deal-for-youWhen we first joined Toastmasters we wanted to become better speakers. We hoped to become better leaders. And we knew that if all went well we could expect to become better listeners. What we didn’t know was how much we could learn simply from hearing other people’s speeches.

Since becoming a Toastmaster I’ve heard hundreds, possibly thousands of speeches. I’ve personally learned about geocaching, the cool art of high tech treasure hunting. I’ve learned about Tae Kwon Do and what it takes to become a black belt. I’ve even learned how to make brownies over a campfire while camping.

There is so much to learn from other people. I decided to see what some of you have learned from speeches you have heard. I randomly picked 2 people from each of District 7’s 36 areas, and emailed them asking what the last speech they heard was and what they learned from it.

Here are some of the responses:
The last speech I heard in Toastmasters was from one of our oldest members, Ray Stout, where he reminisced about his trekking adventures through the forest of Oregon and description of images in brilliant graphic details, which remained etched in his mind even after 40 odd years.

The main aspect of his speech was the way he described scenes which helped us to picture the same with no effort at all. Additionally, it’s always a learning experience listening to people from various cultures, backgrounds and ethnicity.

Anoop John
Oregonian Toastmasters
My comment is not about a PARTICULAR speech, but I always tell new and potential members, that “our Toastmasters club is a GREAT way to begin a Wednesday morning– I PROMISE you’ll laugh, and learn something EVERY single week…..

Gloria Feider Polzin
Estacada Rivermasters Club
We recently heard a speech in our club regarding NLP or neuro-linguistic programming. It was an interesting approach to calming your thought before any activity that is stressful. It can be employed in a large variety of situations including Toastmasters speeches. NLP, consciously or unconsciously, relies heavily upon (1) the notion of the unconscious mind as constantly influencing conscious thought and action; (2) metaphorical behavior and speech, especially building upon the methods used in Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams; and (3) hypnotherapy as developed by Milton Erickson.

Ted Stonecliffe
Clarke County Toastmasters
Last speech I had heard was mine. It was an impromptu speech called “My Day at the Beach”. What I had learned from the speech is the immediate feedback from the audience. I find out what works…is my message getting thru to people do I see nods of acknowledgement, laughter from a funny. Staying focused on a speech about the beach so I have people’s attention. Not to have the audience attentions wander.

Charles Grosvenor
Talk-In-Tel Toastmasters
I did the last speech in our Toastmasters club, My point was to let my people know where I was before I came here and all about the many coats one wears in life and how life is always changing.

Vida Seitz
Banfield Barkers

With so many things to learn in this world, I feel privileged to be among Toastmasters friends, learning about their lives and their experiences. If I’m lucky I might learn how to change a tire, how to become a millionaire in 3 easy steps, or how to add more than 24 hours to a day. For now, I’m thankful for another opportunity that Toastmasters has offered me…to get more than what I bargained for.