Toastmasters: It's Good!!!

New Page: Misused Words

In 1986, shortly after I got a promotion, I joined the local Toastmasters Club to improve my public speaking skills. Since then, it has done that, but it has done a lot more. In fact, I found that Toastmasters is Good!! (score 3 points). It's over the goal posts for several reasons:
  1. I practice my public speaking skills on a regular basis, every week, and it has definitely improved my speaking skill.
  2. I have served in several leadership roles in Toastmasters, including Club President, Area Governor, and Division Governor.
  3. I meet a lot of kindred folks in Toastmasters, and fellowship is one of the main reasons why I stick with the program.
That is three points for Toastmasters, a field goal.
  1. It helps me to prepare for speeches on the job and in the other organizations I belong to, including the workshops I give at SUUSI.
  2. I know people in various corporations in this area who I would not know if I did not belong to Toastmasters.
  3. It has been a source of achievement for me, including the highest designation, Distinguished Toastmaster.
So that is now six points. Toastmasters scores a touchdown!

So Toastmasters is important in helping me achieve goals through the goal posts of life. I find out sometimes I need to kick the ball one way, sometimes another. Sometimes I need to pick the ball up and run with it instead, and sometimes maybe the best thing to do is to run up and kick the ball-holding player over the posts for a goal instead! Toastmasters helps me through all that.

I have achieved the Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM), the highest speaking award in Toastmasters. To do that I led a Toastmaster club from a membership of 9 to one of 21, successfully completed the High Performance Leadership program (which itself is worth the cost of attending Toastmasters), and served as Area Governor of the southside of Richmond and Division Governor for the Central Division of District 66, covering the entire Richmond and Peninsula area of Virginia.

I also speak once a year to the Richmond Astronomical Society and have given four workshops (Stories of the Sky, UUs Online, SUUSImatics, and Weaving Paper Polyhedra) at the Southeast Unitarian Universalist Summer Institute. These workshops are among the more popular ones at SUUSI; in 2000, about 70 people, or one out of every 14, signed up for one of these workshops. Toastmasters helps me for these occasions by giving me a chance to try out these talks on an audience.

So what is Toastmasters? I say it's up! And it's Good!!! (score three points)

Jim Blowers
revised 2002 April 16

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