Why be in Toastmasters? (Profile Post #1)

This is the first in a series of River Speakers Profile Posts answering the question, “Can you name two skills that Toastmasters helped you enhance, discover, or strengthen — and how that helped you in your professional life?” We’re starting with Toastmaster Robin O’Neill ACB CL: 

What did you say? Toastmasters has helped me fine-tune my listening skills to hear the words, the energy, and the intent behind someone’s message. My ability to be present,  look for the nuances in what people say, restate what I have heard, and communicate back that message has improved my leadership and communication skills.

Can I give you some feedback? Toastmasters has improved my ability to give positive, constructive, and concise feedback/evaluations. This is a very valuable skill professionally and personally. We’ve had to answer the question, “What do you think?” — Toastmaster’s teaches specific feedback techniques that give value to both the evaluator and the speaker in a non-threatening and positive way.