We Are Toastmasters

Jiaying Li
Jiaying Li

Jiaying (Grace) Li is an MS in Enterprise Risk Management candidate at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. She is the Vice President of Membership of Toastmasters JHU DC club, responsible for recruiting and connecting with members. She is passionate about communication and public speaking.

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I first found out about Toastmasters through the list of U.S. Culture Challenge activities. Under the Communication Competency, it said: “Join a Toastmasters Group in your area.” A few questions went through my head: In your area? Is this organization so popular that you can find one wherever you live? In what way will Toastmasters help me polish my communication skill? Led by curiosity, I started my journey in Toastmasters.

With an over 90-year-history, Toastmasters International keeps providing a place to emerge leaders by regularly giving speeches, gaining feedback, leading teams and guiding others to achieve their goals in a supportive atmosphere. Today, Toastmasters International owns 15,400 clubs in 135 countries with more than 332,000 members.

I am one of those 332,000 members, and enjoy this supportive organization and benefit a lot from it.

Benefit 1: Become more confident in public speeches.

Guided by Toastmasters Communication Manual Book, members give speeches emphasizing different speaking skills, such as speech structure, eye contact, gestures, and speaking pace. Knowing the right way to speak in public, you will feel more confident and comfortable in any public speeches.

Benefit 2: Strengthen leadership skills by taking roles in each meeting.

Delivering speeches is not all  Toastmasters club. Each meeting needs support of organizers and many other roles. Taking a role in meetings gives you opportunities to deal with time management, giving evaluation, unforeseen circumstances response etc. All of these will be recorded in your Toastmasters Leadership manual book.

Benefit 3: Keep building connections with leaders in different industry.

One of the best benefits when becoming a Toastmaster is the 332,000 members. Some of them have more than 10 or 20 years of experience in Toastmaster, and even much longer in their career journey. They are the best resources for us to learn communication skills, leadership skills, get information and network. As a Toastmaster, you can always visit any other clubs as a guest to experience different meetings, enjoy more wonderful speeches, be inspired and make new friends. It is really cool when we travel to other cities or even countries, we can visit local Toastmasters clubs, getting to know more about local culture, local people and making friends around the world! The reason is simple: we are all Toastmasters.

By joining Toastmasters, I was trying to step out of my comfort zone, but now it has become my comfort zone.

Who wants to join me?

Toastmasters JHU DC Club

When: Every 1st &3rd Wednesday

Where: 1625 Massachusetts Avenue, NW

How: Contact VP of Membership: Grace Li at jli152@jhu.edu

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