The 21 Benefits of Being a Toastmaster

Just a simple enumeration:

  1. Communication skills – communication is a catalyst for change. Communication allows people to express what they want. Communication skills give you power to direct those you have influence over and to persuade those who have influence over you. TM is all about communication.
  2. Organization skills – organization allows an individual or group to accomplish a task in less time and more effectively for greater results or more profit. When thoughts are organized, actions can be decisive and procedure is clear. TM develops organization through speech-writing and coordinating meetings.
  3. Leadership skills – an effective leader leads a group to a specific result. TM gives you leadership experience in regular club roles, as an officer, and as committee chairs.
  4. Observation skills – observation skills gives you an edge in decision making. In TM, you exercise observation skills by doing evaluations, being evaluated, and watching others evaluate, helping you develop objectivity, versus emotion and opinion.
  5. Listening skills – listening is a key part of the communication process. In TM, you enhance your listening skills by giving evaluations and by participating as an audience member.
  6. Social skills – TM gatherings give you the opportunity to develop or improve social skills. They can help make you comfortable in social settings through repetition and familiarity with others.
  7. Planning skills – planning requires vision; it’s preparation for the future. Everything involves a plan in TM.
  8. Focus skills – the sharper the focus, the more pure and expedient the results. TM demands focus in a 5-7 minute speech instead of rambling for 20. Learning to focus carries over to other areas of your life.
  9. Public speaking skills – TM IS public speaking. As you learn to speak in a public forum, your opportunity for leadership grows.
  10. Teamwork skills – you may be on a team, but you may not be a team player. Protocol is a critical part of the TM training. Recognizing a leader in any situation helps establish the team.
  11. Decision-making skills – many of us make decisions in our jobs that affect a number of people. TM provides opportunities to refine your decision-making skills by leading a meeting, being on a committee or serving as an officer.
  12. Building confidence – the greatest benefit of being a TM is the confidence you gain by overcoming your fear of public speaking. This confidence will carry over into other parts of your life.
  13. Support group – you cannot fail at a TM meeting. Club members have empathy for each other as we all learn new skills. Members provide valuable feedback in an uncritical environment.
  14. Humility training – no matter how effective you become at communicating or leading you are always being evaluated. Since none of us are perfect, the training always reminds us and points to needed areas of improvements.
  15. Success rub off – as a TM, you are rubbing elbows with others who may be more successful than you. Birds of a feather flock together, and their success will rub off on you.
  16. Competition – competition is healthy because it calls the standard ever upward. TM recognizes several best performances at the club level. Annual contests provide opportunity to compete, which pushes us all to strive for a better performance.
  17. Platform for ideas – TM allows us to develop thoughts or convictions. It gives us a practice lab to experiment with ways of communicating our messages.
  18. Impromptu thinking and speaking – TM specializes in “think on your feet” training. Knowing how to think fast in a tense situation and remain poised is invaluable.
  19. Friendships – TM is conducive to building friendships. Working with others on committees or in contests brings people together.
  20. Sense of belonging – a basic psychological need is to belong. TM creates that sense of community at all levels.
  21. Writing skills – writing is a big part of speech preparation. Writing and rewriting speeches develops your ability to communicate with the written word, which often serves to define our thoughts.

adapted by D. Watt, after Eric Tryon

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