Deep Breathing, Skiing, and Why Libraries Are Important: These Are A Few of Our Favorite Things

We had a very fun and successful Toastmasters meeting July 5 (last Thursday). In our meeting, we heard speeches prepared in response to The Ice Breaker, Organize Your Speech, and Persuade with Power. These are the first, second, and ninth projects a Toastmaster does to complete the Competent Communicator award. In addition to hearing these three wonderful speeches, we had three very moving Table Topics speeches in response to the question “What would you do if you could change your career path.” The best part of the meeting was that everyone participated by serving a role and giving a speech.

The Ice Breaker – Skiing

In his first speech with Toastmasters, our speaker provided us with a look at skiing through his eyes. The purpose of The Ice Breaker is to help the speaker become familiar with standing in front of others. Some long-time Toastmasters will tell you this is the hardest speech to give. It is the shortest speech in the Toastmasters educational program, but it takes the most guts because you are standing up in front of your group for the first time and putting yourself out there. You are certain to make a few mistakes, say a few too many “Ums,” and fidget a bit. However, our speaker ruled the lectern! He maintained great eye contact with the audience, had a great vocal presence, and kept the audience engaged with his sense of humor and great stories.

Organize Your Speech – Deep Breathing

Our next speaker took on a journey into the world of deep breathing. Complete with a chance to close our eyes and inhale to the count of three and exhale to the count of three, feeling the breath in our abdomen and chest as we did. She was so great at doing this that we all suggested she put together a meditation CD. She did a wonderful job organizing her speech to ensure there was an opening, a body, and an ending, with well used transitions. In the well-prepared speech, our speaker shared with us the benefits of deep breathing, including a better functioning cardiovascular system and peaceful demeanor. Our speaker helped us all to learn why we should enjoy deep breathing as part of our daily routine and gave us the tools to implement it.

Persuade with Power – Why We Should Use Libraries

In our final speech of the evening, our speaker shared with us his love for reading and the library. Bringing us back to the days of old when the library was a central part of every community, he reminded us that we can borrow CDs, DVDs, and even VHSs from our local libraries. He shared the benefits of meeting at the library for small group discussions (such as our Toastmasters meetings) and to enjoy a community movie or reading. To ensure we understood how moved he was by libraries, he even printed out the local congressman names and addresses, provided an index card with a stamp, and asked us to write a note to our local congressman to say how much we enjoy our local library. Our speaker did his job of persuading the audience to remember how great the library is and ensure we use it often!

A particular bonus in this speech? We learned that the Bill Library, where we meet in Ledyard, CT, every 1st and 3rd Thursday, is going to be expanding its hours again due to popular demand. If you love your local library, be sure to send a note to your city council members or congressman to say so! You may find your local library becoming better funded or expanding its hours too!

What Would You Do If You Could Change Careers Tomorrow?

This is just a sample of the wonderful speeches you can hear at a Toastmasters meeting. In addition to the planned speeches above, we always have a Table Topics session where you can speak without notice. Our Topicsmaster asked us to share what career we would choose if we were to switch careers tomorrow. We had quite an array of answers, from Salesman to Motivational Speaker to Writer. What a group! You figure the writer could author the memoir of the motivational speaker and then give it to the salesman to sell to the world. Talk about a great group of individuals who complement one another well!

Join Us July 19th for More of Our Favorite Things             

We hope you will join us, The Colonel Ledyard Toastmasters, on Thursday, July 19th when we hear a Vocal Variety project and more! We look forward to meeting you. Until then, remember that Toastmasters is more than public speaking training. We also help you to become a better communicator in your everyday life through more effective listening skills and critical thinking.