The first year in Toastmasters for many of us was the most magical.
We marvelled at the quality of speeches we heard and wondered how we could ever be so accomplished.
Jobs like being the Toastmaster or chair for the evening seemed beyond us.
Even speaking for a minute or so during Table Topics was a challenge.
And the business meeting (especially at First Oakville) well…that was beyond belief and terrifying.
So here are some thoughts about how to get the most out of that most wonderful first year in Toastmasters.
- Come to every meeting whether or not you are on the agenda. In this way you’ll be supporting your fellow members in the same way you’d like to be supported yourself. Besides you’ll learn something new every night.
- Get a mentor. The VP of Education will assign one or you can ask for someone in particular but do so and do it early.
- Volunteer to help on the Christmas or Charter Party committees or ask to be a counter at the next contest.
- Come a few minutes early and make it a point to greet newcomers (even if this is only your second meeting as a Toastmaster) and walk around and introduce yourself to the club members as they arrive.
- Ask the VP of Education to put you on the agenda for your ice-breaker as soon as possible. After all you came here to learn public speaking right?
- Try to find a way to speak at every meeting. Volunteer for Table Topics or Speaking Out. Participate in the business meeting. Introduce a guest.
- Make your own speaking schedule. I’d recommend doing a manual speech every two to three months if possible. In this way you’ll get your CTM in two years.
- Go to the fall or spring district conference. Every Toastmaster should attend a district conference at least once.
- Offer the best written evaluations of speeches that you can. Point out what impressed you. Offer a point of possible improvement. End with a positive supportive conclusion.
- Consider running for office in your second year. Roles such as Sgt.-At-Arms, secretary and treasurer are perfect for new Toastmasters as you’ll learn there’s more to Toastmasters than just public speaking.