Friday, February 22, 2008

I am the new President of my Toastmasters Club

So, I was selected to be the President of the Sun Talk Toastmasters club, a corporate Toastmasters club of Sun Microsystems. Am I happy?
Of course I am. I am elated. I am charged up. Though I was reluctant at first, because I was not prepared for such a responsibility, I am slowly pacing myself for it. So, what does it mean to be a Toastmaster club president?

Before that, for the uninitiated, let me take this privilege to talk about Toastmasters.

What is Toastmasters?

Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of meeting locations.

Headquartered in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, the organization has nearly 220,000 members in 11,300 clubs in 90 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people of all backgrounds become more confident in front of an audience.

What Toastmasters Can Do For You

Your potential is limited only by your excuses.

Whether you work in a corporate environment or from home, whether you are a student or retiree, Toastmasters is the most efficient, enjoyable and affordable way of gaining communication and leadership skills.

Become a Better Speaker
\Toastmasters will give you the skills and confidence you need to effectively express yourself in any situation. By learning to formulate and convey your ideas, you open a new world of possibilities. You will be more persuasive and confident when giving presentations and you will improve your one-on-one dealings with others.

Become a Leader
Leadership is the art of persuading others to do what you wish. To succeed, you need to communicate, and you need to work as a team. In Toastmasters, you’ll do both. And you’ll find out how to vary your approach to suit the needs of different people, be they the audience for a speech, the committee for a fundraiser or your coworkers and managers.

It Really Works!
Don’t worry! Everyone in a Toastmasters club was once at the level you are now. The environment is friendly and supportive, and the self-paced program allows you to build confidence with each speaking assignment.

And you’ll love the applause! Constructive evaluation is the heart of the Toastmasters program. Each time you give a speech, an evaluator will point out strengths and suggest improvements.

What Happens When I Join?
With more than 225,000 members in 11,000 clubs in 90 countries, you’re sure to find a meeting near you. Most groups meet weekly or biweekly for one to two hours. The meetings are organized so that everyone will have a chance to speak, should they want to. You schedule your own speaking assignments a few weeks in advance, so you’ll have plenty of time to prepare.

You’ll be assigned a mentor to help you settle in and get through your first speaking roles. Speaking assignments vary and your first will be an “ice breaker” – a four- to six-minute speech to introduce yourself to the group. As you grow in confidence, your assignments will grow with you.

Whenever you stand up and speak, you receive encouraging, helpful feedback on how it went and how you can improve next time. This proven method will help you build your confidence and skills quickly and affordably!

I had written my experience sometime back with Toastmasters here:

Hope to see you at a local Toastmasters club. There 20 clubs within Bangalore.


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