Public Speaking: Beneficial to All
As a junior in high school, I decided to give public speaking a try. I entered a contest on March 1, 2010 at the local Rotary Club, titled the “4-Way Test Speech Contest”. I took first place in the contest and then competed at the Regional level.
This experience opened doors for me. I joined Toastmasters Club in Yreka, California. I have given five speeches in the club so far, and have just begun evaluating experienced speakers. I will be giving my next speech shortly and will also present my 2011 Rotary speech. The club focuses on learning valuable speaking and leadership skills, and I feel that I am soaking in information for life.
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There is even an award that I plan to receive, called the Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM), which is a high honor that takes more than a year to complete. For example, a speech evaluation counts towards the leadership track, and giving a speech goes towards the communication track. The leadership and communication tracks are the major goals towards receiving the DTM.
Additionally, the club encourages improvisational speaking (called Table Topics), and all the club members participate in this activity. With my background in speech over several areas, I feel like a confident public speaker and know this will be a great communication tool for my future.
Communication is going to be important for me, as I am planning on becoming a journalist and/or editor of a paper or magazine. I will need to be able to speak to anyone in the field, as well as experts and other leaders who I will be obtaining information from.
My leadership in Toastmasters has made a difference in my life, and possibly the lives of others. For myself, I am gaining specialized knowledge as I attend each Toastmasters meeting. I am learning how to organize information and listen to people in the community with respect. Acquaintances have congratulated, encouraged and asked questions about public speaking, and I would recommend Toastmasters without reserve to anyone. It is undoubtedly a club that demands integrity, vitality and a willingness to work.
Speech is a skill that I believe is necessary in life. A true leader knows that communication is of the utmost importance—without it, compromises and solutions cannot be reached. One day I hope to be a strong leader, and my skills learned in Toastmasters will most certainly help me reach that goal.