Sunday, May 16, 2010

What is Toastmasters?

Some of you who know me IRL have heard me speak about Toastmasters, but others of you may not know what it is so I thought I'd share a little bit about it.

I don't know how old I was when I first heard about Toastmasters - perhaps it was in college, but a couple months before Uka left for Argentina he started talking about joining so when he came back at the end of February we decided it would be a good time to join. Basically, Toastmasters is an international public speaking organization. 

While a lot of people get nervous about public speaking and Toastmasters is a great way to overcome that fear in a very friendly environment, but it's not just for people who have a fear of public speaking. It's great for honing speaking skills and for socializing as well. There are various levels that you achieve in Toastmasters, and Uka and I are giving our second speech in our Competent Communicator (CC) track. There are a total of ten speeches we have to complete before we recieve the CC certificate. Each level requires quite a few speeches, but by the end it's a great sense of accomplishment and many employers look favorbably upon it.

Uka and I have even discussed becoming a public speaking couple in the future. Sometimes we hear other people speak at events or even other couples and we look at each other and say, "We could do that!"

Having Uka as my Toastmasters partner has really been a bonus too because we can practice with each other and give feedback before we get in front of the rest of the club. We should be able to be CCs by the end of the year. I'll have to take a little break for Baby Agbai, but I still want to at least write a few speeches in advance to have ready when I return.

If you're interested in joining Toastmasters check out their website to find the club closest to you. Even if you just visit a meeting and decide not to join,  it's a fun environment and you'll really enjoy it!