Bruce McCallum

Toastmasters has meant a great deal to me. Throughout my past life I had difficulty with public speaking. I felt I lacked the skills to speak persuasively and authoritatively to an audience and hence my confidence tended to be low. I therefore looked forward with trepidation to those occasions on which I was obliged to speak in public. There are a number of features of the Toastmasters experience which have reinforced significantly my speaking skills, hence my confidence and also, in my opinion at least, my performance as a public speaker.

First, Toastmasters provides an incredibly supportive audience of great people who help one acquire the basic skills for improving one’s public speaking without the trauma. Friends and colleagues within Toastmasters provide a team which actively support one’s development as a public speaker.

Secondly, within Toastmasters essentially one learns by doing. While there are manuals and workshop presentations by experienced speakers one learns most from being called upon to give a variety of different types of speeches, from receiving feedback from one’s peers, and from listening to feedback given to others. The approach is very practical.

Thirdly the opportunity to participate in a variety of roles within a meeting and also to become eligible for various awards reinforces one’s motivation to participate in Toastmasters.

Finally, a Toastmasters meeting is just so interesting. People from a great variety of backgrounds take part and just listening to their presentations is both fascinating and enjoyable.