Introducing Dennis Jacobs
In 2010, Dennis Jacobs was doing safety and health seminars. He wanted to improve his speaking skills. A friend recommended Toastmasters. Dennis attended several meetings and felt that the concepts Toastmasters taught of better speaking and leadership skills was right for him.
Fast-forward to today. Dennis is a member of Southwest Michigan Advanced Toastmasters (SWAT) and has held every officer position except for Sergeant-at-Arms. He received mentoring from such Toastmasters as Avar Laws-Wright and Laura St. Louis, and is currently the club President.
“As President, I like to give club officers the room to do things on their own,” Dennis remarked in a recent interview. He feels that as President his job is not so much to lead as to help the officers to lead by themselves.
The Toastmasters Experience
As for the Toastmasters experience, Dennis noted that the most valuable part of a club meeting agenda is Table Topics. “How to present is probably the single most important skill you can have,” he said. “It’s as simple as how to talk to people when you meet them either for the first time or in the grocery store.” He also remarked that Roberts Rules of Order is more than just a few simple rules to run meetings. “It forces people to be polite.”
How Guests See Value in a Meeting
Dennis said that Guests and prospective Members should realize that creating a presentation should be “unfearful”, and that attendees will see the value of Toastmasters in terms of learning how to communicate and perceive the need to structure their presentations. “Toastmasters are family, and I’m here to help our family.”
Dennis recommends that Toastmasters research inspirational or motivational quotes and incorporate these into meetings. He also recommends that officers create a five-year plan for their Club. “Officer elections can cause a break in continuity,” he said. “Creating a five-year plan makes it easier to transition from one year to the next.”
Dennis is also a member of Greater Davison Area Toastmasters club serving as Club Website Administrator and Club Officer. He is a club coach, and is currently semi-retired, doing various types of consulting work.