Madame Chairperson, fellow toastmasters, and honoured guests. I’d like to welcome you all again for joining us during open house. Some of you may be wondering what we’re doing here half past the crack of dawn every Friday. Well, as I’ve said before, if I can give a speech out of one bloodshot eye, I could give one anywhere. But what else are we doing here? The Toastmasters mandate says we’re here to make effective oral communication a worldwide reality.
Now why would we want to do something like that? Sure, it could help you with a career or a best man’s speech, but what does public speaking do really? I’ve only been part of the club since December, but from what I’ve seen, public speaking is the art of creating a moment.
Right you are not just listening to the words coming out of my mouth. You are hearing my voice. You are seeing me gesture. You are seeing the way I stand. You’re also experiencing the sights and sounds of this room and your fellow audience members. This is something that you can’t get from a letter, a phone call, or even a video. It is a moment in time, happening right here, right now.
In that moment you’ve created, something wonderful happens. Things change. Suddenly your idea for a little weekend side business becomes a real commercial venture. Suddenly a rag-tag sports team you coach becomes a true cohesive unit. Suddenly the friends and family at your wedding realize just how much your new wife means to you.
At Toastmasters, we are not just filling space behind a podium. We are bringing ideas to people. When many people focus on an idea at the same time it creates a moment. And in the very moment, the world changes.