October 25, 2022

  • Toastmasters Hall of Fame
  • Register Now for Live COT Event
  • Spotlight on Region Advisor Joel Dawson, DTM
  • Nervous About Public Speaking?
  • What’s Happening in District 62?
  • Halloween With WMAT
  • Advertise Your Club Events

Register below for the New Winter Club Officer Training (COT)



by Anna Donahue

Motivate and inspire your Toastmasters journey by meeting our own Region Advisor Joel Dawson. He will be here in West Michigan for the upcoming Club Officer Training!

His Keynote presentation will focus on creating the perfect recruiting tool to build membership. He strongly believes that success or failure is not determined by the size of your club or the resources you have. Your success or failure is a direct result of the effort that you, as an individual, put forth.

Dawson’s success as a public speaker came from his effort as a Toastmaster. He says, “I didn’t bring anything to the table in Toastmasters. My strategic plan came from Toastmasters. The basic bones of it came from coaching a club and district leadership positions.”

As a professional coach, Dawson has experience in teaching people how to pitch ideas and products to Angel Investors* at Pitch Events. The reality TV show Shark Tank is an example except the kind of Pitch Events that he prepared his customers for included much larger groups of investors.

Speech Contests are similar to Pitch Events and Dawson learned his techniques from Toastmasters. The most important factor is understanding your audience and knowing what they are looking for.

His life experience is daunting as well as impressive. Read all about Joel Dawson’s history and how he succeeded through desperate circumstances in the Toastmasters magazine.

*Angel Investors are wealthy private investors focused on financing small business ventures in exchange for equity.

Nervous About Speaking in Public? Reframe Your Stress

by Lock Lyon

Many beginning Toastmasters must overcome their fear of public speaking. In order to overcome this obstacle, speakers can re-think or reframe their mindset by considering the positive benefits of stress.

Stress is Natural – Relax!

One helpful way to deal with stress is to consider its effects as natural and useful. While it is natural to think of stress as bad, stressful feelings may simply mean that your body is reacting to arduous or demanding conditions. Knowing that you can cope with stressful feelings can help you avoid feelings of panic.

“… current advice for anxious people focuses on learning to ‘relax’ … deep, even breathing and similar tips,” says Jeremy Jamieson, assistant professor of psychology at the University of Rochester. Methods of calming yourself and re-thinking about stress can be a good strategy prior to your first speech.

A Study of the Fear of Public Speaking

In one study called the Trier Social Stress Test, two groups of adults were given the task of presenting a five-minute speech about their strengths and weaknesses with only three minutes to prepare. The first group was given information about the advantages of stress and were also asked to read summaries of three psychology studies that showed the benefits of stress. The second group received no information.

During their speeches, judges provided negative nonverbal feedback such as shaking their heads in disapproval, tapping their clipboards and staring stone-faced ahead. The first group, prepared with information about the benefits of stress, performed much better than the second group based on their physiological responses such as blood flow. In addition, the authors of the study theorized that the speaker’s short-term stress responses were shaped by how they interpreted physical cues.


Re-framing your reactions to a stressful situation as natural responses and learning methods of relaxing can help you get past your fears of public speaking.

Find Out What’s Happening in District 62

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