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I am a leader – and I was made through Toastmasters!

I wasn’t born a leader. They were all around me though. In the community, at work, at school. Leaders were everywhere. They were the heads of families, coaches of teams, business leaders, mentors, organizational decision-makers.

I admired these leaders. They influenced who I was and who I was becoming. Whatever they did professionally or how they became what they were, I aspired to walk in their footsteps.

And, so, I committed myself to becoming one.

Finally, it came to me. It wasn’t just what leaders knew that enabled them to lead. They had a voice. They could tell their story. They could listen and answer. They didn’t just accomplish, they communicated.

So I set out to find my voice. Learn to process information on my toes. I needed to learn to listen. Learn to give feedback – and accept it. I needed to organize, plan, deliver, follow up. I needed a place where all the ingredients were there, and someone would guide me along the way.

I found that place. I found a community of learners and the path to leadership.

I am a leader – and I was made through Toastmasters!

 

Public Speaking

Public speaking is learnt. Few of us, if any, are natural public speakers: public speaking is a skill gained through experience born of understanding, practice, familiarity and know-how; by listening to the constructive criticism of our audience, peers and mentors. Experience, by itself, is not enough if one makes the same mistakes year after year.

Toastmasters International

Toastmasters International – a non-profit, educational organisation – was founded during 1924 in America and has subsequently, and enthusiastically, found its way into ninety countries around the world with a membership of approximately two hundred thousand. South Africa is well represented. The movement is devoted to making oral communication a worldwide reality, helping men and women learn the art of speaking, listening and thinking: promoting self-actualisation, enhancing leadership potential and fostering understanding. At the individual club level it provides a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every member has the opportunity to develop communication and leadership skills, fostering self-confidence and personal growth.

Supportive Environment

The key, perhaps, is the mutually supportive and positive learning environment. When you stand to make your speech you know the feedback from your peers is there to encourage not belittle, to praise your strong-points and overcome your weak ones. You learn by studying the manuals, practising and helping one another.

Brief Overview of the Toastmasters Concept

The concept is a simple one. Attend meetings, watch and listen, take note of your peers’ constructive comments, and, when you feel ready, begin to speak. The speaking format follows ten specific projects designed to enhance organisation of speeches, getting to the point, how to say it, body language, vocal variety, research, visual aids, persuasion and inspiration. All of which takes you to the Competent Communicator Level, following which you can proceed, if you wish and in your own time, through the Advanced Communicator Levels of Bronze, Silver and Gold to reach the highest recognition of Distinguished Toastmaster. The advanced levels cover a multitude of projects, including; entertainment, public relations, management, professional, technical and special occasions.

About 4th Dimension Toastmasters

4th Dimension Toastmasters was chartered on the 19th December 2002 and is conveniently situated on The Campus (57 Sloane Street), Wanderers Building, Bryanston, where we meet twice a month in the DDU rooms. The first Monday of the month and the Wednesday sixteen days later. Membership is not confined to Dimension Data employees; indeed the majority are employed elsewhere. We strive to present structured but social and fun meetings.  There are of course numerous other Toastmasters clubs throughout South Africa and these can be located through the website at http://www.toastmasters74.org.

You can also follow us on Facebook

 

 4th Dimension Toastmasters on Google maps

Come for a Visit

Anyone is welcome to visit our club. Why don’t you come for a visit to see what it is all about? Find more information on the guests page.

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