I do not enjoy speaking to a large crowd. My palms get sweaty and I freeze up. This has caused me to struggle when expressing myself professionally. To help me with this problem a friend suggested Toastmasters.
Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. Members improve their speaking and leadership skills by attending one of the 14,350 clubs in 122 countries that make up our global network of meeting locations. A Toastmasters meeting is a learn-by-doing workshop in which participants hone their speaking and leadership skills in a no-pressure atmosphere.
There is no instructor in a Toastmasters meeting. Instead, members evaluate one another’s presentations. This feedback process is a key part of the program’s success. Meeting other participants is also a catalyst for creating impromptu talks on assigned topics, conduct meetings and develop skills related to timekeeping, grammar and parliamentary procedure.
Once you become a member you are given a manual that you work through. The manual teaches communication skills by working a series of 10 self-paced speaking assignments designed to instill a basic foundation for public speaking. Members also learn leadership skills by taking on various meeting roles and implementing our learn-by-doing approach. Members aren’t lectured leadership skills; they are given responsibilities and mentors to help. Members are asked to lead. It’s a great place to fail while gaining the skills to improve.
Why did I join? I joined to increase my self- confidence, become a better speaker; become a better leader and to communicate more effectively. I have enjoyed Toastmasters and like the people I have met while being there. Membership in Toastmasters in one of the greatest investments you can make in yourself.