Tonight's competition, held at the Rose City Park United Methodist Church in Portland, was a fantastic learning experience. It was great to be able to listen to truly accomplished public speakers in a competitive environment. I had no expectations other than having a great time giving my speech, and learning from the performances of the other speakers.
What is Toastmasters?
A Toastmasters club is a "learn-by-doing" workshop in which men and women practice their skills in a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. A typical club has 20 to 30 members, who meet weekly for about an hour to learn and practice public speaking techniques.
There is no instructor in a Toastmasters club, but there is a structured educational program. Members complete projects from a series of manuals. Each speaking project has a different objective that will contribute to developing a well-rounded set of skills. Members also learn how to conduct evaluations of speakers in a positive and constructive way. Every speaker is assigned an evaluator who relates their observations about the speaker’s strengths and then offers suggestions for improvement. This evaluation process is an integral component of the overall educational program.
Besides taking turns delivering prepared speeches and evaluating those of other members, Toastmasters give impromptu talks on assigned topics, usually related to current events. They also develop listening skills, conduct meetings, learn parliamentary procedure, and gain leadership experience by serving as club officers.Want more information? Want to find out the location of a club near you? Click here.
If you're interested in checking out my club, Gresham Toastmasters, check us out here.
Gresham Toastmasters meets every Wednesday from 6:30 AM to 7:45 AM at Francis Xavier's Restaurant , 1919 NE 181st Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97230. After your first visit, you'll want to return.