I first heard about the Toastmasters when I was at university in the UK. Toastmasters is basically a club for people who want to improve their communication, public speaking and leadership skills. There is more information here:
I have found a link to some clubs here in Taiwan and I was thinking of joining with my wife. I have found a club here in Kaohsiung that specializes in English and Chinese (Zongwen not Taiyu) and I think that it would be a great opportunity for me to practice my Chinese and my wife to practice her English.
Has anyone ever joined a Toastmasters club before in Taiwan? If so please can you share how you found it?
There is a link to the Taiwanese website here:
I was a member in LA for years, on the flip side. We are native Chinese speakers and wanted to acquire advanced English speaking skills so my wife and I joined different clubs. Our goals were to assist our career: my wife has been a project manager and I was in mid-level management in US companies. We both found Toastmasters helping us a lot through their very structured meeting agenda and public speaking opportunities. We are now near retirement age and no longer members since we have no need to enhance our original goals, but it is a good organization to be in, if you have a specific goal for participating.
I have not looked into the Chinese clubs in Taiwan, but I imagine to be a club they will have certain by-laws to adhere to, and should be very well-organized like my old club. You do need to have certain level of the language skills already. At least, that was our experience. Good luck to you adventure.
My wife is a CTM from China Toastmaster’s in Taipei, and her claim to fame back in the day was winning the National Speech Contest in 1999. It was equally cool that her speech was sent (without her knowledge) to Chicago and took 2nd prize for Global Taped Speech. Back then, all but a handful of TM clubs were English only - one Hokkien and 2 or 3 Japanese.
Personally, I once was a guest at a TM meeting in Manila. They made sure to get me to speak at the impromptu speech section. I realized that TM was great for a lot of things - improving your English, your public speaking, your networking skills (by thinking fast on your feet and just being an interesting and interested person), your time management, …
Good luck to you!
If you want to practice your Mandarin / English. I guess its a good place to go. But It just wasn’t for me. You had to do impromptu speeches on all sorts of weird topics and overly dramatic scenes. So yes you can improve your English and public speaking skills. My main goal when I attended 1 or 2 sessions was to network with people. Get some industry contacts (I was job-hunting) at the time. But people increasingly sought after my friendship just to improve their English asking me to teach them pronunciation, grammar and stuff like that. At the end, I felt like i was being used. I was the only foreigner there and it was taxing being asked “How do you say this? Is this the right way to pronounce it? Why don’t you show us how to do it?”
Don’t go to network. Most of the people just go to improve their english