Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The ABC's of Public Speaking - T is for Toastmasters

Any business professional who wishes to improve their public speaking skills should investigate Toastmasters International.

Founded in 1924 in Santa Ana, California, Toastmasters International has grown into the leading organization in the world in helping people become more competent and comfortable in front of an audience. Great speaking talent needs to be cultivated and practiced, and joining a Toastmasters group in your local community will provide you with a venue and a peer group that will allow you to expand your communication capabilities.

With over 250,000 members in more than 12,500 clubs in 106 countries, there are most likely several Toastmasters Clubs in your geographic area. Most clubs meet weekly. You can select a breakfast, lunch or dinner club that meets in a location near your home or office (I belong to a club that meets at 6:45 AM at a local IHOP Restaurant).

I joined Toastmasters nearly twenty years ago and openly share that it was the best career decision I ever made. Being able to speak well in front of an audience led me to several job opportunities and into my career as an author and professional speaker. While most readers of this blog post will not have the desire to speak for a living, having better confidence and poise when delivering a presentation will lead you to more success in any field.

Many large corporations have established internal Toastmasters Clubs that are exclusive for their employees, as smart employers realize that providing the tools that help the individual also helps the company.

Toastmasters meetings are comprised of approximately 20 people who take on a variety of roles during the one hour meeting. Participants assignments range from delivering a prepared speech, an impromptu presentation, timing, evaluating, or serving as the leader of the meeting. There is no instructor; instead, each speech and meeting is critiqued by a members in a positive manner, focusing on what was done right and what could be improved.

You can find more information and search for a Toastmasters Club near you at

Have A Great Day.


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