Toastmasters is a “learn-by-doing workshop” where participants “hone their speaking and leadership skills”.
Public speaking is frightening to the average person. Standing in the front of my ESL class, I sometimes feel shaky and nervous, muddling through until I find a comfortable pace. I have also stood before a group of parents, whether in Scouts or at Home & School Association, and my mind went blank at what I planned to say. Toastmasters is designed to help quell these feelings and develop strong speaking skills. However, belonging to Toastmasters is not just about speaking. There’s a leadership component as well.
Some people believe that leaders are born. Not always true. Leaders CAN be made. Toastmasters has a track for people who want to become leaders. As a leader, one of the most important things for me is to learn how to listen.
One of the roles that helps with this is the Ah-Counter. The role of the Ah-Counter helps speakers note any word or sound used as a crutch during a meeting. Words like “so”, “um”, or “but”.
I also think the word “basically” is a crutch word. When I watch Judge Judy, I cringe when I hear people say “Well, Judge, basically what had happened…”
This week, take time to really listen to others as well as try to catch yourself using crutch words. It’s a cool way to make sure you’re paying attention to others speaking and listening to your own words.
Join Toastmasters to become a leader as well. Visit www.toastmasters.org to find a club near you or visit my club, Main Line Speaks on the first and third Monday of each month.
The word of the day for last night’s meeting was tantamount. Tantamount is an adjective, meaning equivalent in seriousness to; virtually the same as.
Taking care of my health was just as tantamount as collecting a paycheck.
Can you use tantamount this week? Leave your try in the comments below!