I have had the distinct pleasure and privilege of attending Wachusett Toastmasters Club in Lancaster, MA since September 2015. If you told me one year ago I would be writing a second blog about the Toastmasters organization, the expression on my face would have been one of perplexion to disbelief. At that time, my question to you would have been something to the effect of “Excuse me?” I might have also said politely, “With all due respect, you do not know what you are talking about.”

In my humble opinion, Toastmasters is truly a hidden gem, and those who discover it are forever blessed. It is indeed an art, science and therapy. First, let us discuss it as an art. Many people enter Toastmasters with trepidation and fear. They do not even recognize their abilities, and you could say they are like a blank canvas waiting for something to be created. As they progress in Toastmasters, you witness a transformation. The canvas becomes a beautiful piece of art constantly being refined towards a unique masterpiece. You might also say the development of communication skills alone is truly the art with rehearsal and fine tuning towards something which exceeds expectations.

As a science, Toastmasters International has studied effective communication. Consequently, they observe and revise rules and manuals examining the necessary tools to enable the Toastmaster towards greater efficacy in their communication skills. Gaining knowledge through practice and critique are strongly encouraged to help those dedicated Toasmasters reach renewed goals by participating in community or business clubs.

Finally, as a therapy, Toastmasters International assists people young and old in overcoming performance and social anxiety. As a result, they develop confidence and greater self esteem engaging with others as well as evolving in their own personal growth. Many people are like diamonds in the rough, and once chiseling begins, they dazzle the world with their newly minted sparkle. Some of these diamonds aspire to be leaders in their industry or their community. Others move in the direction of becoming professional speakers often incorporating humor or storytelling. The beautiful narratives about people’s experiences with Toastmasters are limitless, and yes, Toastmasters helps humanity on a larger scale. In that therapeutic role, Toastmasters volunteer in the prisons. With the aid of these devoted volunteers, individuals acquire the necessary skills they will need for their return to society. Toastmasters International also has a youth leadership program which encourages students to build skills and speak up preparing them to become tomorrow’s leaders. If one is willing to become involved with Toastmasters and take advantage of all of its offerings, the possibilities are endless…

Now, have I piqued your interest in at least exploring Toastmasters? I hope so! If you wish to enhance your communication skills or your life in general, I recommend you start by visiting www.toastmastersinternational.org and learn more about this wonderful organization. If nothing else, you will become enlightened about its benefits. In fact, you might even consider visiting a club or two. If you hesitate, just ask yourself what do you have to lose?