The 5 Toastmasters Senses

The following summarizes an article by John Peck, ATM-B from the September 2000 edition of The Toastmaster magazine.

People have five basic senses: seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and feeling. Our nerves and brain receive and react to certain stimuli in our environment such as light and sound. As Toastmasters, we are given the opportunity to develop five more senses as we improve our communication and leadership skills.

Sense of Humor

It takes fewer muscles to smile than it does to frown. Learn to lighten up your speeches and smile more during the delivery. Toastmasters offers the opportunity to develop and nurture a sense of humor through manual speeches.

Sense of Direction

Some of us have a natural sense of direction, while others struggle to find their way through life. Toastmasters recognizes that many of us need direction in our quest for better speaker skills. The Communication and Leadership manual charts a course for natural progress needed to become an effective communicator. The evaluation process provides the feedback we need to measure our progress and make changes. Mentors and notes from other members provide even more direction.

Sense of Accomplishment

Each speech given, each manual completed, each educational level reached provides a sense of personal accomplishment. Winning a ribbon, winning a contest, receiving a certificate grant an even greater sense of achievement. The Toastmasters training structure is based on a system of incremental improvement and acknowledgement.

Sense of Humility

As much as we develop a sense of accomplishment through Toastmasters, it is balanced by a sense of humility. Within the Toastmasters evaluation process, we are given suggestions for improvement, which provides continued opportunity for growth and development. The excellent balance of accomplishment and humility keeps us motivated and involved with the club.

Sense of Timing

One of the most important skills we learn as Toastmasters is how to time a speech or presentation to be as effective as possible. We all have endured speakers who had a good point to make, but took so long in doing so that the point was totally lost. We are constantly bombarded with the value of brevity in effective communication. All Toastmasters speeches have a minimum and maximum time limit. The minimum provides the speaker ample opportunity to practice and meet an objective. The maximum teaches us to work within a time limit and respect the time allotted to other presenters.

Most of us are brought into this world with five senses. Toastmasters helps us develop five more.

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