Monday, 11 April 2016 13:47

In pursuit of that gift of the gab

Toastmasters will take away that feat of public speaking Toastmasters will take away that feat of public speaking

I have a new passion – bordering on obsession — that I want to share with everyone. I’ve been telling all those around me that they must become a Toastmaster: quite a feat, really, considering that most don’t know what a Toastmaster is.

I’ve always been fascinated by eloquence and could sit and watch TED speeches all day, gawking at the ease and conviction with which some people are able to convey their message.

Public speaking is a skill that we all use somehow and I have decided that it can be acquired. For sure, some will find it easier than others and people (like me) who are extroverts by nature and used to speaking in front of a classroom will find it easier. However, since joining the Limassol Toastmasters Club, I am convinced that everyone can become good at public speaking, be it in front of 3, 300 or 3,000 people.

I’m a big believer in having meaningful hobbies that one is passionate about. Having become a Toastmaster last November, I was thrilled to discover that learning to speak in front of people is actually a great hobby. The members are fun and interesting people of many different ages and backgrounds and the speeches, table topics, and competitions are highly entertaining and educational.

Preparing your own speech is obviously not to be taken lightly and takes some time.

Toastmasters is an NGO that exists all over the world with 12,500 clubs ( In Cyprus, they meet in Nicosia and Limassol. Toastmasters practise their speaking and leadership skills at regular meetings.
There are around 30 members of the Limassol club and they meet every three weeks in the pleasant surroundings of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, following the standard protocol of a Toastmasters meeting.

Toastmasters reach different levels, each awarded with a certificate and a new pin.

New members start with a ‘competent speaker’ and also a ‘competent leader’ manual, which teaches various aspects such as body language, getting one’s point across and time management. The frequency of speeches and the topics are chosen by the member. Each speech lasts between five and seven minutes and is then evaluated by club members in a friendly and supportive manner.

I have been one of the super ambitious ones and am already on my ‘SP #6’ (Speech 6). The ‘butterflies’ accompanying me to the lectern have definitely calmed down and whilst I am still far from TED speakers’ levels, I am happy with my progress and increased confidence.

There is an annual membership fee of €62 to be paid in two installments and anyone above 18 can join.

To attend a meeting as a guest, one needs to contact the club (or me) beforehand via Limassol Toastmasters Club on Facebook or

I find it is an exciting learning process to become a better speaker. And since we all have to speak, it’s best to have a go at it, up there at that lectern, bringing out that gift of the gab!

Article as published in The Cyprus Weekly of April 8, 2016 

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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