Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Finding poetry in Toastmasters

I became involved in Toastmasters over a year ago for a variety of reasons. If you have no idea what Toastmasters is then go and read about Toastmasters NZ. It has only been in recent weeks that I admitted to someone aloud that one of my main motivations for going to Toastmasters is to build towards going to a poetry reading so I can read one of my poems out. I feel that I still have a way to go before I am ready to this meet goal even though I have already read out some of my poems to other members of my club. Also, by posting this goal here I am documenting what I am working towards as a poet.

I do not fear of public speaking and speaking my mind in front of a group of people has never been a major problem. Yet I have found that I have gained so much from being a toastmaster, which was not what I expected.
  • Running a meeting;
  • Providing constructive feedback that allows someone else to know where they are doing well and where they still can grow;
  • Being asked something on the spot and having the skills to respond in a structured and confident way
  • Sounding more confident when I speak because I'm now aware what can make you sound less assured. Such as saying "Ums and Ahs" rather than pausing and taking a deep breath before continuing.
Last night at Toastmasters (13 April 2010) I was the Toastmaster for the evening and the theme I selected for the session was "Thinking outside the book". I selected this theme because I wanted to share with the rest of my club what working as a Librarian is like when your job is far from traditional. When I created the program adding my poem The Idealised Librarian seemed to make perfect sense, because after 10 years this poem still helps explain why I am a Librarian. What was fascinating about adding this poem was the reaction by someone else there - "Did you write this?" and the expression on their face :-). Being able to blend my poetry into the different roles in Toastmasters makes what I do there unique. The opportunity to express myself through my poetry in such a warm and friendly environment has helped me feel that my main goal is achievable.

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1 comment:

Speaker Seeker Blog said...

I liked how you mentioned things you got out of Toastmasters even though public speaking wasn't particularly a fear for you. In my Aurora Colorado Toastmasters club about 3/4 of our members would be in familiar company with that statement. And, yet, they remain members growing year after year...why? Because they know that this communication stuff brings "ongoing improvement." Hope you're still an active member as it sounds like you would be an asset to your club.