Ian Pickens, City of Perth Toastmasters
A long time ago in a distant memory I heard of a group of people who learnt and practiced public speaking. They were called Toastmasters
It sounded like a lot of fun BUT, do they really have impromptu speaking? How can one talk on a subject to which the subject is totally foreign? I had a very busy work schedule at the time and although had an interest, the questions, the impromtu speaking, and the time I thought I needed put me right off. I had better things to do with my life, so I thought.
From the moment I sat in my first meeting many years later, I felt the enthusiasm, I experienced the energy, the excitement, the positive supportive learning environment, and watched enthralled at the speakers. It was obvious this was a hobby I had to attack with my usual gusto. Then I find out everyone is commended on what they did well and offered some points for growth to be used at a later time. What is this, supportive, positive, non judgemental feed back? Now, if not before, I was hooked.
1 year later I was entrenched in the leadership group. I had the opportunity to learn membership growth strategies, meeting program skills, emcee skills. I accepted the challenge of club officer roles then Area Governor which meant assisting 5 other clubs to achieve their goals, I was encouraged and supported to be the Chairman of the District Convention.
Just when I thought I could sit and rest, along comes an opportunity to start my own club or mentor a club in trouble,
I am excited by the opportunities for personal growth and skill development attending Toastmasters. I am proud of my Toastmaster achievements, I look forward enthusiastically to future challenges and opportunities.
Maree Pickens, St Georges Toastmasters
I read about Toastmasters in a book by a US author and entrepreneur I admired. She couldn’t speak highly enough of the value of Toastmasters in helping her become a successful business woman and even better mother. I jumped on the web and was immediately impressed at the breadth of information provided by Toastmasters at international, country, state and even club levels – they had so much to offer and all seemed so welcoming!
I took their advice and visited several different clubs before deciding that St George’s had the right mix of people, rofessionalism and fun that I was looking for – no pressure from any club to join. Even now, four years later, I love visiting other clubs to see new delivery techniques, hear new ideas and feel the energy from a different group of people. Even better is that my husband joined a different club at the same time and we now enjoy a wonderful shared ‘passion’ that benefits our relationships with each other, our children, and our workplaces.
Jeff Oliver, City of Perth Toastmasters
Toastmasters can be an Enchanting Phenomenon.
It can be a portal, a horcrux, a Platform 9.75, or a wart on an elephant’s bottom (expurgated version).
I am sure that the founder, Smedley (poor man) like Moses, didn’t fully comprehend what he had in his hands.
‘It’s what you do with what you’ve got’.
I have had the pleasure of starting to learn how to be a well-treated old anachronism in a kind, polite, hardworking Toastmasters club in Tainjin (Tientsin), a Platform 9.75 if ever there was.
Gerard Woerlee, City of Perth Toastmasters
For many years I have been a member of two Toastmasters clubs. During that period I have visited many affiliated clubs, especially in various states of the USA. while on holidays.
My final membership years were spent with the Victoria Quay club. On reflection I have come to the conclusion that this association with the Victoria Quay club has considerably increased my fellowship skills. Through the many workshops given as part of a brilliant conceived training cycle, I have not only learned to speak with ease, but also to structure my way of speaking to make it of interest to an audience. An important part of this process was evaluating other speakers, thereby learning from their mistakes, but at the same time making friends with positive criticism. All this proved to be of great value in later life while dealing with other people. The way Victoria Quay, under the skilful leadership of David Nicholas, is managed has shaped this club into a top club with an enthusiastic membership
Pauline Saunier, Amity Toastmasters
I have been lucky enough to be a charter member of a new club on the south coast of WA. This is an added bonus as it is possible to take on leadership roles in conjunction with the highly successful Toastmaster communication program.
I had already been introduced to Public Speaking before I joined Toastmasters in early 2006 but nothing compares with what I have gained from my membership with Amity Toastmasters. Apart from improving my speaking skills I have gained in self confidence which has opened doors to a new career at the age of 63.
As well as my part-time bookkeeping position I am assisting in organising author promotional events, writing book reviews, assisting in promoting bookclubs in rural WA and am registered with Toastmasters Speakers Bureau.
None of this would have been possible without the educational program from this wonderful non-profit organisation â€“Toastmasters.
Cybele Katavatis, City of Perth Toastmasters
In Toastmasters I have learned to structure my thought process better. This becomes possible as we construct speeches. I now make better sense, not only with speeches but also in everyday interacting. The second thing that I now try to correct, has to do with voice technique.
Again Toastmasters provides the perfect environment to improve on any additional skills as we become more and more comfortable with speaking. Finally I have found that Toastmasters have the most updated program to offer and also the most pleasant meetings for anyone to practice and achieve their goals.
Peter McDonnell, Stirling Toastmasters
In the past 40 years, I have watched Toastmasters in Western Australia grow from only one club to now over 70 clubs, in a new District 17 with three separate divisions. I personally have also grown alongside it.
How this organisation has helped me develop over the years been a wonderful lifetime experience. As a teenager I suffered a severe head injury which left me with permanent brain damage and limited vision.
