Toastmasters Learning by Doing
One of my passions is supporting the VIC Toastmasters club.
I was so inspired when I got my job at the UN I wanted to do all I could to help make things even better.
I had already had lots of experience making presentations, speeches, workshops and even sermons. I was told I was a born leader at the tender age of seven years. The Toastmasters club offered a forum and an environment for growth, change and development. It also provided a certification of skills.
I already had my certificate as a communication trainer in Austria. Did I really need certification or was it just confidence I was lacking?
My deep-seated “Imposter Syndrome” feelings of inadequacy came and went. And came and went. Again, and again and again. I loved to communicate, and I especially loved helping others to overcome themselves to communicate better. I was always a good critic and mostly found something to say when asked to provide feedback.
The Toastmasters programme focusses on teaching us to use the sandwich method – say something good, say something that could be improved with a useful tip, say something good. Pack the tough news in between layers of praise.
Wow! That’s a hard one for me. I almost pride myself on always finding what’s wrong and always picking the typos and especially my own family turn the mirror back to me and then I feel criticized for seeing what can be improved! Lol.
And I only want to help!
With this blog post, I am relaunching my private LillyPad blog. There is still a lot I am thinking of developing – so stay tuned.
This particular post is focussed on the category Toastmasters.
I’ve just completed an assignment in the path labelled “Strategic Relationships”. The assignment was to make a speech called an Icebreaker; Listen to the feedback; Then make the speech again; Then give feedback to somebody else.
Our Pathways programme was launched by TMI a few years ago. Some of our veteran members are only just getting started. The programme itself had quite a few teething pains at the beginning – so I suspect it has changed somewhat.
Today our VIC Toastmasters club just crossed another milestone as we launched into Microsoft Teams for our virtual club meeting today. As the first seven members to enter the room were all in the VIC and my link would not open the meeting for me, I turned to our communication tools for help. There in WhatsApp were the others, also trying to enter the meeting.
So, what about those who are not on WhatsApp? I went into the email programme.
I had painstakingly closed all the windows on my computer to allow the unadulterated screen sharing I was looking forward to with my presentation.
The suggestion came to join on a mobile phone. I finally managed to join the meeting on my phone and then realised it would be impossible to make my presentation from my mobile phone.
Learning by Doing
Toastmasters are masters at learning by doing. That was my club motto when I was club president. That’s the name of my Facebook Group. The meeting finally got under way when I received a call on my phone. Another member had not been able to join. Now I could not even talk to her without broadcasting my whole message into the Teams Meeting! What a dilemma!
Suddenly I saw that she was in the meeting and my evaluator was coaxing, encouraging, insisting that I make my presentation despite my vehement protests that I could not fulfil my goal when I could not present on the screen.
The meeting was a milestone. We went overtime. We had visitors. We got good feedback. I made my presentation. I think there will be a recording.
And this time I really took the preparation time seriously! I made a number of copies of my presentation and even managed to stop in time. Unfortunately, on the mobile phone I could not see the time, nor could I use my mobile phone to time myself as I most often do. So, the reported time on my actual presentation was over ten minutes. A normal prepared speech in Toastmasters is just seven minutes.
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Have a great day!