What do you get from Toastmasters?
What are your first thoughts of Toastmasters? Boring, place to learn to give toasts! FALSE!!!!
I first came to appease a friend, and I stayed to educate myself.
What made me stay at first: the humor and good feelings I left with. 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!
However, I had was a manual and man named Harlan Bran and his advice. Harlan wasn't necessarily talking to me when he said: "No one knows what you are going to say except you!" But his advice has helped me succeed ever since!
What have I gotten from being at Toastmasters? 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 to Toastmasters? 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 watching them grow as speakers and people with confidence.
What does a new person gain from Toastmasters? TM offers education. We learn everything from how to peel potatoes; making soap; to how to deal with opposing opinions; but also:
How to listen; How to speak is a small part; but mostly how to respond extemporaneously in most any situation; how to write letters and articles using our Opening, Body, and Conclusion techniques we learn here. Even in our extemporaneous talks, we always have an opening, body, and conclusion - and we learn to take it with us from in the Toastmasters group to the outside world.
We learn not to use crutch words such as "uh," "well," "you know," and the like; we learn to stand upright when speaking; we learn how to use hand-gestures; how to use body language as an instrument to give non-verbal communications; how to use our voice by vocal inflections.
So, Why would 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. They can teach us; from how to enjoy treasure hunting with your GPS; to what to expect from a polygraph test, and more!
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 our group; We can learn how to use the technology in speaking from flip-charts to computer projectors, which helps with listing presentations;
When we invite a person to Toastmasters, I suggest we don't mention to them they might learn how to speak; that's spooky!! Instead, we should 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 each meeting with something they can use in life... every single time!
So go out today and find someone to invite to Toastmasters with you this week. Show them you care enough about them to invite them to Toastmasters when you come, and then make an effort to get them there! It will be the most important time of your week! Maybe of your professional life!
I meet at the Lynden Toastmasters club 626. To go to the Toastmasters meeting in Lynden, WA. go to the Fairway Cafe, at the Fairway Shopping Center, across the street from the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds at 6:30 a.m. Early? You Bet! Worth it? ABSOLUTELY!!
Who is Paul Holtzheimer?
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 quite a few years getting an education in Oklahoma he spent most of his life here 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.