1. Overcome Your Fears. Find Your Confident Voice
It is a well documented fact that one of the biggest fears people have is that of speaking in public. The root cause is often a lack of confidence and/or negative self-talk.
Each of us knows that in order to progress in our career, to achieve harmony in our personal life, or just to interact with others, we must communicate effectively and show the necessary leadership qualities when called upon.
This is a learned behaviour pattern and the Toastmasters organization provides both the vehicle and the setting by which this can be accomplished. Joining Toastmasters provides you with a library of professionally prepared educational materials on speaking, listening, discussion, meeting procedures, parliamentary procedures, and the award winning monthly Toastmaster magazine.
2. Become a Better Communicator
Toastmasters will give you the skills and confidence you need to effectively express yourself in any situation. By learning to formulate and convey your ideas, you open a new world of possibilities. You will be more persuasive and confident when giving presentations and you will improve your one-on-one dealings with others.
When you first start with Toastmasters, you are not given a speech assignment right away. Instead, your speaking roles may be confined to simpler roles like Table Topics Participant, Quizmaster, or Grammarian.
Within 2-3 weeks, you are introduced to the initial Toastmasters communication manual – Competent Communicator. The Competent Communication program lays out a step-by-step approach, comprised of 10 speech projects, each building on the information learned in the preceding projects. It is a logical progression, starting out with what is easiest to talk about (Project #1: Introduce Yourself) to the final task in the manual (Project #10: Inspire Your Audience).
As you go through each of the 10 projects, you will note that each has a specific objective. You will find answers to the most common questions about speaking in public:
- How do I get my audience focused on what I have to say
- How do I get my point across
- How do I persuade or inspire my audience
3. Become a Better Leader
Leadership is the art of persuading others to do what you wish. To succeed, you need to communicate, and you need to work as a team. In Toastmasters, you’ll do both. And you’ll find out how to vary your approach to suit the needs of different people, be they the audience for a speech, the committee for a fundraiser or your coworkers and managers.
Also within 2-3 weeks of joining, you are introduced to the initial Toastmasters leadership manual – Competent Leader. The Competent Leader program provides many different roles / functions you can take on in running a typical meeting. You also have ample opportunities to organize contests or special event night, join various committees, run for club executive positions, or any other function that benefits the club.
Thereafter, you can progress towards Area, Division, or District endeavors. The opportunities are out there! To assist you in improving your leadership skills, Toastmansters International has developed a whole series of 'Success Leadership' projects.
4. Get Guidance And Coaching Along The Way
On joining Toastmasters, each member takes an oath to the effect that he or she will support you in your quest to conquer present inadequacies, by giving you valuable feedback on each of your speech presentations.
More than anything else, it is this constructive review of your assignments, pointing out what you did well and which areas you could improve on, that puts you on the fast track to becoming a better speaker. Imagine, some 20+ fellow members, all having different likes and dislikes and representing different levels within the educational program, giving you their assessment.
In addition, our Club Mentor Program assigns you a mentor to personally guide you and answer any questions you may have for your first three speeches.
Wow! Where could you get this kind of feedback week after week for about $250 per year? It is why the Toastmasters program is so popular.
5. Have Fun!!!
Public speaking can be fun. Really! Like so many things in life - once you start learning, practicing, and doing - it gets easier. As it gets easier, you become more relaxed. As you become more relaxed, you start to enjoy it the journey.
Many people who join Toastmasters start with a plan to complete their projects fast. But as they start to get into the Toastmasters groove, they realize that the journey is the best part. The process of speaking, learning to listen, giving and getting feedback, and enjoying the support of others learning with you is actually a lot of fun!
So - what are you waiting for?