What I like about presentation training with Sandbelt Toastmasters Club
What do I like about Sandbelt Toastmasters club in Beaumaris?
I like to refer to “the three C’s”: confidence, creativity and camaraderie.
Benefit 1 of Sandbelt Presentation Training: Confidence
The confidence generated by Toastmasters presentation training has enabled me to regularly speak in front of an audience and be very satisfied that I’ve achieved my aim.
I like to tell new members that it’s their stage to do what they want with. For example, if you’re given a difficult issue in Table Topics (which involves impromptu speeches of up to 90 seconds duration), then take it in whatever direction you like. Just look for a connection (however remote) between the designated topic and one of the many things that you might like to talk about, and go for it! That can be a lot of fun.
Of course, it takes some effort to generate confidence. For example, effort is required in simply deciding to try Toastmasters or any form of presentation skills training. However, as you begin to present your own speeches, you’ll find that the better prepared you are, the more confident you’ll be.
The confidence that you generate can help create opportunities to speak elsewhere, including significant business and family occasions. I’ve been honoured to deliver a eulogy and to speak at milestone birthdays of close family members. I hope and believe that I’ve been able to convey to those present some of the essence of what those people have meant to me and others, which would not have been possible to the same extent without my Toastmasters presentation training.
I’ve also spoken at a local Bayside Council meeting on an issue that means a lot to me, with the desired level of impact.
Benefit 2 of Sandbelt Presentation Training: Creativity
Unless we look for them, opportunities to be creative don’t come along every day. Toastmasters can take us out of our daily grind, and provide us with reasons to learn about issues to the point that we can speak about them in front of our fellow club members. (However, as speeches generally run from 5 to 8 minutes, we don’t need to be an expert.)
And it’s not only the topic itself that can cause us to be creative, but the way we deliver it. For example, it was recently my turn to be Toastmaster, which means that I was MC for the evening. I decided that the theme for the meeting would be “Everything Cuban”, and found some maracas, some Cuban music and a Latino-style hat, all of which I used extensively during the evening. (Other club members had also brought maracas, so we were able to shake up a storm!)
That sort of thing is never necessary, but if someone wants to do it, then they’re welcome to. I’m not saying that mine was a brilliant idea, but it was my idea and I was able to use it.
Diversity is a great feature of Toastmasters.
I’m constantly amazed at how much I’ve learnt from the creative efforts of others.
What a contrast to staying home and watching the mind-numbing dribble that is usually served up on television!
Getting out and attending a public speaking course is a much better way to spend an evening than being glued to a box. There’s nowhere in Bayside that I’d rather be on the night of our meetings, which are held twice each month.
Benefit 3 of Sandbelt Presentation Training: Camaraderie
Something that I always like to keep in mind when presenting is that my fellow club members are willing me to do well.
Toastmasters International (including the Sandbelt club in Beaumaris) is a great nurturing environment, where it’s okay if things don’t quite work out as you would have liked. Such an experience is just another step on the road to developing skills and talent that might otherwise have gone nowhere.
We’re all in the same boat, and the knowledge of shared emotions and experiences leads to a great feeling of camaraderie. Hand in hand with that is a great sense of fun.
Yes, we might hear and present some serious, moving and inspirational speeches, but they’re mixed in with some very funny ones, along with many laughs throughout the course of each meeting. I believe that the Toastmasters style of presentation training is the best available in that regard.
In summary, Toastmasters is an incredibly enjoyable and inspiring part of my life, which touches other aspects of it in an amazingly positive way. I highly recommend Toastmasters and the Sandbelt club in particular.