Before you roll your eyes thinking it’s not for you have a look at your goals. If you want to learn or improve this is indeed for you. But the key is to select the right group – in big cities there are many groups and if you get the right fit of people you can fly. I never learned through Toastmasters but I see it as valuable to anyone wanting to move forward.

Think on the Spot – Impromptu

They have a section called Table Topics. Each week a different member of the group will invite a person to the front of the room and then be given a topic to discuss for about 1 – 2 minutes. About ten people will be asked in total. This is absolute fear and horror for most people. To stand in front of a group and speak off the cuff. Later your presentation will evaluated. Once you see that the evaluator is ‘out to help you’ and ‘not out to get you’ – a new door opens in your life.

As a presenter or even in work situations we are thrown a clanger and have to reply instantly. What do we say? How can we respond?

Is it for Me?

Try and see. If you want to learn or improve presentation skills this is valuable. You will never move forward or become a master by reading books. Yes, knowledge can help but you need ‘action’ included in your goal. Test different clubs – find a tribe where you think you will grow.

Recently I joined a club. I have little to learn but I love the group – it has the right energy for me. They are a younger group who are energetic and wanting to move forward in their various careers. Most are doing multiple things, experimenting, trialing, exploring.

Who Joins Toastmasters

Over the years I have met people who have trained at Toastmasters. One friend, in her early days in local government, joined as she needed to build confidence in speaking. She is now an independent politician in government.

At the Domain in Sydney speakers stand on a soapbox and present on Sundays. Speaker, Mark Avery started with Toastmasters.

I’m not out to plug Toastmasters as the be all and end all of presenting – it’s not. But it’s worth having a look, it might work for you.