A couple of weeks ago I got contacted on Facebook by Robert Lagershausen, who invited me to their Toastmasters meeting at the Photojournalism Hall of Fame in Washington. I have never heard of Toastmasters before, so I looked up their website and I really liked the idea behind the club. They are a public speaking and leadership group, and a very friendly crowd. Needless to say, I went to the meeting and had a lot of fun. I brought my husband along, and he is their newest member. Did I take pictures? Why, yes, do you even need to ask? 😉
Why wasn't I surprised to find out that Ralph Gildehaus belongs to the Toastmasters Club? It was wonderful to meet all the members, and when the meeting started I was impressed by the smooth flow of the agenda and the enthusiasm of the group. On the photo you can see Ralph inviting Rob, the Toastmaster for the evening, to the podium.
Meet Brenda. She gave a wonderful speech on being committed - something that is easier said, than done. Brenda has been married for 44 years, and she drew her advice from experience. Her tips were to "nail it down" (in other words, put your committment in writing, sign a contract, write a check) and make it an act of the will. I loved the way she delivered her speech, and all the personal stories she used to illustrate her point.
After Brenda, we enjoyed a wonderful speech by Gail titled "What if...", which was voted the best talk for the night. Then Kathy delivered a surprise speech, which included little known facts about the Toastmasters members. Did you know that most members were born in April? I didn't, but I guessed it right 😉
What followed was table topics with Jared. He is the newest member, and he did wonderful! Jared had prepared various questions on gardening, and each member had to step up and give a short speech on the spot. I loved Ralph's definition of "weed" - a plant growing someplace it shouldn't be growing.
Every Toastmasters meeting follows a strict agenda, and every speech the members deliver is followed by applause. If public speaking has always been a struggle for you, you need to join this group. It will not only help you feel more at ease when talking in front of an audience, but it will also enrich your vocabulary and improve your grammar skills. At every meeting a new Word of the Day is introduced, and the more the speakers use it, the more bonus points they get. It was a pleasure to be your ombudsman to Toastmasters today!
The Toastmasters club meets every other Monday of the month at 7 pm. at the Photojournalism Hall of Fame in Washington, MO. The address is 8 West 2nd Str. Everybody is welcome to be a guest at the meetings and join the club. To learn more about this international organization, visit their website: http://www.toastmasters.org/.