Benefit of Toastmasters
08/21/2016 by Annie Chua
I had a fear of public speaking. Standing in front of many people, looking at me with various expressive faces while waiting to hear my voice made my knees tremble, my voice quivered, and my mind confused trying to assess the words which I was going to say next. In fact, these are natural experiences to most nervous novice speaker. I know how nerve-wracking and an arduous task it was. It’s much easier to sing in front of an audience than having a speech.
Therefore, to white-out the fear, I joined Toastmasters. Specifically to hone my skills in delivering speeches of all kinds, and especially focus on those that are extemporaneous. Right from my ice breaker speech the potential for self-discovery and the transformation of every delivery was enormously received. The constructive feedback from the evaluator has helped to balance filtering what would work and what’s not.
There are many benefits in this club, and if you would allow me to mention the three most beneficial changes that I had experienced.
- Positive Change
There has been a noticeable positive change that came about in my life. It has made me aware of the level of responsibility I have to give back. There’s a realism of it’s not all about me, but it’s all about creating a positive community and the value of nurturing and supporting others. Networking and associating with positive people helps me realize the quality of their lives. Everyone listens with respect, and all strive for understanding. Words are very powerful tool. I use it now in a meaningful way to give positive impact in everyone’s life.
- Improves Listening Skills
Since I joined Toastmasters, I developed a keen sense of listening and learned more vocabularies that I have never heard before and speaker’s authentic stories; inspirational, opinionated, personal, relevant topics and “clean” humorous jokes. Before, delivering a punch line on my jokes were difficult. And now, I’m proud to tell jokes in front of my family and friends. Of course, aside from avoiding the filler words such as ah(s), am (s), uhm (s), you know, so(s), and but(s) which I am continuously improving.
- Vision for Success
Success could be measured in once own view. In Toastmasters, achieving the level of being a Competent Communicator and Competent Leader are two of the primary goals. Accomplishing these give me a sense of pride and confidence in all my future speeches and this is just the beginning. Similar to climbing the corporate ladder, this is the place to develop leadership skills and aiming the first step could help me get ready to face my Dragon Dens moment.