The first time I was asked to be a test speaker, I had been a member of Toastmasters for less than six months. I had no idea what I was getting into. What I knew was that I was going to be able to speak to a larger audience than I had in my club alone and that I would get the benefit of at least three different evaluations, maybe up to five. What an opportunity. This was not something I was going to pass up.
Toastmasters provides its members with so many opportunities to succeed, but it seems that not enough people choose to take advantage of them. Being a test speaker is a chance to get in that one extra speech to complete your manual, whether it’s your first CC, your fifth, or an advanced manual. It is a chance to get multiple opinions on your presentation style, your vocal variety, and your body language.
As I listened to each evaluation, I saw patterns emerge on particular things that I was doing with my hands. I learned so much more in a few contests than I could possibly learn just in club meetings. Your club members love you, they hear you often, and they are used to your style. They might be missing some key element that will help you take that step from good to great. Strangers who have not heard you before will see your speech with fresh eyes and give you fresh information.
If you have the chance to be a test speaker, take it. It will only enhance your entire Toastmasters journey and make you a better speaker. Sign up today at http://www.d25toastmasters.org/education/testspeaker.html
Area 51 Governor
By Julie Cosgrove