If you are a writer or business owner, you will benefit from joining Toastmasters International, an organization that was formed in 1924 to help people learn how to speak before audiences. You will not only develop better speaking skills, but you will learn to be a better leader and organizer.
Toastmasters has chapters throughout the United States and many other countries. You will find a list of local chapters at their web site. If there isn’t one near you, you can get information about starting one.
Toastmasters clubs meet twice per month. Each person in the group is assigned a particular role. Certain people will give organized speeches. Also, people will practice giving impromptu speeches on a mystery topic. While the rest of the people in the room judge their speeches and offer ways that they could be improved.
The speeches are timed by one person, while others are assigned to count the number of times a speaker says, “Ah” or “Uhm,” during a speech. Another person is assigned to be the grammarian and it is his or her job to monitor the speakers’ grammar.
Toastmasters International clubs are very supportive environments. People join Toastmasters for different reasons.
Some people have written books and they need to be comfortable talking about their subject in front of audiences. The lonely, hidden role of a writer is very much opposite the role of a speaker who must be outgoing and full of charm and personality. If you are a writer, Toastmasters can help you develop your stage personality.
But, people join Toastmasters because they may find themselves campaigning for a political position, teaching in a classroom setting or being called upon at business meetings and they need to become more confident speakers to do their primary jobs better.
Toastmasters International exists to help people overcome their fears about public speaking. It is said that the majority of people fear public speaking more than anything else. But, even if you do not suffer from this common phobia, Toastmasters can help you by teaching you how to organize material and give a good presentation.
The fees for joining are surprisingly low and you receive a Toastmasters International manual. Toastmasters has a number of publications for speakers at their web site, as well.
I recommend Toastmasters to writers and business people. But, almost anyone can benefit from having more confidence and better organizational skills. Visit: www.toastmasters.org for more information.