Things that surprised you about Toastmasters

In our last meeting, we asked attendees what things surprised you about Toastmasters. This is what they said:

Toastmasters are friendly people

Those new to Toastmasters are surprised with how friendly, lovely and supportive everyone is.  It may be a weird thing for some but everyone is very welcoming. Some regular members shared that they were surprised by the fact that they make friends within the club.

Toastmasters like growth opportunities

Those new to Toastmasters are surprised that there are so many “job roles”. From club to clubs sometimes those roles vary. There are plenty of opportunities to speak and learn. Regular members are surprised with how you grow by doing roles and speeches. Some get amazed at how much some members improve and how much more confident they become. Particularly people who were very nervous to begin with.

Toastmasters have a variety of levels 

Newbies are also surprised about the levels that you have of learning at Toastmasters. We are all just people who are at all different stages – some just starting out and a bit nervous; as well as some more accomplished speakers, who are humble and wanting to learn, from whom we can learn from and aspire to be like. Not everyone is an expert and it is not about being competitive! 

Image by JoeBreuer from Pixabay

Toastmasters followed a detailed agenda

Toastmasters newbies are surprised with how detailed the agenda is, showing very specific times for each person’s role. Those detailed agendas make things run smoothly and provide a good structure.

Toastmasters like evaluations

Those new to Toastmasters are surprised about how much evaluation goes on during the meetings. Some point out that many details of the speeches are examined. As some regular Toastmasters would say ‘Everything gets evaluated at Toastmasters. All meetings would have a few people playing the Evaluator role and in some occasions one person would do the job of General Evaluator role. The main function of these roles is to provide constructive feedback. 

Toastmasters’ meetings are not always the same

Regular Toastmasters members especially are constantly surprised with the fact that meetings are not always the same. Toastmasters love variety. We all bring different things to the different roles we play in the meetings. Variety goes from the prepared to the impromptu speeches. Specifically about the speeches we make, there are not two same speeches, even if we follow the same theme. 

Toastmasters treasure feedback

This is something that I personally like to treasure since I started my Toastmasters journey. I collect the feedback slips – they are like little gifts 🙂 And now that we are conducting the meetings on Zoom, I am collecting feedback online, copying and pasting the feedback I received from fellow Toastmasters and guests.

Image by Michael Schwarzenberger from Pixabay

With massive thanks to all North Hearts Speakers who contributed to write this blog.

Rossana Espinoza, VP Public Relations

Toastmaster’s Takeaways: An inspiring Evening

Hello everyone

Mystery Toastmaster here, reporting on our zoom meeting on Wednesday 5 August. 

Great to have a well-attended meeting in August when so many people are usually away.  We had five wonderful guests.

It was great welcome Felicia from Milton Keynes Confident Speakers.  She’s used to shorter lunchtime meetings there so she enjoyed something different with a longer meeting and its relaxed evening vibe. We always value constructive feedback from toastmasters who are members at clubs to learn how they do things differently and we were delighted she commended us on our friendliness.

So much learning for everyone in fact this evening with four very inspirational prepared speeches – we heard about Belbin leadership roles from Enroy, how we can use our environment to change us from Lynne, Rossana spoke about Leadership Lessons from JFK … Airport and Rose had us thinking about the use of negative feelings and gratitude. 

It was a hugely entertaining time with Maria as “Toastmaster” (equivalent to chairperson) for the evening – she brings something very special to the role and revels in the opportunity to be a bit of a rebel and inject humour which we all enjoy.

Well done to Vice President Education, Oliver, for taking on so many roles at the meeting at the last minute which earned him the nickname “Batman” – not forgetting his “Robin”, Enrico who stepped into the role of Ah Counter with no notice.

Our Vice President Membership, Mike, had some great table topic questions to ask us based around Rishi Sunak giving 50% off, which three guests gave impromptu short speeches on.  They had to talk about what they would do with 50% off and why in various scenarios. 

Image by Mark Rosemaker from Pixabay

Our guests took on these subjects with apparent ease and we had some great answers.  These took us cooking with Nigella Lawson, travelling in a camper van and eating lots of ice cream – what’s not to love about that!  Felicia was a worthy winner of our Table Topic of the evening winner – it really was as good as a prepared speech. 

We heard exciting news that North Herts Speakers is going to be introduce guest speakers (who may or may not be Toastmasters) to future meetings – so watch this space for details in future.

Meantime, our next club meeting will be on Wednesday, 19 August 20 – come and join us.