Have you heard of Toastmasters? If not, the term may inspired images of gray haired men giving toasts with brass mugs. Far from it. If you want to improve your leadership skills and speaking skills, Toastmasters is an effective and inexpensive way to do it.
What is Toastmasters?
According to the official site
Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of meeting locations.
In the city of Wichita, KS there are 15 local clubs. Most meet weekly for an hour, though mine (Semi-Pro) meets twice a month. A typical meeting consists of:
- Three 5-7 minute speeches
- An evaluation of each of those speeches.
- Several 1-2 minute “Off the Cuff” speeches.
- Plus several other activities geared towards improving speaking skills.
Find a club and check it out for free.
Back to the original question.
Why Should I join Toastmasters?
- Crush your fear of public speaking and become more confident in front of an audience.
- Become a better speaker through the training and practice.
- Eradicate the distracting “Um’s” and “Uh’s” from your speech. Toastmasters has a simple, but powerful way of doing this.
- Become a better leader.
- Expand your network.
- Take your speaking skills to another level by entering in the spring and fall contests.
- Share your knowledge and mentor other speakers.
- Get $3,000 training for just a few dollars at the District Conferences.
Find out more about the 2010 Fall District Conference
Great question. Including the above benefits you’ll be able to:
- Refine parts of your current speeches and practice sections in Toastmasters. (The Pro’s practice each section of their speech many times in front of different audiences.”
- Refine your skills. There have been times I thought I was a really good speaker. Then I was blown away by the skills of other Toastmasters. This friendly competition pushes me to new levels.
- Increase your circle of influence. 80-90% of speakers get booked because of someone who heard them. Do a great job and someone may approach you after the meeting and ask for your business card.
What if you are completely new to speaking? Toastmasters is a great environment for not just the advanced, but also the beginner. Every person in your club will be able to relate with any mistakes you make. It is the perfect environment for growing.
What does Toastmasters cost?
About twenty cents a day. Depending on the club, your yearly due will be about $60. That’s an inexpensive investment with a large return.
How to find out more about Toastmasters?
(C) Arlen Busenitz – Speakinginfo.com