In this Innovation Session Ashaff Hussain from the Payments team, along with Romith Jinawardena and Jeremy Carvalho from the Monetization team give an introduction and explanation on the fundamentals of Toastmasters. Commonly known to the wider audience as a collective club of public speaking, Toastmasters in fact is not just about public speaking. Toastmasters was first established in 1924, even before the Second World War. It has over 300,000 members with over 15,000 clubs in over 150 countries. The Toastmasters community has grown from 2004 to 2016 from one to 200 clubs island-wide.
How Does Toastmasters Work?
Toastmasters is conducted in a meeting-like fashion. It is an educative and interactive meeting, consisting of role players, impromptu speeches and keynote speeches. It grooms members to prepared and effectively deliver speeches to any audience by skills gained through attending regular Toastmaster meetings. Toastmasters consists of two paths; the communication track which is about the enhancement of speaking skills and the leadership track, which enhances the leadership skills of participants. A new member who follows the leadership track learns the fulfillment of club meeting roles and to serve in officer roles at the club level and beyond. Members have to complete the three stages of being a Competent Leader to Advanced Leader Bronze and to Advanced Leader Silver before becoming a Distinguished Toastmaster(DTM). Whereas the communication track has four stages from being a Competent Communicator, Advanced Communication Bronze, Advanced Communication Silver and Advanced Communicator Gold before becoming a DTM. The communication track helps with speech organization, learning proper eye contact and gestures, the use of humor to capture the crowd’s attention and the delivery of the speech itself. Then follows the Advanced Communication Series where a member gets to choose from 15 advanced communication manuals to learn skills specific to their interests.
During the session, Romith gave a first-hand example on how he first participated in Toastmasters, and the experience and knowledge he gained from it not only helped him improve his soft skills, but helped in his day to day work as well, such as effective communication and time management. Jeremy gave a brief introduction to the Toastmasters Club at CAKE LABS, from the executive committee and their roles to the activities the club runs in empowering time management skills, communication skills and leadership skills. In conclusion, Ashaff adds the fact that participation in Toastmasters not only improves speech skills, but overall sharpens the performance of an individual with their language skills, leadership and confidence building.