You might never be expected or asked to do a speech, but what will you do if your boss does ask you? Or maybe a close friend or family member has asked you to speak at an event or wedding.
This usually involves making a presentation or a speech to an audience.
This is the reason why many people think about attending and then joining a Toastmasters Club.
What is Toastmasters? Toastmasters is one of the non-profit organisations that promote personal growth and development within an encouraging and supportive environment.
More specifically, the main goal of any Toastmaster Club is to offer a mutually positive and supportive learning environment where each member is provided with an opportunity to grow and develop their leadership skills and oral communications, which fosters personal growth and self-confidence.
Here are the 5 reasons why everyone needs to join a Toastmasters club:
#1 You Will Become A Better Speaker Or Presenter
If you follow the program, you will be working through a set manual with the aim of turning into a Competent Communicator. This process will guide you through 10 prepared speeches focused on different speaking aspects, including how to use body language, organising your speeches, and how to incorporate visual aids. Most speeches are between 4 to 6 minutes. An evaluator provides constructive feedback after each speech that you give. Some of the clubs will even video your speeches allowing you to watch your personal progress.
#2 You Will Feel More Confident Speaking On Demand
If you are one of those people that prefers not to talk in a small group due to the pressures of keeping a conversation going, you can benefit from quickly gaining more confidence with the Table Topics part of Toastmasters meetings, which helps individuals to feel comfortable when they are “put on the spot”.
For pool architect expert Bill Pantazis, having the confidence and ability to speak on demand is vital in a business setting. “Every day you’re faced with new and unexpected challenges, so you truly have to be prepared for anything. Knowing how to speak on demand with confidence is vital in portraying yourself as a figure of authority, and you’ll be able to communicate your message clearly.”
When participating in Table Topics, you are forced to quickly organise what you are thinking on demand, by responding to a question or impromptu prompt. Members are given a prompt, then take a few moments to organise their thoughts, followed by speaking on a topic for a minute or two.
#3 You Will Turn Into A Better Researcher
The speaker will choose the topic for each of their speeches, with some members covering one subject for all the speeches that they do, while others prefer choosing from various topics that they feel confident speaking about.
Leila Maminezhad, who runs an abseiling maintenance company, says that being knowledgeable about a number of topics is critical in becoming a better speaker. “We will all be involved in conversations about topics we don’t really know, but having a base knowledge from researching will make you feel a little more comfortable about being involved. The research aspect of speaking is critical to ensure that people see you as someone knowledgeable about the subject, and it will make the speeches more engaging too.”
When you start researching, the content of the speeches that you provide will improve, also giving you the assurance in delivering a speech.
#4 You Will Also Become A Better Listener
Members will not provide a speech at each meeting, so for a few meetings, you form part of an audience. Toastmasters also involves an Evaluator role. Evaluators are a designated role that evaluates the speaker according to the guidelines for each speech, which can be found in the Speech Manual. The evaluators also provide a short report or speech on their specific evaluations. Even when you are not serving as one of these official roles, you should be listening and finding out about different techniques and tricks to add to your own speeches.
#5 You Will Become More Confident
Toastmasters offers a safe and comfortable environment for you to gain self-confidence and practice your skills, while you gain the self-assurance to speak before an audience or groups of people.
Environmental expert Jayesh Dayal says that just being able to articulate what your true message is in communication can improve your confidence two-fold. “Confidence is something that people can easily struggle with, but if you can become more and more comfortable with speaking with clarity, the confidence that stems from that will definitely seep into other areas of your life. You’ll be more relaxed when talking to other people and in front of them too.”