Friday, January 5, 2024

Feel Good Friday - Toastmasters International

As we enter the new year and work on our resolutions, I’m highlighting a great resource for anyone who wants to improve their public speaking skills, Toastmasters International.

Founded in 1924 and headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, Toastmasters International “is a nonprofit educational organization that builds confidence and teaches public speaking skills through a worldwide network of clubs that meet online and in person.” Their mission is to “empower individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders.”

Many people fear public speaking more than death. Whether you want to overcome a phobia or just improve your technique, Toastmasters International can help. Watch this short video for an overview or keep reading.

The process starts when you join a club in your area. With over 16,000 clubs across 149 countries you’re sure to find one near you. It’s here in the clubs that people practice their skills by delivering speeches, responding to impromptu questions, and giving and receiving constructive feedback. In addition to all the practice and evaluations, there are opportunities to take on club meeting and leadership roles, and all members have access to a mentor. Click here to learn more.

Toastmasters International also has educational programs. Pathways is an online tool with 11 specialized learning paths that help you develop workplace skills. Examples include: interview preparation, online meeting management, and conflict resolution. Speechcraft is a short program that helps non-members improve their communication skills, and the Youth Leadership Program focuses on giving 14-18 year olds practical experience that develops their communication and leadership skills.

If you’re not ready to become one of the 270,000 members of Toastmasters International, you can still access a variety of resources on the website. Go to the video library to get tips on using gestures and body language to keep your audience engaged, or explore the latest issue of Toastmaster Magazine.

For those of you ready to take on your personal and professional communication goals this year, find a local club and become a member. Next, consider going to the Toastmasters International Convention in Anaheim this summer to celebrate the 100-year anniversary! As always, stay in the loop on social media. Like the Toastmasters International Facebook page, follow them on LinkedIn or Instagram and subscribe to their YouTube channel.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We could all use this!