Most people would rather die than give
a speech. According to a survey reported in The Book of Lists,
fear of public speaking outranked fear of death by a two-to-one
Given this astonishing fact,
it is amazing that Toastmasters International—a group
that helps people become better public speakers, has been able
to attract more than 190,000
members in approximately 70 different countries around the
Polyglot Toastmasters at HPU
is one of 9,300 very prestigious Toastmasters clubs that meet
on a regular basis do death-defying
acts of public speaking. Members practice giving prepared speeches
as well as impromptu talks on assigned topics. Then they evaluate
each other’s oral presentations.
Native and non-native English
speakers are welcome, and they support each other in their
quest to enhance their communication
skills. Jasmine Hwang is a good example. An international student
at HPU, she says that Toastmasters is very challenging for
her, but she persists with it because of the great rewards
it offers: “When I speak English, I feel I am struggling
at every moment.” Despite this, she explains, and despite
the fact that Toastmasters is “difficult, and often embarrassing,” it
is essential because it helps us confront and overcome the
small, but very limiting insecurities that we all must deal
with. And it does so in a fun and friendly atmosphere.
Linda Lingle, the current governor
is a former Toastmaster. She says that Toastmasters is the
expensive personal improvement class you can go to, because
it does build confidence.”
The effectiveness of toastmaster’s simple learning formula
is evidenced by thousands of corporations and organizations
that sponsor in-house Toastmasters clubs, including the U.S.
Senate and House of Representatives, as well as a variety of
community organizations, prisons, universities, hospitals,
military bases and churches.
To learn more about Toastmasters, visit our district website:
www.district49.org, or stop by one of our Polyglot Toastmasters
meetings here at HPU, every Wednesday from 3 to 4 p.m. in the
conference room at the International center.
Everyone who has the courage to face the world’s number-one-rated
fear is welcome to join in.