Here is an interesting article by Christian Turianskyj, a long time member of the St-Lawrence Toastmasters Club.

“Toastmasters are nice people”

My former law partner had encouraged me to join Toastmasters, a worldwide organization that promotes public speaking. He simply stated, “Toastmasters are nice people”. So I did join.

Having had the benefit of twenty-five years of Toastmasters experience, I can confirm that Toastmasters are indeed nice people.

What does nice mean?

There are three areas in which Toastmasters show niceness. Whether they welcome you into their Club, politely listen to your Speech or evaluate your speech, Toastmasters portray warmth and appreciation of your efforts to improve your public speaking.

Warm welcome
You are welcome to visit a Club as a guest. A Toastmaster may invite you or you might come on your own. You are not obliged to say anything, unless you wish to do so. Many guests are, naturally, shy of speaking in public and Toastmasters show compassion for those who suffer from the number one fear in the world: SPEAKING IN PUBLIC.

Polite listening
A most important aspect of Toastmasters is the art of listening to a speech. Toastmasters, after becoming a member, are assigned a series of speeches as well as holding certain functions during the weekly meeting. While the speaker is presenting his or her speech, there is no talking; it is time to attentively listen in order for each member to give written comments to the speaker.

Constructive evaluation
Evaluation of a speech plays a crucial part in Toastmasters. Each speaker is assigned an evaluator who gives a verbal and a written evaluation of the speech. Over the years I have found Toastmasters to be fair and helpful in their Evaluations. Toastmasters provide certain guidelines for evaluation so that the evaluations remain objective.

The word nice is certainly appropriate to Toastmasters; should you wish to be surrounded with nice people who strive to become better speakers, I urge you to consider joining a Toastmasters Club in your area.

Christian Turianskyj

March 30, 2010