May 23, 2019
As we get older, public speaking is one of the best ways to stay mentally sharp. Just ask members of The Mayflower chapter of Toastmasters International.
Toastmasters has long been recognized as the top speech and communications organization in the world, with chapters in more than 100 countries.
And The Mayflower is home to one of the best – holding the “President’s Distinguished Club Award,” which places it in the top 20% of Toastmasters Clubs worldwide.
The chapter was chartered in 2003 under the leadership of resident Elizabeth Brothers, who remains actively involved.
“Our club is very unique,” Elizabeth says. “It brings people from different generations together. Members range in age from their 30s to their 80s, and you don’t have to be a Mayflower resident to join. It’s a perfect example of how you are never too young or too old to grow and learn.”
So, what are the benefits of public speaking for seniors? Here are just a few:
- Working the brain. Preparing for speeches takes research, preparation, organization and practice – activities that help to enhance mental acuity.
- Improving short-term memory. Extemporaneous speeches are part of the Toastmasters program. Having to retrieve memories on the spot and compile your thoughts in an abbreviated time frame can help to shorten those “senior moments.”
- Boosting listening skills. Members of Toastmasters not only hone their speaking abilities, they also sharpen their listening “IQs” since they are asked to evaluate presentations based on specific criteria such as grammar and vocabulary.
- Making new social connections. Toastmasters is a great place to meet others who share your interests – and bring their own perspectives. After connecting with your audience during your presentation, don’t be surprised if people approach you to engage in further conversation.
For more information on The Mayflower’s Toastmaster club, call 407-672-1620 or schedule a visit to our community.