How to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills: Toastmasters Changed My Life
By Scotti Ogden
Owner of Ogden Contracting
This is how you get rid of your fear of public speaking.
I never knew I could master public speaking, let alone be involved in a club where I would willingly choose to stand in front of an audience and speak. I quickly realized after joining Toastmasters that I really enjoy public speaking and also being a part of the community that is Toastmasters.
I originally joined Toastmasters because I wanted to speak with confidence to the BC Government about how the construction industry could improve. Here’s a bit of vulnerability, I always had fear and anxiety when it came to public speaking because as a child I had a severe speech impediment, and I hardly passed highschool english. If I wanted to be a successful business owner and speak in public with undeniability then I needed to learn how to speak clearly, use proper grammar and engage my audience.
What do the Toastmasters do?
Toastmasters is a well organized club of individuals that want to learn and improve their public speaking skills. There are over 280,000 members, in 15,800 clubs in 149 countries.
Toastmasters is for anyone and everyone that wishes to learn, grow and have fun with friends.
I was elected as president of the Walnut Grove Toastmasters Club. My responsibilities are to make sure that we have a clear vision, keep people inspired, formulate our club strategy, work as a team, and take action to achieve our goals.
Benefits of Learning How to Public Speak
Toastmasters has changed the way that I interact with people. It has not only helped me with speaking but has also improved the way I listen to others when they are speaking. Toastmasters has taught me how to use words. How to explain, share, and instruct without over complicating or repeating myself.
Things you Learn in Toastmasters
- Engaging with the audience
- Command the room
- Keeping eye contact with everyone in the room
- How pauses are better than filler words such as “um” or “ah”
- The structure of a speech
- How to close a speech with impact
- How to connect with others on an emotional level
How Public Speaking Impacts Business
Learning the ins and outs of public speaking has taught me how to run a successful meeting. I also use public speaking skills now in my media marketing. I’ve gotten more comfortable when speaking in front of the camera. And of course, these skills allow me to have confidence when speaking to my clients, and other business owners in the trades that I hire.
Is Toastmasters for You?
I encourage everyone to attend Toastmasters. I know it can be intimidating to speak in front of strangers; however, every existing member has been there when they first started.
Guests are encouraged to break their fear and speak. There are never expectations, you are applauded for your efforts, we all are. Toastmasters is fun, enjoyable, and full of laughter.
Want to Join Toastmasters?
Joining Toastmasters is easy. Go to https://www.toastmasters.org/ and at the top of the page find and click on Find a Club. It’s that easy.
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