Benefits of membership in Toastmasters
In Toastmasters, what you gain is not only the improvement in your communication skills.
Many Toastmasters members report other benefits of Toastmasters, as below:
Ability to "communicate" in English
Toastmasters is not a language school; we do NOT teach how to speak English. Instead, we practice how to communicate using English as a tool to convey our thoughts. Even if you are not able to speak so-called "perfect" English as most of us Japanese are not, your willingness to communicate is much valued in Toastmasters. Sometimes we have members who know about English grammar quite well and can write in English, but have seldom spoken English in front of the public. Toastmasters can provide the best platform for such people to help make use of their skills in spoken English, as well as those who are already proficient in speaking English and improve their abilities even further.
Improvement in listening skills
In Toastmasters, members evaluate other members' speeches. This requires us to listen to others carefully, providing an excellent opportunity to practice our listening skills. Also, we gain a lot of valuable information and insights as we listen to speeches made by people in diverse background.
Rise in self-confidence
One of the big features of Toastmasters is that we "recognize" each other by finding out good points of our fellow members' speeches and our achievements. In Toastmasters, we think of how we can improve even better, instead of how to fix bad points. This way, we can naturally raise our confidence in not only our speaking skills but also ourselves.
Improvement in interpersonal skills
Toastmasters provides invaluable opportunities to improve our interpersonal skills as we increase our confidence in communication skills and ourselves.
Meeting people in diverse backgrounds
Toastmasters is basically open to everyone over 18 years of age, and we value diversity in our group. We meet people from different groups in ages, nationalities, genders and occupations, whom we could perhaps never have met if we had not join Toastmasters. Interacting with those people can broaden your perspective, and it can also be a good way to practice interpersonal skills.
Improvement in logical thinking skills
We practice impromtu speeches as well as prepared speeches. These both require us the skills to think logically and express our views in an organized way.
Improvement in time management skills
Timing is critical in Toastmasters. For example, meetings start exactly on time and are supposed to end exactly on time. Every speech in Toastmasters is timed, and overtimed speeches cannot receive awards. Conducting Toastmasters meetings this way goes a long way in our daily life as we can naturally practice how to manage our time.
Leadership opportunities and improvement in every aspect of organizational skills
Toastmasters is a non-profit organization, so all the officers of Clubs and event staff are all volunteers. Whether you get involved in the operations of our Club as officers for a year or join in the organization of a one-day event, you can learn the basics of the organization management and other soft-skills, which will be certainly valued in the business world.
Just for fun!
Dr. Ralph C. Smedley, Founder of Toastmasters International, said, 'We learn best in moments of enjoyment'. Toastmasters meetings are designed to be fun. In addition to the enjoyable regular meetings, we also have special events such as speech contests and parties, where you can gain a lot of fun.
There are many other benefits of Toastmasters, which you can discover on your own. You still cannot believe it? Seeing is believing.