March 8th, 2021 Anastasia Pass shared her experiences and lessons learned since 2014 when she joined the Sandy Springs Toastmasters club.
Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. In Sandy Springs, the Toastmasters Club is called Speak up Sandy Springs and it was started in 1975.
One of many important lessons taught is to avoid the “ahs” or “umms”. To that end, a common toastmaster title appointed to a member during each meeting is the “Wizard of AHHs”. This is a person who monitors a speaker and literally counts the number of ahs or umms used during a presentation. These filler words act as crutches and are frowned upon. In the club that Anastasia attends, the counters are called “Ah grammarians”. The Ah Grammarians can use cricket clickers (like those issued to American paratroopers on D-Day) to call attention to these problematic fillers. She says you would be amazed when you notice all the filler words used in speeches and everyday conversation. “They become like nails on a chalk board.”
The Toastmasters will teach you to be remarkably cognizant of what comes out of your mouth.
Once you are aware of your words and honed your presentation talents there is chance you could earn the title of DTM. A DTM is a Distinguished Toastmaster. It is a high honor bestowed upon few. A DTM has earned their title by performing hundreds and even thousands of speeches and served in many of the leadership roles all the way up to the top level. To become a DTM is an impressed achievement.
The most powerful benefit of being a Toastmaster is that it teaches you how to communicate. It gives you the opportunity to tell your story. She explained that telling our story is what we do every day and in every conversation. She urged us all to join Toastmasters by saying: “It’s a great way to become better storytellers, effective communicators and stronger leaders.”
Anastasia remarked that she is hopeful for the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs and the Toastmasters to couple our talents. Together we can act as one body serving the community and leveraging our strengths.
A brief biography for Anastasia Pass can be found here: https://sandyspringsrotary.org/story/update/5022
Want to know more about Toastmasters in Sandy Springs: http://www.speakupsandysprings.com/