Interview with Leon RUBINSTEIN (President 2015 – 2016)

When did you beLR-photocome a member of Toastmasters ?

I joined in spring 2013

What did you motivated?

I was looking for an efficient way to learn public speaking skills

What Were Your Expectations for the club?

I was expecting to learn some tricks and techniques (T&T). As in any competency, this is never enough – one needs practice. But having both certainly helps doing better than those who ignore them.

Does experience in Toastmasters was as expected?

I certainly picked up some T&T. But I realize that:

– there’s a whole lot of those T&T

– I found a great supporting environment that motivated me to practice more

– I found that I can also learn how to listen better

– most importantly, I found a place where I take pleasure trying to help others

What were the strengths and improvable points of this experience?

The best was the positive and encouraging environment – this beats all the T&T, since it motivates to practice more. I also enjoy a lot the whole feedback / evaluation part of the experience which adds so much to the learning. I think we have quite a lot to improve in terms of mentorship for everyone.

How do you find the subjects of your topics?

I found it quite difficult at the beginning. I still do sometimes. But I learned that the best way is to pick any subject that you care or are passionate about. It could be a big cause one is involved in or simply an event that got your attention during the day. If you remember it and you have some opinion about – then it’s a great topic candidate for a speech!

Do you have any strategy to do an improvisation?

This is a tough one. I actually don’t. I try to use a couple of seconds that I have between the announcement of a topic and the time I have to start speaking to let my imagination and thoughts associations play freely. I then pick the first thing that comes to mind and start improvising. I also try to improve or open new directions along the way. This is not a real strategy, this is simply a description of what I do. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t… I guess I still need some practice…

How the toastmaster experiences help you in your job?

The most important gain professionally for me was getting rid of the fear of talking in public. I actually feel that I gained a lot due to Toastmasters, as I had lately 2 opportunities that I wouldn’t otherwise take: an invitation of doing a paid-for keynote speech at a big company and presenting at the TEDx.

What are your current motivations to be member of toastmaster?

I want to continue to improve my skills, practice more to get to the next level of public speaking, but also to help others doing the same.


5 years is long shot, but here are the three objectives I care about:

– Getting to the level of a professional speaker would be great.

– Getting our club well beyond the beginners’ level.

– Doing a program for youngsters.

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