Giving positive feedback trains the brain

Everiin is a marketer, who’s passionate about travelling, health hacks and personal development. She joined Toastmasters because she wanted to train her communication skills before starting a new challenging job.

Where have you applied your Toastmasters skills in your daily life?

“In my perfectionistic past I’ve always been terrified of being asked a question that I didn’t have an answer to. So terrified actually, that sometimes I couldn’t think of an answer even if I had one. Now I know, how to calm myself and just start talking. Toastmasters has also shown me that such anxieties are extremely common, so now, when I notice this in others, I encourage them to speak up and then listen to them in a focused, warm and positive way. Also, related to the topic of perfectionism, I’ve always been very demanding of – and mean to myself. I would definitely not describe myself as a naturally positive and optimistic person. For me it’s a skill that I need to continuously train with fx daily points of gratitudes and giving constructive feedback at Toastmasters. It is so important to give a fair, and 2/3 positive feedback – you’re there to help someone, who has his/her own struggles with anxiety. This process has been so tough for me since I mainly focus on the negative. I’ve had to really train myself to bring out the positive. FEEDBACK is certainly something I need to give in my daily life and I no longer freak out about it.”

What do you think has been behind Toastmasters’ global success for almost 100 years?

“Toastmasters provides a safe structured practicing environment and practical techniques for people, who feel anxious about speaking. In a way, it is like a therapy group, where people reveal their vulnerabilities while also having a lot of fun. Usually visitors feel more confident already after the very first meeting, and then they keep coming back for their dose of dopamine 🙂 Another important appeal of Toastmasters is that it provides a feeling of belonging. The truth is that is quite difficult to make new meaningful friendships when we’re grown up, so having a group of friendly, open-minded people to welcome you in is highly appreciated. ”

What advice would you give to a friend, who suffers from public speaking anxiety?

“When you have to speak then first ground yourself and feel that your body is supported. Then take a deep breath and say the question out loud. Then just shoot and say whatever. They’re probably not really listening anyway :P”