Toastmasters around the world turn to Camberville
On Saturday December 4 at 10:00 am, members of Toastmasters clubs from over a dozen countries will come to the Toastmasters “Humor and Theater” Club, which meets in Cambridge and Somerville, for a warm, joyful and welcoming reunion entitled
Club members from Japan, Kenya, England, Aruba, Colombia and France will zoom in and talk about their “solstice stories” in words, art and music. Along with these formal presentations, Toastmasters meetings always include a section where all participants have the opportunity to have their say in one way or another.
For this meeting, our “Table Topics” session will involve small chat rooms where you will work with two or three other people and plan something that remains to be determined and presented at the end of the meeting. We’ve done this before, and it’s both fun and personal: you get to know people.
We would love for you to visit us and share the fun.
And improve your public speaking skills!
From one of our members (and current president):
When I first joined Toastmasters, I joined because of work. I didn’t have a lot of opportunities to present at work, as at that time my role didn’t require a lot of presentation. I researched Toastmasters as a safe place to practice speaking. That way, when it comes time to present, I would be ready.
Over the years, I have gained confidence through speeches and, later, district leadership opportunities. Subsequently, I pushed myself further in my career, taking on more demanding roles. Inevitably, this involved speaking, presenting and leading. And you know what? I was prepared for anything!
In a few years, I went from technician to executive. Toastmasters absolutely played a role in helping me develop these skills. To this day, I’m still talking to Toastmasters, and I always recommend it to anyone looking to grow and improve.
Toastmasters International is an organization of some 16,000 clubs and 400,000 members, which helps people learn to speak effectively in public meetings and teaches its members leadership skills while doing so.
New members are accompanied in their first speeches, with the help and support of other members. As they gain experience and confidence, they move into leadership roles, first in their own clubs, then in increasingly larger circles as they see fit. Each year, one person, who started out just like everyone else, is elected World President of Toastmasters International.
As a high school teacher at the Peace Corps in Kenya, Bil Lewis felt confident in public speaking, until he was in front of an audience of his peers. I felt like an idiot the first time I met. My mom convinced me to come to her club, and as Table Topics Master she asked me to speak briefly about a simple topic. My mind went blank.
Now I am comfortable and confident in front of any audience. I speak IT professionally and I teach in costume like James Madison. I could never have done it without Toastmasters.
In 2010, Bil Lewis was the district governor of some 130 Toastmasters clubs in eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. With a budget of $ 50,000 and 50 direct reports, that requires leadership. He was responsible for two major conferences, 20 officer training sessions and some 200 speech competitions. In addition to creating new clubs.
It is leadership by action.
One of the “new” clubs Bil helped start was the “Somerville Toastmasters Club,” which meets every Tuesday from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Unity Church in Davis Square, both in person. and virtually via zoom. As with all clubs, it has members of all experience levels and places a strong emphasis on mentoring.
Somerville Toastmasters has a significant number of international members, with members from Ecuador, France, Germany, China and Korea, and its hybrid model keeps members from across the country and the world involved. Somerville Toastmasters shines with their fun and welcoming attitude to all members, high level mentoring for veteran members and strong camaraderie within the club.