Almost every city in North America and much of the world has Toastmasters Clubs you can join. There are at least seven good reasons why seniors should join Toastmasters Club in their city.
I found this out for myself as I am also a senior. It’s very easy when you live alone to become socially isolated if you don’t make an effort to get out there and try new things. The very first evening that I walked into Toastmasters Club, I knew I had made the right choice.
For one thing, you are leaning towards being an introvert much like myself, it can be difficult to express yourself in front of a group of strangers. As difficult as it was at first, I have no doubt that joining Toastmasters was one of the wisest choices I ever made for a number of reasons.
BECOME MORE SOCIALLY ADEPT
Some people have a hard time communicating with two or three people at once. They might feel nervous or out of place because they just don’t mingle with others very often. Once you step into the world of Toastmasters and give your first few short speeches, you become more at ease almost right away.
Much of this has to do with the understanding of the others in the group Don’t forget, they have all been there at one time or another themselves and they don’t want you to fail. In fact, they want you to succeed and experience the euphoria of becoming more adept at communicating with others.
It’s not a small accomplishment. It means coming out of your comfort zone and pretty much-doing something completely foreign to you.
TOASTMASTERS IS FOR EVERYONE
Regardless if you are eighteen or eighty, black or white, male or female, Toastmasters is for you.
Everyone in the club is equal and everyone in the club is on the same mission. They want to become better speakers. They want to be able to express themselves with confidence when speaking to groups of people.
No matter what other organizations, clubs, or social groups you belong to, Toastmasters will help you in all areas of your life. Career orientated people might often have to speak to groups of people as part of their job.
A senior might be asked to give a toast at a wedding or perhaps to give a eulogy at a funeral. You just never know when your newfound skills as a Toastmaster will come in handy. There are very few people who would not benefit from being a confident public speaker.
WIDEN YOUR SOCIAL NETWORK
When you join Toastmasters you can’t help but meet new people and perhaps make some lifelong friends.
I spent much of my time on my own before joining Toastmasters it soon became apparent that taking the plunge into the amazing group I joined was one of the best things I ever did.
In the past eight weeks, I have already given about six speech’s and each time it gets just a little easier as I learn the ins and out of public speaking.
Perhaps, more importantly, I find myself looking forward to the weekly meetings. It has given me a new sense of purpose and I look at the other people in the club as a very important part of my life.
We actually have two other seniors in our group who have been in Toastmaster for a couple of decades. As a matter of fact, they both belong to two clubs. They obviously enjoy it and it’s easy to see that it has become a very big part of their lives.
They have nurtured quite a social network and it’s possible for anyone else to do exactly the same thing if they so desire.
TOASTMASTERS KEEP MENTALLY SHARP
A very common issue with seniors is that they leave the workforce they tend to stop or slow down when it comes to challenging themselves both physically and mentally.
Joining Toastmasters will go a long way toward maintaining your mental acuity. Working on a speech means you have to think. Whether you are writing a speech, rehearsing it in your head, or saying it out loud, it all plays a role in keeping one mentally sharp.
The same could be said for spending time researching an upcoming speech.
Many studies have shown that seniors who pay attention to their physical and mental fitness improve their quality of life and longevity substantially. What they are really doing is sending a message to their body that they are not done yet, that they have not stopped moving either mentally or physically.
In this day and age, more and more seniors are getting involved in different programs once they retire. Some volunteer, some even begin another career in the workforce, and there are those who decide to go back to school to expand their knowledge.
Becoming a Toastmaster is much like taking a course at a night school. You are learning a new skill that is foreign to you but will broaden your horizons in a big way.
TOASTMASTERS IS EXCELLENT FOR RETIREES
Many seniors find themselves at loose ends when they retire.
They have way too much time on their hands. Many seniors think retirement is going to be great. All they have to do is sit around and take it easy. No more waking up to an alarm, fighting traffic, or struggling to make it through one eight hour day after another.
At first, it might be great, but once you fix up everything around the yard and house boredom can set in if you don’t have a plan in place for filling in the idle hours.
Joining Toastmasters can give you a new sense of purpose. It’s about more than just the two hours that you meet each week.
It’s the time you can spend writing speech’s and rehearsing them in preparation for presenting the speech at an upcoming club meeting. There are some speeches that you have to research in order to give a comprehensive and meaningful speech on the topic.
For instance, a few weeks ago I spoke about the Blue Zones of the world.
That meant I had to do my research in order to find out more about it. I also had a chance to experience using PowerPoint for the very first time. It was quite the experience. Not only did I get to talk about it, but I also got to learn something new.
MAKING USE OF YOUR SPEAKING TALENT
Once you begin to feel really comfortable speaking in front of groups you have the opportunity to widen your horizons. There are all sorts of organizations looking for public speakers who can inspire and motivate others.
For instance, what if you were to do research on seniors and the importance of fitness? There is nothing stopping you from offering to speak at seniors clubs or even senior’s homes.
They are always looking for ways to entertain and inspire seniors and that’s something you could do once you become more proficient with the art of public speaking.
There’s a reason why retired sports stars or past presidents go on speaking tours. It can be very lucrative financially, but more than that, they can leave behind a legacy if they can give moving talks that will inspire others on to greater things.
PASSING ON WHAT YOU LEARN
Both of the other seniors in my current Toastmasters Club work with youth groups.
It might be something I will do as well once I have had the time to gain more experience.
The main focus of being a mentor toward young people is helping them become more at ease with public speaking. For instance, one teenager was interested in becoming a better speaker because he wanted to run for class president at his school.
What an advantage it would be for youngsters to learn the art of public speaking at a very young age. As they reached adulthood, speaking in public would be second nature for them.
Have a look at this book about The Art of Public Speaking
They would be perfect candidates one day to be on TED TALKS. It’s pretty amazing to see the confidence these speakers have when addressing hundreds of people.
Something else to keep in mind is that being confident in public speaking will help teenagers be more confident in any number of situations they come across in everyday life.
Just think of the good you could do if you become proficient enough at public speaking that you could one day pass on what you learned to young people?
What a great way to fill in some of that spare time you have on your hands. It seems that one of the biggest accomplishments we can have in our lifetime is to leave a legacy behind. To leave behind something positive that in some way made the world a better place somehow makes life more worthwhile.
This is what comedian Jerry Seinfeld once said when talking about the greatest fears people have. He said the greatest fear people have is public speaking and the second greatest fear is the fear of death.
So he said, “at a funeral, people would rather be in the coffin than giving the eulogy.”
It’s funny of course, but at the same time, it’s not far from the truth. Becoming at ease with public speaking can be very challenging but can also change your life for the better in many ways.
You build confidence, widen your social network, and eventually help others by sharing what you have learned. It will also give you a sense of belonging as well as a sense of purpose.
Just for those two reasons alone, joining a Toastmaster Club near you could be one of the best decisions you ever make.
Would you like to share your thoughts on this topic? Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this page.