2022 New Club-Contemporary Issues

Contemporary Issues

A safe place for conversations that lead to solutions
Kimi Avary
Have you ever wanted to speak about something, but felt too emotionally charged or flustered when trying to talk about a topic important to you, or avoiding people who have differing views because you’re afraid the conversation will “go south” and destroy your relationship? Many people describe some difficulty discussing the most important topics of the day. I believe this occurs: 

  1. We haven’t done enough research to put our ideas together coherently. It’s one thing to read about a topic: It’s quite another to put our ideas together so they come out of your mouth coherently. 
  2. We haven’t practiced talking about the subject and have difficulty speaking concisely because we are formulating our ideas on the spot. 
  3. We haven’t practiced our talking points so that we feel comfortable delivering our ideas, and our delivery is haphazard at best. This results in our message lacking impact or influence. 

As a result, we have difficulty listening to another person’s perspective because we are rehearsing what we want to say. This means that instead of having a conversation, we talk “at each other” rather than “with each other.” This results in neither person feeling heard, and many times feeling disrespected. This leads to conflict rather than solutions. 
When we aren’t hearing the other person’s point of view, we can’t “listen to learn” about what they value, which is the gold underneath their words. Instead of arguments, we need to have better conversations that lead to solutions. 

Jeanne Alford, Steve Taddei and I are starting Contemporary Issues Toastmasters.  The current social, political and climatic environment is distressing to many. There are diverse opinions that on a surface level appear to be irreconcilable. However, underneath, are some shared core values that solutions can be built on.
We live on a big planet and everywhere we look there is something that needs to be done. This can lead to feeling helpless and hopeless. The way to combat these feelings is to use your voice. 

Contemporary Issues provides and environment that you feel safe to practice speaking about topics that are near and dear to your heart. We are hosting an 8 week Speechcraft on Wednesday mornings on Zoom for members and guests. Register here: https://bit.ly/CISpeechcraft  To learn more click here https://ContemporaryIssuesToastmasters.org If you have any questions, please reach out to me at KimiAvary@gmail.com