From the time I joined Toastmasters, I have developed many skills, that have helped me through life. I think that, anyone who considers joining this organisation, will benefit in many ways from the experience. For me personally, the greatest single benefit has been being able to think clearly and quickly, in an impromptu basis, to many situations, not only when public speaking, but in everyday life circumstances.
Toastmasters has also supplied me with a great opportunity to assist and watch others grow and develop through it’s very comprehensive self help/education program. The Evaluation, Judging and Chairmanship skills I have developed through my Toastmasters experience have also proved to be invaluable to me, and I am also sure that others would benefit greatly from participation.
Nicky Quekett, Victoria Quay Toastmasters
I was invited to join toastmasters by a discerning friend who felt that I would find it both interesting and enjoyable. It was more than that and I am eternally grateful to her.
Although I had been exposed to public speaking for many years, I had never had to give a speech and bring it to a conclusion within a really short time span. I am talking of minutes, even seconds.. That is an art in itself. Toastmasters also teach you how to ad lib, on demand, again for a limited length of time. These disciplines are not always easy to master, especially as they include many more skills on the art of speaking itself. They are vitally useful tools.
However Toastmasters is more than learning how to improve your speaking ability. It introduced me to a whole new group of people , all with the same goal in mind, who meet weekly in a friendly and social way. This alone added another dimension to my life.
For these reasons I recommend anyone keen to improve their skills in the use of the English language, should join Toastmasters. They would be amazed at the difference it makes in their ability to express themselves, and all in a friendly congenial atmosphere. No wonder members join for years and years. They climb a ladder of harder and harder tasks and compete with other clubs all over the world.
Wendy, Victoria Quay Toastmasters
I remember feeling welcomed from the very first night when I stepped in the door at Victoria Quay Toastmasters and I was immediately greeted and introduced to others. I received a great deal of benefit from the range of evaluations, observing a variety of speeches and learning from everyone who participated to build on and improve my public speaking skills. The highlight for my time in membership was feeling supported by a culture that focusses on ‘positive learning’ experiences.
Lynda t’Hart, Foothills Toastmasters
There aren’t many occasions in my life that had as profound and long reaching consequences as getting involved with Toastmasters. Being a member has helped me to discover my voice. Before being a member, my thoughts were often bound within the confines of my mind.
The Toastmasters learning program is self paced; allowing each member to progress at a rate that benefits them. With the incredible support given by other members, every person that joins can’t help but become a better listener, a better speaker, a better leader and a better all round communicator. I certainly did.
I find that going to a toastmaster meeting always inspires me and I always go home with more knowledge than I had before the meeting. I have improved social contacts within and outside of the organisation, I have improved my job and my salary just by applying principles learnt in the comprehensive manuals.
I have been a member for around seven years now and I look forward to maintaining my membership and continuing the benefits meetings give for a long time to come. If you are thinking of finding out more about toastmasters, let me advise you not to hesitate to find the club which suits you best (location and time wise) and go along to the very next meeting scheduled – just to visit. I can guarantee that it will be a decision you’ll never regret.
Liz Sheridan, Mandjar Speakers Toastmasters
14 years ago, I met a very confident lady who spoke exceptionally well. I was shy and lacking confidence. When she told me that Toastmasters was the key, I vowed to attend one day and become *just like her*
It took me 7 years to muster up the courage to go along to my first meeting, but I have never looked back ..
The friends I have gained along the way, the strengths Iâ€™ve discovered in myself and the skills I have learned, have made joining Toastmasters one of the best decisions I have ever made. In all areas of my life, Toastmasters has made a very positive difference.
With such great feedback & with the support and assistance from other Toastmasters, anything is possible! I now derive great pleasure helping other new members grow their confidence and tackle their own demons. The journey for me has been educational, informative, enlightening and such great fun .. who would have thought it? ..
Jeanette Farrar, Fremantle Gateway Toastmasters
In April, 2003 I had just relocated from Newman to Perth and wanted to improve my impromptu speaking skills in direct relation to my career path. I found it really difficult to articulate my points of view, be succinct and also to clearly define business plans etc. especially, when in meetings or under pressure.
So I joined Gateway Toastmasters in Fremantle. Well, Toastmasters has given me the tools, practice and confidence to speak publicly, to speak clearly and to learn all the techniques which enhance our speaking abilities. Mind you I still find Table Topics daunting but Toastmasters have taught me so much. I love Toastmasters and am passionate about Toastmasters!
Mark Richards, Victoria Quay Toastmasters
When I first joined Toastmasters in 2001, little did I know what a significant effect it would have on my life? I joined with the aim of improving my communication skills in front of an audience but it has delivered much more than that to me. It has improved my listening skills through the evaluations we give, my leadership skills with the responsibilities you get with different roles in your club, the division and district.
I certainly wouldn’t have thought that I would be speaking to hundreds of people now without those butterflies and leading 17 clubs in my division to be the best they can be.
I think Toastmasters is the best-kept secret in town when it comes to communication and leadership training and I would recommend it to anyone who wants these skills in their life and work. Join a club NOW, it will be the best move you have ever made.