Lately, I’ve been getting back into Toastmasters. I recently joined a club in Stockholm and am really enjoying it so far. It’s largely an expat club with over 10 nationalities (I can think of from the top of my head, there are surely more). It’s also a very popular club – it seems to me that speaking slots are highly in demand and you need to be pretty fast to sign up so you can give a speech.

I was really hoping to join a club much earlier after moving to Sweden but ended up giving myself some time to settle in and focus on cultivating new friendships and getting into a gym routine. In addition to this, I was doing a fair bit of travel for work which made going to meetings regularly, a tough task.

Now that I’ve joined a club – I’m eager to get back into this routine and further improve my leadership and public speaking skills.

If you’ve heard about Toastmasters and have considered going or heard one of your friends rave about it – I seriously urge you to try it. Actually, just check it out and go to one meeting. The funny thing about Toastmasters is that I joined to improve my public speaking skills back in the end of 2012 (to be honest, I didn’t give a toss about the leadership aspect at that point in time). Now that I’ve done it for a few years, the biggest benefit for me isn’t the public speaking aspect per say, but the ability to articulate my thoughts clearly. I used to be a rather scatterbrained person and really struggled to communicate my thoughts in the way I wanted them to be heard.

I’m about half way through completing two advanced manuals: Technical Presentations and Humorously Speaking. Have signed up to give a speech on March 2 and am currently developing my ideas for this speech: Assignment 4 – Keep them laughing.

My objectives will be to:

  • Prepare a speech that opens with a self deprecating joke
  • String together two or three related jokes in the speech body
  • Close the speech with a humorous story
  • Do this in 5-7min
Truth be told, I’m rather nervous about delivering this speech as my sense of humour can be a bit strange and that nobody will laugh (but I can say for sure that the subject is one everyone can relate to). So fingers crossed I get a few chuckles from the audience!