Thursday, October 9, 2008

Stocks DOWN, Toastmasters UP?

Will the fall in stock market have an adverse negative effect on Toastmasters membership growth and renewal.

When there is uncertainty, folks will go for certainty and the regular Toastmsters club meeting can be very reassuring.

I still remember during the 1997 financial crisis when I attended the newly chartered Manjung Toastmaster Club in Sitiawan, Perak. A businessman spoke that when the economy was great, he had no time at all. But with the slow down, during this downtime he had more time for himself for self-development to be ready for the next boom time. That was why he was joining Toastmasters.

As a non-profit volunteer educational organization, Toastmasters is value for money. If your club membership is at the high end of RM240 every six months, that is only RM20 per meeting or RM10 per meeting hour which cost less than a cup of coffee at Starbucks or a movie ticket with pop corns.

Of course, if you had not been attending meetings, Toastmasters membership might be the first thing to cut. After all, the monthly magazines arrived but were never read. Think again as your continued membership is a small but important financial and moral support to a non-profit club that helps others who are trying to improve themselves and others. Alternatively, you can be active again and encourage the club to soldier on. When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.

At Toastmasters meetings, I have heard members who talked about how they had overcome their difficulties in personal life or business failures. It can be a great place of sharing and caring, for catharsis and theraputic healing.

Toastmasters is also where you can enhance your interviewing skills or networking or a highlight in your resume if you are seeking a new job or in between jobs.

Once a Table Topicsmaster lamented all the problems that she was facing at work, at home, with her boyfriend and her own future plans. She put each as table topic item and heard feedback, support and advice from fellow club members.

Listening to other personal stories at club meetings can be very motivating and inspiring. And while listening, you may come up with your own great ideas and get energized.
So when the stocks are down, keep your chin up. It is no time to stay away from your Club but to revitalise and make the most of your Club membership.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great points SL! I agree with you. I enjoyed being with my toastmasters friends while I was in Penang. Not only had I honed my skills in public speaking, but I had overcome shyness and made new and last friendships with many members. The membership fee is well worth spending. After being a member for a while, you will feel like Toastmasters International is your second family. Your TM friends are there to share your joy and sorrow. They are there to lend a helping hand when you need it most. Cheers to all Toastmasters!