Don't join Toastmasters!
Many people are surprised when I tell them that every week I attend to a club to improve my public speaking skills. First, I explain what Toastmasters is, and the next question is usually, how often do I have to speak in public in my current work? or if I want to become a proffesional speaker? or if I am working for a sales department?
Usually it's not seen the value of joining Toastmaster. So if you don't want to improve and advance your professional career don't join Toastmasters. BUT, if you want to become better in different skills joining Toastmaster definitely will boost your performance! I'm so happy being a Toastmaster member!
Obviously Toastmasters teaches you to speak in public, but also teaches you to develop many skills more!
Aren't you interested in learning to structure your ideas and communicate them effectively?
Usually we associate Public Speaking to get on stage and talk to 200 people, however don’t you think that a business meeting of 5 people is public speaking?. Even talking to one person follows the same principles of communication to speak to a large audience.
Aren't you interested in learning how to be more persuasive in a meeting? Aren't you interested in learning how to listen actively? So you look into people eyes when they're talking (Instead of being lost looking at your smartphone), Aren'tyou interested in learning how to manage time?
Have you ever attended a meeting where 50 minutes are spent on the first topic on the agenda?
Each session of Toastmaster there is a person who takes the role of Timekeeper and clock (literally watch in hand) that the time allocated for each section is met.
Aren't you interested in learning how to organise an event? Aren't you interested in learning how to give positive feedback? Aren't you interested in learning how to control your body language? Specially, when according Psychologist World 20% of our communication is verbal and 80% nonverbal
Aren't you interested in meeting new people?People with different background than yours? Toastmasters is a great opportunity to network and meet interesting people. Aren't you interested in learning to write better? Aren't you interested in learning how to give a presentation without using word-mouth fillers (so ... well, uhm ...?) Aren't you interested in learning how to lead a team?
Communication skills and ability to work as part of a team are quite often the most important skills demanded by the employers. We can see this frequently in job adverts as part of the job description. It’s weird that this is so important for Recruiters and not important for job seekers. I find it just strange that people even knowing this, they are not motivated to improve in these areas.
For me Toastmasters is like to practice my golf swing in the driving range, I can practice and practice and practice the little things that I learn, and then, I can do a little better on the golf course.
Toastmasters is my driving range ... and my job is my golf course. If I make mistakes in public speaking or leading a team, or managing a meeting, I prefer, without any doubt, make these mistakes in Toastmasters, where a group of people who share the same passion will give positive feedback to help me to improve. Every mistake I make in Toastmaster get me away to repeat that mistake in my day to day work.
A Toastmasters meeting always ends at the corner bar having a beer and sharing the wishes to continue learning and improving. Aren't you interested ending the day with a beer with friends? :)
If you happen to be one day in Barcelona do not hesitate to contact me and you can try Toastmasters sessions as guests, I belong to Telefónica Toastmasters club and we will be happy to welcome you !!