7 Ways to Showcase Toastmasters’ Practicality

Remember that Toastmasters is intended to improve communication outside the club, too. Discuss how what is being done in the meeting can be used outside of Toastmasters (staying within time limit, giving evaluations, introducing speakers, clapping).

1. When giving the explanation for Timer, explain how timing is important outside of Toastmasters. Since time limits are often critical for meetings, practice with time limits is quite helpful for speakers anywhere.

2. When introducing the job of Grammarian, explain how it is relevant to communication in general, as people listen to what we say and how we say it.

3. Explain how to overcome the issues the Grammarian and/or Ah Counter identifies. (Examples include slowing down your rate of speech and making purposeful pauses rather than filling your speaking with uhs and ums.)

4. Identify precipitating events for particular crutch words, so that people recognize under what circumstances those tend to happen. (For example, today I heard an excellent prepared speech without any crutch words, but the opening, when the speaker greeted the audience, had at least two per sentence.)

5. Introducing speakers is something that many people have to do outside of Toastmasters. Practice in creating introductions and editing out-dated or irrelevant information out of the biographies provided is a real-life benefit of Toastmasters. Even practice reading a bio as introduction is a useful addition to people’s skill sets. The General Evaluator can point out the positive aspects of the Toastmaster’s introductions to the speaker.

6. Outside of Toastmasters people have to know how to hand over the lectern to the next speaker and  we practice this in our clubs. In addition, the audience can help that transition by clapping and filling the silence if someone has to cross a significant distance. This is something that the General Evaluator can also point out, encouraging members and educating visitors.

7. The experience of showing appreciation through clapping is a positive part of the club experience in Toastmasters. It also helps us learn to clap and show appreciation for a job well done outside of the clubs.

These practical hints for showcasing the value of Toastmasters were garnered from clubs in Division A during the 2016-2017 Toastmaster Year.

by Suanna Davis