Successful people in business and life are very often those individuals that have embraced and mastered the art of public speaking.
With around 74% of people fearing public speaking, it is not surprising that competent speakers are a rare breed. The few that master this oratory skill can ignite their careers or businesses.
The art of public speaking will boost performance in job interviews, sales pitches, marketing presentations, negotiations and in the art of persuasion.
This is not a complete list and whatever benefits you gain from developing your public speaking skills, you will be admired by your peers.
There are numerous books and workshops dedicated to learning the art of public speaking. Books are great as a guide but are no substitute for practice in front of a group of people.
Workshops help you develop public speaking skills in front of a group, however, they can require a large financial investment and are over after a day or so. The lessons learned are soon forgotten unless you continue to practice in front of audiences on a regular basis.
Toastmasters International helps people to develop their speaking and leadership skills. Membership is nearly 300,000 strong and there are 14,350 clubs in 122 countries.
Membership in Toastmasters International is one of the best investments you can make in yourself. Club monthly subscriptions vary, however, as a guide, Leeds City Toastmasters club charges a modest £12.50 per month and meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month.
How Does it Work?
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 it’s success.
Meeting participants can, if they wish, also give impromptu talks on assigned topics, conduct meetings and develop skills related to the running of the meetings.
Members develop the basic foundations of public speaking by working through the Toastmasters ‘Competent Communication’ manual, a series of 10 self-paced speaking assignments which build on each other like building blocks.
Members also learn leadership skills by working through the Toastmasters ‘Competent Leadership’ manual. Members are not lectured on leadership skills but learn-by-doing roles at meetings and being mentored before being asked to lead meetings.
Some Benefits of Joining Toastmasters
- Increase your self-confidence
- Become a better speaker
- Become a better leader
- Communicate more effectively
Investing in membership is very cost-effective at around 50p per day, invest in your future and experience a Toastmasters meeting as a guest.
For more blogs on public speaking visit my DalesCoach blog.
Find Your Local Toastmasters Club