Speaking and Leadership Skills – check!

Amongst other things, Jim learnt about speaking and leadership skills

Speaking and Leadership skills are just 2 of the fantastic, value for money benefits you will receive at Linlithgow Speakers.  That’s according to our longest standing members and Treasurer, Jim Boyd.

Curiosity. Yes, curiosity – that’s how I discovered Toastmasters International (TI). A work colleague and I visited the then only Chartered TI club in Scotland – Capital Communicators. For two hours I sat amazed, impressed and in awe of the 20+ members – from new to very experienced, who demonstrated a whole range of valuable speaking, thinking, listening and leadership skills.

I fumbled, mumbled and rambled my way through my impromptu ‘Table Topic’. I left that night (in January 2001) with my ego well and truly shattered. I was not for returning (even though the first three meetings were free).

Two weeks later and my colleague again wanted company. I wasn’t going. He persisted and insisted – and so I went. On reflection, that was one of my ‘life changing decisions’. During the second meeting, I thankfully put my ego to the side and just absorbed what was happening. My ‘light bulb’ turned-on – I could see there was a process and thankfully, figured it could work for me.  I also figured it could work for many of my work colleagues.

Within six months, we had started a new club – Proclaimers@Sun, the first Corporate Club in the UK & Eire. In 2005, I helped established Linlithgow Speakers.

16+ years later and I’m still a member. The Toastmasters process has to be one of the most value-for-money (and time!) personal improvement programmes on the planet. If you want to develop critical thinking, speaking and leadership skills, join Toastmasters International.

The Treasurer Role

Although Toastmasters International is a not-for-profit organisation, we do have some expenses. Collecting joining fees, club dues and paying our bills is the key task of the Treasurer.

Since its foundation in 1924, TI has strived to keep member costs to a minimum. This is entirely consistent with the thinking of its founding father Ralph C. Smedley. Ralph was trying to help young unemployed men at the YMCA to develop their confidence through improving their speaking skills – primarily aimed at helping them find employment. Soon afterwards, various booklets on speaking skills were developed and this has continued through the years to produce an array of highly effective training manuals.

It is the production and supply of these manuals plus venue-hire which dictate the majority of our costs. As a member you also receive a copy of the excellent monthly ‘Toastmaster’ magazine which is full of useful articles, stories and tips on improving your own speaking, thinking, listening and leadership skills.