10 Reasons Why YOU Should Join Toastmasters!
#1 - Overcome fear of public speaking
A dread of speaking in public - glossophobia, or speech anxiety - affects as many as 95% of us to some degree. Fellow Toastmasters offer tips and techniques for identifying the things that make you nervous, and
for quelling the jitters with good preparation, attitude, and even exercises. Take the first steps in a friendly supportive environment.
#2 - Hone your speaking and presentation skills
The Toastmasters program guides you through the elements of a speech from "how to say it" to the effective use of visual aids, body language and vocal variety. Both fellow members and Toastmaster's publications offer advice for preparing a speech and practicing it ahead of time to assure your success.
#3 - Develop your listening skills
To be a good speaker and competent communicator, you must also be a good listener. If you've been told you don't listen, or you find you quickly forget what you've been told, Toastmasters can help. You'll be able to practice your listening skills at every Toastmasters meeting, and the Quizmaster will help you gauge your progress.
#4 - Learn to give and receive constructive evaluation and criticism
Have you ever wondered how to deliver helpful advice without sounding critical or superior? Perhaps you're not sure how to respond when someone tries to give you advice. Toastmaster's evaluation skills - both giving and receiving - quickly spill over into all parts of your life outside of Toastmasters.
#5 - Improve impromptu speaking skills
We all dread those inevitable moments when we find ourselves on the spot. What to say? Practice with impromptu speaking situations helps Toastmasters avoid blabbing nonsense when they're put on the spot: instead they quickly put together an organized, thoughtful response that leaves a good impression.
#6 - Communicate better with professionals
The times when we need to have an effective conversation with a doctor, a lawyer, auditor, or other professional, are often times when stress makes us least able to do so. Toastmasters will help you develop the good communication skills you need to come through these times triumphant. (Professionals can also learn speaking skills for talking with their clients too!)
#7 - Develop vocabulary, grammar skills, and comprehension
Writing speeches, of course, forces you to work with words and use them properly, but Toastmasters has more. The Grammarian at each meeting not only introduces new words, explaining their meaning and proper use, but also listens for poor (and polished!) use of English throughout the meeting.
#8 - Become an effective leader
Toastmasters is about building leadership skills as well as speaking skills. In fact, right from the start, members are encouraged to take an active role at meetings and work towards becoming a competent leader by completing leadership-building projects. Chairing formal meetings, inspiring others, and team leadership are all part of the package.
#9 - Acquire self confidence and become less passive
In lots of situations, people fail to speak up when they have something worthwhile to say because they lack confidence. Opportunities pass them by. Being sure of your ability to express yourself clearly builds self esteem and goes a long way toward making you the assertive successful person you'd like to be.
#10 - Learn to meet personal goals
First, identify what you want, then develop the focus and discipline to get it. Toastmasters programs are designed to help members develop speaking and leadership skills by working through a series of projects: getting to completion requires the member to focus on the goal and do what it takes to get there.
#11 - EXTRA BONUS - Meet new friends!
New Toastmasters can't help but get to know the people in their club. From there it's a short step to long term friendships. You're always welcome at Toastmasters. In fact, members are welcome at a Toastmasters meeting anywhere. There are over 12,500 clubs! It's like having family all over the world.
For More Information
For more information on the Toastmasters International program, visit www.toastmasters.org.