How Can Toastmasters Help You In Your Personal Life And Business

How Toastmasters Can Help You And Your BusinessFirst off I wanted to let you know that I’m changing the day of my weekly post on this blog from Wednesday to Thursday.

The two main reason is that Wednesday is too close to Monday the day I post on my writing blog while comments keep on coming for days, and it’s hard for me to keep up this way.

Secondly,  two Wednesdays out of the month I now attend my Toastmasters meeting which involves starting my day an hour earlier.

So from now on, the new day for my personal development post will be Thursday.

As I had mentioned in a previous post, one of my goals this year was to join a Toastmasters club, which I did on July 23rd, and I think this is one of the best things I’ve done this year.

What about you? Have you ever thought of joining a Toastmasters? But what is Toastmasters anyway and why should you join one?  If you’re willing to stick around, let me tell you all about it.

What is Toastmasters International?

Toastmaster International is a nonprofit organization governed by a Board of Directors elected by the membership.  The first Toastmasters club was established by Ralph C. Smedley on October 22, 1924 in California (where the Headquarter still reside).

Ralph Smedley conceived and developed the idea of helping others to speak more effectively.  The idea still stands to this day and there are now over 211,000 members in 10,500 clubs in 90 countries around the world.

Toastmasters International is the leading worldwide movement devoted to help people become better communicators and speakers.

Through its membership clubs Toastmasters International helps men and women from all over the world to learn the arts of speaking, learning and thinking which are each vital qualities that we need for self-actualization, and leadership enhancement.

Toastmasters exists because of the small membership contribution fees of its members.  It may be the best small financial contribution you could ever make for your own betterment.

In your own Toastmasters club you will receive supportive and positive tips to improve your public speaking, communication and leadership skills which in turn will enhance your self-confidence and personal growth.

Who can Benefit from Toastmasters?

Whether you’re a professional, a student or even a stay at home mom, you could benefit from Toastmasters.

One thing that toastmasters will do for you is totally kill your fear of public speaking.

Now you might think that public speaking is when you have to stand up in from of an audience and give a speech, right? Well, you’d be wrong.  Public speaking is not only that.  Public speaking is when you have to speak to anyone, anywhere.

Public speaking is when you have to introduce yourself to a stranger at a party.  Public speaking is when you have to speak up at a PTA meeting.  Public speaking is when you have to speak in front of coworkers.  Public speaking is when you have to go to a job interview.  Public speaking is when you have to give an oral presentation in school.  Public speaking is when you have to speak to anyone that may be intimidating to you for any reason.

We all do public speaking all the time.

A Toastmasters will help you in all of the above and more.

A Toastmasters clubs will not only help you be a better speaker, but a better listener as well, because you will not only receive constructive feedback but learn how to give them as well.  Even if you already have some skills in these areas, you will improve them at your Toastmasters club.

Tools that will be Given to you when you Join

Upon joining a Toastmasters club you will receive a variety of manuals and resources on how to become a better speaker and leader for your business or organization.

As a member you will also have access to other books and educational resources and the monthly magazine The Toastmaster that discusses the latest insights on speaking and leadership techniques.

Your Business and Company Benefits

If you are reading this blog, my guess is that you have a service or product that you are selling either online or offline or both.  Toastmasters can help you with your business as well.

A company’s success depends largely on communication skills, may that be with your employees or clients and customers.

The manner in which you exchange or share ideas, or communicate information can make a huge difference.  If you don’t have the skills that it takes to deliver successfully, it might affect your business or your company in a negative way in more ways than you think.

Here are some of the benefits you’ll get from a Toastmasters club for your business and/or company

  • You’ll learn to give better sales presentations
  • You’ll hone better management skills
  • You’ll learn to work and communicate better with your staff, employees or clients
  • You’ll develop better and more effective presentation of your ideas to grow your business
  • You’ll learn how to offer more constructive criticism that will build up and motivate people working with or for you.
  • You’ll learn how to accept criticism more objectively
  • You’ll develop a better overall insight of your business or company to help it grow faster and better.
  • You will build your self-confidence up and lose your timidity as a business owner and leader

How Toastmasters Works

Toastmasters meetings are very organized since it’s of vital importance that they do not exceed an hour, and for the most part they work more or less in this way:

Meetings

Toastmasters meetings are scheduled once a week or once every two weeks.  My toastmasters club meets every second and fourth Wednesday of the month.  So, for me it just perfect timing.

Conductor

A designated member is trained to conduct a meeting and set the stage of what is going to happen during the meeting.

Timer

A member will time every speech to the second, and give his report at the end of the meeting.  The timing of each speech is very important.

