Be Bold! Be Brief! Be Gone! – A Toastmasters Area Director’s Diary
I think I’m addicted to the Corporate Club Meetings. Having been to three at Chaseside, the JP Morgan Toastmasters club – I think I should reveal their hidden secret.
There is no messing – I mean none, nada, de rein. They take the best of all possible meetings and cram it into one hour; resulting in a perfectly formed learning and support environment that takes place over lunch.
They start with the presidents introduction, and a handover to the Toastmaster for the meeting. A Grammarian introduces a word for the day. Then the warm up initiates all the curious visitors as to the power of public speaking.
Two prepared speeches are followed by the Table Topics session which enables the Evaluators a little time to prepare their encouraging and constructive verbal feedback.
The Evaluators then deliver their presentations to the audience so that everyone can learn from what was done well and offer some suggestions on an alternative delivery. There is a Grammarian report, then a General Evaluation of the meeting, before the President wraps up the event … before the hour is up. All roles are essentially monitored, of course, by the most important Time Keeper. Brilliant!
Of course, there is more to it than that.
To run something that is this slick and smooth needs not only purpose but some planning and preparation too. This is where good leadership comes to the fore … its President and Mentors are pivotal. They are the glue that sticks the programme together and this takes place in the one to one relationships they nurture outside of the meetings themselves.
The best thing about this club is how it manages to get the right balance on the urgent and important scale – something most of us would like to achieve in our daily lives.