"Fellow Toastmasters"

My Experience At A Toastmasters Club

"Fellow Toastmasters"

Excitement, joy, and thrill - to name a few - were what I felt.

It was a boring summer afternoon. I was alone, only a few weeks since I moved to Japan. I was casually surfing the web when an event appeared on the screen: “Toastmasters Regular Meeting”.

I was quite fond of public speaking back in university. Our debate club was one of the strongest student associations in the region back then. With my interest in learning English, I joined virtually every activity related to debating. And, soon enough, I got better at it, starting a virtuous cycle of incremental improvements and joy. However, it all had to end when I became a senior. Getting the engineering degree was tough. I had to put my studies before those little things I enjoyed.

But it all re-surfaced the moment I saw that event announcement from the Toastmasters club. “Fantastic!”, I thought, now I could continue with an old hobby while making new friends in this foreign land.

And off I went. I started as a guest and then applied for membership. Within one month of setting foot on Japanese soil, I was a member of the “Shin Osaka Leaders Toastmasters Club", under International Toastmasters.

Toastmasters have a long, long history - like, one-hundred-year long. They’ve been home to tens of thousands of brilliant people, with a great deal of ways to help people improve. From those systems, paths, and methodologies, I’ve noticed the following three qualities.


All members are adults, with a huge diversity in age, gender, experience, and skills. However, even without an instructor or a coach, each member improves through peer evaluations. I’ve personally seen significant improvements in my fellow members' skills within a very short amount of time. It is a truly inspiring thing to witness someone improving themselves.


Everyone in the audience has been on the stage, making them understand how the speaker would feel. Naturally, it results in an audience that is understanding, non-judgmental and encouraging. When you are a part of such a group, it becomes easier to discover your weaknesses and ways to improve them.


Speaking in public is frightening, even more so in a foreign language. Nevertheless, toastmasters strive for their best. Even amid their busy lives and careers, they find whatever little time they have to practice their skills while also helping others improve. I found brilliance in both the perfect speeches and the imperfect attempts at it. It is fascinating to see someone genuinely trying their best, not for money or prestige, but for the very act of trying.

As of now, I’ve been a member for a mere 7 months. In such a short amount of time, I've already met amazing people, made friends, and improved my skills. If you could afford a couple of hours on a Tuesday night, I’d highly recommend you come take a look, either virtually or in person. One email to the club and you can have this wonderful experience yourself.

For me, giving it a try at Toastmasters has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. Why don't you give it a go?

Thank you!