Toastmasters: More Than a Speaking Organization
I’ve been a Toastmaster for several years now, and never cease to marvel at the many benefits one can enjoy if you really plug into the organization. In case you’ve never heard of Toastmasters International, it is a speaking organization that helps its members improve their speaking and leadership skills.
Founded in 1924 by Ralph C. Smedley, Toastmasters now has over 345,000 members in 142 countries, comprised of 15,900 clubs. Much more than just a speaking organization, Toastmasters is a great vehicle for networking, mentoring, and building your communication and teamwork skills. A popular saying by Past International President Helen Blanchard is “If you get out of Toastmasters all there is to get out of Toastmasters, you’ll never get out of Toastmasters”.
I have helped to charter clubs, held several club positions, participated in speech contests, and held leadership positions on the district level. Achieving my Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) recognition, one of the highest honors bestowed by Toastmasters, has been a highlight as a club member. On an even more personal level, the Toastmasters platform has afforded me the opportunity to test out portions of my one-woman play that I’m working on (The Calypso Girl Tour). I’ve even turned ten of my favorite speeches into an ebook for Amazon (My Journey to Distinguished Toastmaster).
If you want to work on your speaking and leadership skills, why not give Toastmasters a try? Click on the Find a Club tab at Toastmasters.org to locate a local club in your area.