Ask the Toastmasters: Why Did You Join Toastmasters?

Toastmasters is more than just public speaking.  Many of us aren’t looking to be the next big thing on TedTalks or take center stage in front of thousands. In fact, most of us are just trying to fine tune every day social skills like small talk, holding organization meetings or contributing to work projects.

Here are just a few reasons why Morningstars Toastmasters joined:

Meet New People, Create New Relationships
I do management coaching, mostly on the phone. I’d like to have more local clients for face to face work. Most of my day I am alone in my office at home on the phone or on the computer. I enjoy it but I miss contact with people. My reason for joining toastmasters was to get out of my box and regenerate my speaking and presentations skills to put language to some of the new coaching tools I’m learning and to meet new people and create new relationships. Be a part of their growth. — Michael Worsfold

Make a Difference to Others
I joined Toastmasters because I wanted to be able to stand up in front of an audience, deliver a meaningful message and make a difference to others lives.  That and the fact I was a shy child and was so nervous I’d shake at the thought of speaking to an audience.  Toastmasters taught me to control nervousness, craft a meaningful speech and deliver it with enthusiasm.  In turn this increased my confidence and helped me become more effective in my business.  The interesting thing is…there are thousands of stories like that in Toastmasters.  Simply put…it works. — William B.

Authors Need a Good Speaking Voice
I sought out Toastmasters in Gibsons because I wanted to be an author. The best authors are often also very good speakers and I was afraid of failing in that aspect of my future career. I guess that fear was bigger than the fear I had of actually speaking in public. But for why I actually joined–that was because of the warm welcome I received from Morningstars on my first visit and during a follow up meeting with the VP of Membership who signed me up. — Sheila C.

Speak with Confidence
I joined Toast Masters because I want to be able to speak in front of large groups of people with confidence and be able to engage them effectively, be heard and understood.  — Andrea K.

Express Myself Viewpoint Eloquently
I joined because I wanted to feel more confident about speaking to small groups of people even my friends. I want to be able to express my viewpoint /position in a more eloquent relaxed way, so that others can really hear me without interrupting. This of course leads to being more comfortable speaking to larger groups and even asking questions of a speaker in a large conference hall. Since I used to stutter/stammer in my early life, this is a huge accomplishment.
It did not occur to me that there would be so much opportunity to research speech topics of great personal interest to me; plus the delightful bonus of hearing such fascinating speeches, table topics and tall tales. –Sarah L.

Best Values in the Area of Self-Development
My simple answer is that a fellow teacher invited me to a club meeting in Vernon (all men back then in 1967!). Often I’ve had the observation that being a teacher must have made Toastmasters easier. In fact, TM provided for me the opposite; a far improved teaching skill, not to mention the many different extraordinary opportunities I’ve experienced as a result.

The real question is why I’ve remained a member for so long (48 years!). The quick response is that I have never failed to continually learn something new and, most importantly, watch others enjoy their growth and newly developed confidence. Then, as now, I’ve watched individuals take TM and launch themselves into new careers, businesses and activities they never previously thought possible.

Toastmasters really is one of the best values in the area of self development. We can hardly imagine how Ralph Smedley would see his gift of this amazing organization today – 91 years later. — Frank C.

Hone My Leadership Skills
In 1985, I was elected the president of the Dawson Creek Minor Hockey Association. Every other person on the executive was male and quite sure they knew more than me. I quickly realized I would have to be assertive when chairing the meeting. That objective scared the bejesus out of me. So I looked around to see where I could learn about public speaking and running meetings. I found the answers at Mile Zero Communicators, the Tuesday morning Toastmasters club. For 30 years this amazing organization has helped me hone my leadership skills. Now five clubs later I’m about to move to a new community and one of the first things I’ll do will be to find a new Toastmaster club to join. I know I’ll find like-minded people that will soon be friends. Just as I’ve found at Morning Stars over the years. You are wonderful people and I’ll miss all of you. –Cathie Roy


Another Family
I joined Toastmasters in hopes of inspiring myself to write. I’d been meeting with a small group of writers off and on for about 2 and a half years and been doing lots of procrastinating. A writer friend and member of Toastmasters encouraged me to come to a Wednesday meeting and I finally bit the bullet – but only to support her. I had formed an impression about Toastmasters that I can only compare with my opinion of the Masonic Lodge, one that goes back to a childhood observing my father “go through the chairs” to Grand Master in a secret male society. I suspect it comes from Master being part of the name, along with the goals of ‘service’, ‘leadership’, medals and awards.
What I found at Morning Stars was another family; one that encouraged, supported and listened; a family of people not so unlike myself, with insecurities, foibles, passions, values and goals. And while our goals and values may differ, we have a structure that allows us to appreciate our individual journeys, inspire ideas, develop confidence and along the way, influence the process.
And so I keep coming, despite rarely getting out of bed before 830 am on any other day. Who knew? — Judy L.


How can Morningstars Toastmasters help you? Find out. Join us for a meeting this Wednesday at Harmony Hall (686 Harmony Lane, Gibsons) at 7am. Coffee is always on. We look forward to meeting you.

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