10 Things I Love About Toastmasters
If you read my 10 Things I Hate About Toastmasters article, you’ll know I spent six years as a Toastmaster and found some things to be less than desirable about the organisation.
But in truth, Toastmasters has many more benefits and positives than drawbacks.
So, here are ten things I love about Toastmasters.
1. The Confidence
When I first heard about Toastmasters, I was working in a call centre, afraid to even speak to the person next to me. My voice was weak, my manner was meek, and I didn’t know what to do.
Toastmasters gave me a voice and the confidence to go with it.
At Project Charisma, our coaching and workshops will help you cut the development time from years to days, but you can seriously develop confidence at Toastmasters if you have the time and patience.
2. The Diversity
There are few places in the world where you can befriend any nationality, gender, race, religion or creed all on the same night.
People come from all over because of their shared interest in self-development and the opportunity to meet like-minded people. It is genuinely a tribe for all.
3. The Speaking
It takes a while, but your speaking skills will improve over time.
You can feel like a more confident speaker after only a few sessions, but Toastmasters helps you develop your skills through an entire educational programme.
4. The Awards
The idea of a shiny ribbon will make you try harder, and it can instil a sense of competition among the speakers on a given night or at the contests.
I would recommend that you do not become attached to winning awards. Instead, develop your speaking and leadership skills with a purpose in mind.
5. The Contests
Just like any contest, the World Championships of Public Speaking are exciting.
You are pitted against the rest of the world, starting at club level and then advancing through the Area, Division, and District until you speak on the World Stage, usually held in America. However, other countries now feature.
My favourite speech, I See Something by Dananjaya Hettiarachchi, was the winning speech of the World Championships of Public Speaking.
6. The Friendships
Some genuinely splendid people gravitate to the clubs who want to do some remarkable things in the world.
I’ve been on holiday in England and across Europe with some of these people and had them over to my house for Christmas, New Year, and random dinner parties.
Toastmasters relish a social and a quick drink after the meetings.
7. The Evaluations
Another significant point in my first article: 10 Things I hate About Toastmasters.
An Evaluator evaluates your speeches; the Evaluators and Speakers are watched by Ah Counters, Time Keepers, and Grammarians; and a General Evaluator evaluates everyone.
You are constantly being watched (in a good way), and your performance will improve over time because of the amount of feedback you receive if you put it to good use.
One of the benefits of coaching with Project Charisma is that you will receive direct and honest feedback from three expert speakers in real-time.
At Toastmasters, you do not get much of a chance to go into depth on the feedback with your evaluator, and you should be wary of the advice you receive.
You’ll get some quality evaluations, but you can take most of the evaluation advice you receive with a pinch of salt. Evaluations are still a great aspect of the Toastmasters experience though.
8. The Leadership
If you want to become a better leader without the pressures of being thrown in at the deep end, Toastmasters is the best place to be.
You can get real experience leading a team, arranging an event, giving feedback, mentoring, and much more.
People come to Toastmasters for Public Speaking, but they stay because of the opportunity to lead. You can lead your Club, the Area, Your Division, District, or even the International Organisation.
It takes a lot of time and dedication to lead in the Toastmasters ranks, but the rewards are many.
9. The Table Topics
Imagine being given a random question on the spot and asked to speak about it for up to two minutes in front of a live audience with zero preparation.
That’s Table Topics.
Table Topics is the nectar of Toastmasters. It keeps the guests coming time after time, and it holds a good proportion of the audience engaged.
The ability to speak spontaneously is one of the most sought after skills and challenging activities you’ll ever face.
The great thing is, with a bit of practice and a lot of failures, you’ll be speaking off-the-cuff in such a proficient way that the audience will think you had known the question a week before.
Some people become excellent Table Topics speakers, and when you’re able to hone this ability, you’ll never feel squeamish when someone asks you to say a few words.
10. The Community
I can practically find a Toastmasters Club and make new friends everywhere I go on Earth.
I have been to Toastmasters Clubs in Germany, Belgium, Poland, Ukraine, China, Hong Kong, and many more countries.
Toastmasters is an International fraternity where you’re always welcome, and everyone is looking to conquer fears and develop themselves.
Toastmasters have such a strict set of guidelines and working principles that you can expect a kind of McDonald’s effect, as it’s the same wherever you are. That includes the meetings, the contest, and most importantly, the people.
The Toastmasters values of Integrity, Respect, Service and Excellence add a lot to this formula. Yes, Toastmasters club meetings are formulaic, but they are also valuable, engaging, and unforgettable.
About Project Charisma
The experience that we create at Project Charisma doesn’t replicate what Toastmasters has. They have their thing; we have ours. Our thing is fun, fast, involves much less sitting and more action.
At a Project Charisma event, you’ll be involved from the start, learning how to use your body, your voice and your mind to communicate with authentic confidence.
What you learn in months or even years at Toastmasters we accomplish with you in mere hours. Seriously.
To Wrap Up
I struggled to include only ten reasons I love Toastmasters in this post, as I struggled to come up with 10 Things I Hate About Toastmasters.
I have so much to thank Toastmasters for that it was tremendously difficult to put it all into ten points, but here they are. I would love to hear the things you’re grateful to Toastmasters for or if you disagree with any of my points.
Whether you’re a Toastmaster looking to develop further or someone who has considered Toastmasters but wants to avoid the time commitment, we can help.
Get in touch, and we can discuss our Public Speaking coaching and courses to help you shine in your next.
Project Charisma provide expert training on public speaking, presenting and communication skills. We help professionals of all backgrounds to become more confident, credible and charismatic when speaking.
To overcome public speaking anxiety, develop leadership communication skills, or prepare for an upcoming speech, pitch or presentation, get in touch about 1-2-1 coaching options and group masterclasses.
To get training for your team on confident communication, public speaking and pitching skills, get in touch to find out more about our bespoke corporate training for businesses, organisations and teams.