Thirty years ago, I joined Toastmasters International to meet people, not to learn to stand up and speak better in public, but that is with the later that I came out from it. Plus, I learned also to improvise my speech.
Yes, to prepare it carefully in advance thinking at all the advices we learn there with the time, but also adopt it to the moment and the audience reaction.
Arriving in London I went to a number of photo meetup groups, and it is not until I met by chance a President of a local Toastmaster group that I felt: I'll have to try it again!
After my speech about the flickr groups and the use of showing one's photo on web instead of hiding it in a drawer or a disk drive or CD, I finished telling them that I just joined Toastmaster's and learned to walk and gesticulate while speaking: an instant laugh!
Yesterday, while going back to the second time to the Lee's TM's, and a bit disappointed I was not asked to "do" a Tabletopics 'will I go home without speaking at all?" I was asked, finally as guest (I did not join yet): give us your opinion of tonight's meeting.
I used it to improvise a speech about my conference before students finished talking (and SHOWING) about what I learned at the last time meeting: instant laugh. I went away happy. Even if shortly, I could speak and also, prove to myself that I can still connect with the audience.
But of course, I also learned a lot yesterday. What to do and how, and what not to do also. Learned about Chinese education as well Polish torments, about great coaches and clever behavior, about lots of interesting point of views and how to express them better.
An unforgottable speech also about her childhood and then, arriving in UK: seagulls.
He taught me to speak and move too last time.
Alas, I was to near and cut most of the time their legs, also I did not want them to think about being photographed, but here are some samples taken on the fly.
An experienced Toastmaster, he gave us useful tips on "how to".
The young man from Poland (I did forgot to ask his permission so he is not between my images), has yet a lot to learn about how to deliver a speech, but I came out not being ever able to forget something he said in his first ever public delivery: "I learned, he said, that the most personal is finally the most common problem, that so many share."