," and "so"; we learn to stand upright when speaking; we learn how to make hand-gestures; how to use body language to give even non-verbal communications; how to use our voice as an instrument by using vocal inflections.
So, Why would a current Toastmaster want to bring new people in... ? They don't get anything out of it, or do they? They get to learn new things! Everyone has an experience they can talk about. New Toastmasters can teach us; from how to enjoy treasure hunting with your GPS; to what to expect from a polygraph test, there is no limit to what you can learn.
Each of us has a wealth of information to give the rest of us: Each new person in Toastmasters brings with them a whole to life to the group; For example: we can learn how to use the technology in speaking from flip-charts to computer screens; Great for giving listing presentations.
When we invite a person to TM, we don't mention to them they might learn how to speak; that's spooky!! Instead, we tell them about the humor we all enjoy; the education we get by others sharing their life stories; the camaraderie we grow to have; and let them know they'll walk away from EVERY meeting with something they can use in life... every single time!
So go out today and find someone to invite to TM with you next week, We meet at the Fairway Cafe, in Lynden's Fairway Center, right across from the fairgrounds every Friday Mornint at 6:30 a.m It will be the most important time of your week!
Paul Holtzheimer is a native of Whatcom County, lived on a dairy farm in Custer, by Birch Bay, and still lives on the family homestead founded way back in 1871. Although he spent a few years getting an education in Oklahoma he spent all of that time just trying to get back his home in Whatcom County.
Paul joined Toastmasters in the early 90's and has held every office in the club at least once. He's a past president and now is starting through the officer chairs again as VP of Public Relations.
For the last two years, he's been the host the district's speech contests and officers training at his office at Keller Williams in Bellingham. He's been a constant standard bearer for Toastmasters since he joined and works hard to give back to Toastmasters part of what it's given to him.