By Mary Bustamante, Mare Island
I love being a member of Toastmasters. I wish I had discovered Toastmasters sooner. What stopped me? I thought Toastmasters was only for people in the business field. Since I did not work for a corporation, I didn’t think Toastmasters was for me. What changed my mind about the organization? I saw a Toastmasters’ best speaker ribbon on my uncle’s refrigerator. I asked him about it and he explained why he loved Toastmasters and what he learned by being part of the organization. Here is my elevator speech.
“I really enjoy being part of Toastmasters. This is a public speaking and leadership club. There are three types of people who benefit from Toastmasters. The first is the most obvious. Many people have a fear of public speaking. At Toastmasters people learn to speak in a warm and supportive environment. The second group is people who have an immediate goal. We had a member who was going to officiate a wedding and needed to develop his confidence. Another had just started a nonprofit and wanted to learn how to get the word out. Toastmasters is a great place to work on personal goals. The third group of people pick Toastmasters as a hobby because they just plain like to talk. That is me in a nutshell. While my speaking and storytelling skills have benefited greatly from Toastmasters, my biggest growth has been in the area of attentive listening. Toastmasters has helped me to slow down and really listen carefully. Come check out one of our meetings. Toastmasters has something for everyone.”
As a teacher, I feel obliged to give you homework. Here it is. Write a thirty second elevator speech to promote Toastmasters. That one conversation has the power to change someone’s life for the better.