Tag Archives: Toastmasters


How to Win Friends and Start a Conversation

I presented a speech today at my Belmont Babblers Toastmasters Club.  It was Project #1 – Conversing with Ease from the Interpersonal Communication manual under the Advanced Communication Series.  I borrowed Dale Carnegie’s fame and titled my talk, How to Win Friends and Start a Conversation.

Below are the feedback I got from my club members on little note papers that I got to take home:


  • Really interesting topic, very relevant and very well presented.
  • Really good intro. to the presentation, nice job setting up how the presentation will be structured.
  • Very well prepared!
  • I noticed a couple of “um”s as you were conversing with Willow – I think all of us do that in conversation.
  • Great job!

Congratulations Will! Ambitious topic & good information. Could have shown more of your usual enthusiasm & energy.

Well rehearsed. I didn’t quite catch the distinction between art + science. Perhaps could have been summarized at the end.

  • Great structure
  • Great eye contact + body language + use of space
  • Maybe for next time, give the handouts before the speech.
  • Loved it! Well done!

Will was very comfortable and he asked the guest good questions.

Will, very interesting and informative. Very well presented and organized. Tough presentation to give. Only comment is I felt the conversation section 2 could be shorter – you also said “ya ya”, which may cutoff the other person. Loved your set up for timing! Well done. Thank you.

Will, covered requirements for converse with ease. Presentation was monotone – not very engaging. Picking a topic other than TM for interview may have been more interesting.

Great presentation full of useful information & practical examples! I would suggest enunciating a bit more, esp. when improvising as you tend to speed up/mumble when nervous. Overall wonderful!


  • You mentioned 3 sections to the speech, but only elaborated/listed the first two – the science (4 levels), and the interaction portion. I think the third piece simply got forgotten.
  • The conversation flowed easier after the first few questions, which always seems to happen.
  • Might’ve been worthwhile to mention techniques for having a conversation with someone who isn’t responding well.

Great job!


  • Good presentation overall
  • Liked moving/presenting the stage the way you wanted
  • A couple similar questions
  • Could have been more back-and-forth conversation/small talk
  • Well prepared, interesting topic
  • Good eye contact with group

Wonderful job Will. I really liked how you weaved in both art + science + even showcases through real examples. Very informative. Thanks.

I think they liked my presentation, but I’ve got lots to improve.


I returned to my Toastmasters club in April.  My goal was to complete the four remaining speeches in my Competent Communicator manual.  I don’t like unfinished projects.  My plan was to stop attending Toastmasters when that manual is done.

My club, the Belmont Babblers, is facing a low membership problem.  Every year, the first week of May is election week to elect a team of executives to run the club.  We barely have enough members to meet the minimum, which is having three executive positions filled.  Instead of having an election this year, we opted to have members volunteer for positions.

In Year 2010/2011, Leo and I shared the President role.  It was a bit challenging, but I enjoyed it.  Since I’ve been on and off from the club and I did benefit from attending, I decided that this was a calling for me to pay back and contribute to the club.  I volunteered to be the next President, pending club members’ approval.  This afternoon I received an email saying that it has been approved that I’ll be the next President from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017.  Below are the members of the executive team:

  • President: Will
  • Vice President of Education: Carol and Amir
  • VP of Membership: Amanda
  • VP of Public Relations: Bart
  • Treasurer: Lyn
  • Secretary: Dalia
  • Sergeant at Arms: Jay

It will be a good year to improve our communication and leadership skills.


Leo and I were elected to be sharing the role of President of the Belmont Babblers Club for this year. Uncle Ben’s “with great power comes great responsibility” kept whispering in my ears.

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