Toastmasters does make you different. Behind the scenes, there is a team of club members who are focused on making a difference in their personal and professional lives. Each member who joins Toastmasters ,even for a short season, becomes a different person and learns how Toastmasters is truly customized to a personal need. Some members gain more confidence in public speaking whereas another member may develop stronger presentation skills. In fact, we have had a Toastmaster who set a personal goal of completing 10 speeches that she put on her bucket list. Once she fulfilled her bucket list goal, it gave her the courage to embark on a new goal that included public speaking. Nothing is concrete when you become a Toastmaster because you can stroll at your own personal pace and no one chases you with a book in their hand to meet their goal.
Public speaking, being the number one fear in the United States, has been known to send shocks down a spine. I have heard horror stories of how much people are afraid of public speaking, almost as much as they are afraid of seeing a spider in another room. Public speaking can be traumatic when you are lacking the knowledge and training to speak in front of people and that is one of the many reasons why I love Toastmasters, it definitely is an powerful moment of achievement, when you present your icebreaker.
I have heard from Teachers who say, I am petrified of public speaking, but they are teaching first graders and standing in front of children for hours a day. For the teacher who said that she was petrified, I was able to remind her that speaking to adults is like speaking to first graders because you are the expert in the subject and they are learning from you. That was the shift she needed to become more confident to speak in front the parent of her students and fill her with confidence. Toastmasters gave her the polish she wanted and in a few weeks, she was ready for her parent presentation and was flawless.
The rewards in Toastmasters are rich. The most recognized accomplishment is completing an icebreaker speech because that is the first of many speeches and you can see how you have stretched yourself out of your personal comfort zone. Wouldn’t it feel great to be able to say, “I did it.”
The program we use is called Pathways and it has made it easy for people to reach their goals quickly, by helping them to create their own topics that they are familiar with or topics that can be stretched wildly in your imagination. The end goal of a Toastmaster usually helps you to be more polished or to become a better speaker overall. No matter what you are striving for, Toastmasters was created to work for you.
Toastmasters was not only created for CEO's, it was created for people who want to remove a fear of public speaker and it is internationally recognized as a professional development program, which can help to increase your bottom line financially and professionally.
If you want to learn about Toastmasters, reach out to me. I have a club in our community and there are international clubs. Many are meeting virtually and we would love to meet you and share the benefits of becoming a Toastmaster.