" I had been speaking at conferences for several years, but it was not until I joined Toastmasters that I found out how bad I was. The detailed and structured feedback have helped me address my weak points and to give audiences a clearer message. The laid back environment at Toastmasters is the perfect setting to improve your skills, I would recommend it to anyone."
"Before I joined I was confident in many aspects, but recognised that I needed some support to further improve my skillset. I've learnt to simplify my speeches whilst delivering my message with more impact. It is a warm, safe environment, with friendly members. There are so many aspects to the club, learning and development, friendship, and laughter."
"One of the first things I learned at Toastmasters, funnily enough, was not about speaking, but about the non-verbal act of shaking hands.
Yes, I knew people did shake hands, but I had not given it much thought before.
A handshake is commonly done when meeting and greeting, parting, offering congratulations, saying thanks or finalising an agreement.
At Toastmasters we do a lot of handshaking! We shake hands to pass control of the ‘floor’ to another speaker - to welcome to the next speaker or express gratitude for their speech.
It is an amazingly effective tool for breaking down barriers and making contact with friends old and new.
So why has this made me a better speaker? It gives me confidence in my audience. It helps to ground me when I take to the floor. It’s usually accompanied by an introduction when I am about to speak so I know people are ready for me to start. All of this makes me a better speaker, whether in front of 120 people or 2. It gives me the go-ahead to start talking.
A small, yet significant, strategy I learnt at my very first meeting and have continued to utilise ever since."
"Toastmasters, and the Strictly Speaking Harrogate club in particular, is an incredible platform for anyone wanting to develop their presentation skills and general confidence with speaking. Whether you are an experienced speaker or a novice, you will improve. I've been speaking for many years and I've made more progress since I joined last year than I have in the past 25!"