2020 was quite a year of change – How is that for an understatement?
Our club over the past few years has certainly seen change. It would have been so easy on so many occasions to just say enough is enough and that this is too hard to continue with. Obviously we didn’t stop, have no intentions on stopping and what is incredible is that we are now stronger and growing more now then we have in the past number of years.
Our membership turnover 90% wow. When we went online we lost many as their goal was to speak in front of an audience or group, not to speak to a red dot that is your camera. We also lost many that were just not comfortable being on a zoom call. Other personal situations and a host of other reasons came up.
Could we have said enough is enough? Sure, this is a volunteer effort and questioning the viability of the club and if it achieves my personal goals is Top Of Mind.
With all these changes, with all the turnover in members are club has taken on a new and very exciting personality. Now the question is the personality of our club something that appeals to you?
Our members are focused not just gaining confidence as a speaker but on being effective as a presenter. Yes there is a difference. With more and more of our members joining for a specific reason the club is stronger than before.
Our meetings are run by our members – Leadership, Time management and motivation skills are used by our Toastmasters of the day. That person’s role is to have a full agenda and coordinating the meeting where it begins and ends on time. 6:00pm to til 7:30pm est on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays for our club.
Prepared speakers, generally three at each meeting, deliver a 5-7minute speech on topic with a specific goal in mind. Could be using visual aids, body language, vocal variety, humor, motivational or…….. The beauty of this is that you may have a mentor that works with you privately, but you will also get a verbal evaluation from a fellow Toastmasters member and written comments from all other members.
Here a few takeaways when you are mentor or a speech evaluator.
1) Congrats you are now practicing your coaching skills in either role
2) Mentor or Motivator? Could be the same encouraging the mentee to deliver their speech even when they feel that they may not be ready.
3) Impromptu speaking as the evaluator – Not only that you will use your listening skills much more effectuvely knowing that you will be delivering a 2-3 miute presnetation onw athat the speaker did well and how they may cinsdsider a different way of doing something to increase their effectivess as a spekaer
The other roles are plentiful and so is the fun.
Umm and AAH counter, table topics (improv speaking) word of the day, quiz master all have different purposes to make our meetings effective and fun.
We are not just focused on your speaking skills but also your entire presentation, Handouts, shared screens, videos, speaking while standing, backgrounds and what may be the most important is we will focus on what you want to most improve.
Share you goals, thoughts and concerns with the group, the mentor or myself and we will certainly help you on your way.
A good member for us is one who wants to be effective as a speaker, not just comfortable. A person who has a message to deliver not just facts to share.
A person that embraces the idea that meetings will be forever changed with new communication tools and understands that we are entering a new way of interacting not just waiting for the old way to come back.
Brian A Cohen DTM
Member Since 2006
President Northern Brookhaven StonyBrook Speechwolves