UnitedLife 05

Rhetoric as the art of communication

Bez názvu – 44

On these very pages the United Philanthropy Foundation will introduce you to the projects and initiatives they are copartners on. Meet Toastmasters – an organization that provides a positive and supportive environment for people who wish to improve their speaking and leadership skills. That’s the basic definition. And what is the secret of its success, where for 90 years they have combined more than 313 thousand members in 126 countries?

Toastmasters for United Life 05


Would rather die than stand in front of a crowd

You don’t have to have the ambition to be the new Martin Luther King or Steve Jobs. Toastmasters can help you in your everyday life. Many people have a panic attack when it comes to addressing a large crowd. Just before they are supposed to stand in front of people, they would rather run away or die. The interesting thing is that on the one hand people are afraid of public speaking, but on the other hand they admire it.

Toastmasters meetings consist of a number of activities. The whole meeting is accompanied by a moderator, who presents each activity. In the first part, speeches are prepared on various topics. In the second part, each speaker gets feedback from the judges. Next in line is improvisation – short, unprepared speeches. In the last block the judges emerge, who throughout the entire meeting have noticed if the speakers adhered to the time limit terms of the presentation, if they used a vast vocabulary or gramatically correct terms. The diversity of tasks throughout the meeting offers more than 15 participants the opportunity to stand in front of an audience. All these people get hands on experience in training their verbal communication skills.

For those people who don’t have a problem speaking in front of public, the leadership part of the TM program could be of interest. Leading people and communication are closely tied, ”a good leader must be a good speaker, not every good speaker is also a good leader“, says Martin Huba the co-founder of Toastmasters in Slovakia from his long term experience. The activities, which the whole concept of Toastmasters incorporates, are very complex: offering constructive feedback, time management, motivating people or dividing and delegating complex tasks. Toastmasters offers a confrontation with various unexpected situations, often times diverse views, which can then be practically transferred to the workplace, but also to one’s personal life.



People to people

Club members pay a half year membership. This symbolic amount does not go into the hands of an individual or the club management. The money is used for basic operation of this non-profit organization. Everyone executes his or her activity in a voluntary way. Coworkers perceive their work for Toastmasters as a unique sort of charity, helping other people. They don’t give money, but create a reinforcing environment where people can effectively learn how to communicate and reach theirs goals. It’s really quite simple. A new member sees how more experienced members are able to effectively and confidently communicate and supervise other people. This alone motivates him to work on himself.

The mission of The United Philanthropy Foundation is to support people’s education, especially in those who have unique skills which can help themselves and those around them improve society. The idea of Toastmasters inspires several values which UP wants to promote. Together they developed the idea of the new club Toastmasters Elite, which will merge the most successful TM people from Slovakia. They will by means of various interesting groups, media and their own initiatives support and facilitate this idea in creating new clubs in other Slovak cities.

Respecting common principles, TM and UP Foundation will lead meetings in a positive atmosphere and enforce topics regarding community life and personal values of each of us. They perceive the need of young people to strengthen their communication skills and support valuable ideas and vital topics, which in this day and age of information frequently get lost amongst the gibberish in tabloids and marketing half-truths. They believe that thanks to this initiative they will be successful in creating a stable platform which will support individuals whose unique skills are important for a quality and the effective functioning of our society. ”If society creates a human being, then a human being, who works on himself, helps society,“ added Andrej Mažáry, president of Slovak Toastmasters club.



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