What is Toastmasters? It is a non-profit organization dedicated to public speaking. Now every body can benefit from public speaking but I think, and I know for a fact, that international students benefit the most. What can Toastmasters do for you? Each area has a club. Within these clubs, its members have a scheduled meeting time. For example, my club – RiseAndShine Toastmasters – meets once every Friday in the board room A225 at UFV. What we do:
- 1-3 Speakers: each speaker has his/her own toastmaster book to follow. The book has step-by-step guide to each speech and everyone follows their own pace
- Table Topics: a table topic master randomly selects people from the audience to talk about an unexpected topic for 2-3 minutes. Fun when you get used to it!
- Evaluation for everything
Why International Students Should Join Toastmasters?
- Increase confidence: public speaking is scary to everyone. However, overcoming this fear with support from the club members is rewarding and will increase confidence
- Improve communication skills: more than every one else, international students need to be understood. What’s worse than not having people to understand you? The only way to be understood is to speak up, and speak well. Toastmasters is all about that: from pronunciation to grammar and sentence structure
- Get evaluated: do you realize that nobody is correcting your English? I mean, honestly, we all know that international students – including me – don’t speak perfect English. Then how come nobody ever says anything about it? Everything is evaluated at Toastmasters – in a professional and appropriate way. They will tell you what you have done well and what can be improved. I only wish that I am evaluated for my English all the times.
You probably know that international students tend to be very good at grammars but not so much at speaking. That is because back in our home countries, we are only taught on how to write.
You have seen Canadians in your grammar class before. Why not join Toastmasters and learn how to speak with Canadians as well?