Imagine a Toastmasters meeting in a language you don’t speak

From Steve Brewer, Area 61 Director

PYP Watford April 2016

A Polish Your Polish Watford meeting

On Sunday 3 April 2016 I had the privilege, and I don’t use that word lightly, to see Polish Your Polish come to Watford and present a Toastmasters session. This was to help Piotr Janik market interest in a new Polish speaking club that we hope will be based in Watford.

I was under the illusion that I would purely go, in my role as Area Director,  to support my friend Piotr, help set up the room and  say a few words about how wonderful Toastmasters is.

My illusion was quickly shattered as I became immersed in a Toastmasters session in a foreign language …which I don’t speak. The speakers and facilitators were truly engaging and the true nature of the best toastmasters clubs, providing a mutually supportive learning environment,  wasn’t lost in my failure to understand the words.

In fact it heightened my pleasure to see first hand how people fully engaged the audience, with eye contact, body language and the timing of the delivery of their messages. I was even able to evaluate two of the prepared speeches.

Even though I was totally immersed in the session the group included me further by a table topics challenge. The scenario was given in English. This was my cue that it was my turn. I was given a thoughtful English evaluation sandwiched in between the Polish ones.

Ralph Smedley said “We learn best in moments of enjoyment”. Very appropriately the word of the day was radość which means joy.  I would like to publically thank everyone who attended for providing me with an exceptional experience that I will remember for a very long time.

Last Updated on 7th October 2020 by