Monday, September 30, 2013

Introducing homeschoolers to Toastmasters

I’ve been part of Toastmasters for seven and a half years.  It has been both a lot of fun and very worthwhile.  I’ve been in two clubs.  The people in both clubs are working to improve themselves and are great to interact with.  And I have gotten better in my ability to speak publicly.

Three years ago Janine started attending with me.  I was working with another guy to start up a new club.  It was a pretty small group.  Almost out of desperation I asked Janine if she would join us.  She started attending and has also enjoyed the club.

Janine works with several other women to put together a Friday homeschool co-op.  This year they decided to introduce the teenagers to Toastmasters.  Last Friday was their kick-off session.  I was the guest speaker, and the Toastmaster and Table Topics Master.  (Janine was going to help out, but a small emergency came up.)

I went real slow explaining each of the roles in a Typical Toastmaster meeting.  I talked about the overall goal and various ways the meetings help people improve their public speaking.  I gave a speech I’ve been working on for a humorous speech contest.  I asked some table topic questions and the youth did fine in responding.  Then we did a quick pass through the evaluation phase.

I think the youth could see the value in Toastmasters.

This fall the co-op is going to have the youth each give the first speech in the Toastmaster sequence, “The Ice Breaker.”  They’ll be asked to introduce themselves in a 4 to 6 minute speech.  We’ll have each of the youth take on the various roles associated with the meeting.

Even though it is during my lunch hour I plan to go back a few more times.  Maybe I’ll go when my daughters talk.  It will be interesting to see how the group does.

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