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  • Karen Brook

Fancy a Good Read?

Pre-pandemic, at the beginning of every month, I greeted the postman like a long lost friend. I didn’t actually hug him but I smiled and waved and rushed to the door mat, knowing what he had brought me! The monthly Toastmaster magazine! I would excitedly rip off the plastic envelope (tut! TMI. Paper envelopes are available!) and devour greedily what the magazine had to offer.


I would take the magazine everywhere with me - to work to read on the train; to bed to read before I turned off the light and on holiday to read on the plane. I even gave the magazine to an air steward, shortly before landing in Croatia at the beginning of my last summer holiday in 2019 (how I’ve missed my holidays abroad!) and nervously asked ‘ Would the pilot be interested in appearing in the Toastmaster magazine?’ ‘He will be delighted’.


After landing at Dubrovnik airport, I was ushered into the cockpit and sat in the co-pilot’s chair, surrounded by hundreds of dials. ‘Give me a big smile!’ requested the co-pilot. Six months later, I was delighted to see our photo appeared in the ‘Travelling Toastmasters’ section of the December 2019 edition of the online Toastmaster magazine.


Then the pandemic hit! A decision was made for members not to receive their copies of the Toastmaster magazine by post. I was gutted! I had lost the comfort of my paper friend, who would have kept me entertained during the grim, scary, isolating days of lockdown.


The Toastmaster magazine was still available online, but for me it wasn’t the same looking at the magazine digitally. I didn’t want to stare at an iPad or laptop screen and it wasn’t easy shoving my iPad or laptop into my hand bag. And then one month, became two and before I knew it, I had forgotten all about the magazine.


2021 came around. On New Year’s day, I had a chance meeting with Bill, a past member of our Toastmaster club. ‘How are you’re getting on with Toastmasters since I last saw you?’ he enquired. ‘I’ve missed getting my Toastmaster magazine via the post!’ I wailed. In a split second an idea sprung into my mind. Why had I not thought of it before! ‘ I’m going to spend 5 minutes each day in January looking at the magazine online’. ‘Good idea’ replied Bill.


And now I have become reacquainted with the Toastmaster magazine, this time online and I am enjoying the magazine once again.


Why? Because I’ve discovered it offers so much more than the paper version. It is interactive with links to resources on public speaking and leadership; videos and audios, including the Toastmasters Podcast. There are inspiring stories from fellow toastmasters across the globe; educational articles re: public speaking and leadership; tips about the Toastmasters educational system Pathways and so much more.


In the January 2022 edition, there were informative articles such as ‘Presentation Skills: 8 Tips for Engaging Your Audience; ‘The Two Sides of Table Topics’ (tips for table topic speakers and for table topic master/leaders) and for personal growth, an article ‘Connecting the Dots from Goals to Purpose’.


February’s edition of the magazine, contained articles such as ‘A Base Camp Roadmap’ (learn the basics of how to use the Toastmasters International educational system Base Camp); ‘Sergeant at Arms: Make the Meeting Shine’ (how to do the role successfully in order to elevate club meetings); ‘Let Your Stories Talk’ (how dialogue brings your audiences into the action of your stories) and ‘Leadership in a Changed World’ (how the pandemic has changed how leaders communicate with their employees).


Why not head over to www.toastmasters.org when you have a spare five minutes and check out the Toastmaster magazine for inspiration, education, entertainment and information. You never know, you may spot our club in a future edition!

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