Checker

A member will be assigned to note the “ah”, “um”, “huh”, and other verbal pauses on each speeches, as well as grammatical errors or even good grammatical input for up building feedback.

Impromptu Speeches

3-5 impromptu speeches that are not prepared will be given on the spot, based on a word or sentence given to the speaker.  These are short one-to-two-minute speeches.

Prepared Speeches

Prepared speeches are speeches based on a specific topic of 7 to 15 minutes.

For example the first speech that you would be giving is an introduction speech where you would talk about yourself. Where you come from, what you do, what your dreams and goals are, etc. This speech should last between 7 and 10 minutes.

How can you Join a Toastmaster Club

If you live anywhere in the US chances are that several clubs meet nearby your residence. I was fortunate to find one about 3 minutes from where I live, but there are dozens more throughout town.

Before you join a specific club, you can visit as many clubs as you want to see which one feels best to you. But you can ALWAYS visit any club at any time even when you’re a member a specific club.

In my case, because I’m so busy the most attractive feature of my club is that it’s so close to my house.  This was THE deciding factor for me as far as what club I joined.

Clubs usually meet either early morning or early afternoon two to four times a month.

To find a club near you, just visit www.toastmasters.org and click on “Find a Club Near You.” Or you can email [email protected]

If you’d rather speak to someone live, the headquarter phone number is 949-858-8255.

I hope this post will encourage you to consider joining a toastmasters club to enhance some of the qualities that are so important in life and business. I am thrilled that I joined mine and will definitely blog about my experience along the way.

Please, don’t forget to leave a comment below!
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20 Comments

  • Kumar GaurawTwitter: kgauraw says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    Congratulations on becoming a Toastmaster!

    As you have experienced already, it’s a great place to be for an hour or so per week. You know I have been Toastmasters for a long time and I have written about it on my blog a few times as well.

    Wow! You really have captured a lot of information about the roles and responsibilities we carry out in each of our meetings. I’m happy to know that you are finding it a valuable and know your recommending it to other people. That’s wonderful!

    I look forward to finding out more about your experience with Toastmasters as you continue your journey.

    Regards,
    Kumar
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Kumar,

      As I was writing this I thought of you 🙂 because I remember very well that you’ve mentioned to me that you are a Toastmaster.

      Only the beginning for me and already I see the potentials. I know I will love it an improve my public speaking which I know will lead me to a big goal of mine.

      I can only encourage people to join a club as no matter what you do or who you are a Toastmasts will help you!

      Thanks for coming and givning your valuable input.
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  • Adi says:

    Toastmaster runs with a complete new concept. It’s really interesting. I may join this club very soon.

    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Adi,

      Well, if you do join a club, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it and will learn so much from it. Let me know if you do.

      Thanks for coming.

  • Don PurdumTwitter: unveiltheweb says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    Toastmasters is a fantastic organization that can help the novice or the experienced speaker. I was in one while in Dallas, TX. The key to finding a Toastmasters group is to visit as many as you can in your local area and compare them.

    Unfortunately, no two groups are alike. There are some that are just outstanding and some that are just not that good at all.

    I know Ryan Avery and have chatted with him several times. Last year he won the speaker of the year award for all of Toastmasters. It propelled his business like nothing I’ve ever seen.

    That’s another great benefit of Toastmasters is the networking. Again, if you work at it and progress through their program you can meet a lot of good people that will help you propel your speaking career.

    I know you will do great. Perhaps in the near future you’ll do some videos and we can see your presentations?

    Hope you end your week strong!

    ~ Don Purdum
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Don,

      I know it’s true. Toastmasters are made of people, so there are bound to be different, but fortunately the closest I found from my house is a great one. There’s some great speakers there. No doubt. So for now I’ll stick to convenience, for time sake, but I sure will visit others as well as time permits.

      I know I’ll do great LOL! not arrogant here, it’s just that I know it 🙂 I was an actress for 10 years (in small theaters) in France and the US, so even though it’s different, it’s my area of ability I should say.

      I already met one of the leaders of the group who wants me to come to speak to her organization. She helps students that are not really motivated and when I said I was a coach, she was instantly interested in what I could do for her students. I know it’s going to be good 🙂

      Thank you so much for coming 🙂

  • Barbara CharlesTwitter: BarbaraCharlesl says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    I know Toastmasters has been around for a long time and I’ve heard about it for 20 years or so. My dear friend is recently involved in Toastmasters as well and she loves it. Although I know how great it is I’ve not tried it as it is time consuming (twice a week). I’ve got to find time to get back and forth to work! LOL! Anyway, thanks for breaking it down for me. I didn’t know the details of how it works so this was very informative.

    Regards,
    Barbara
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Barbara,

      Most Toastmasters are actually twice a month, so it’s not bad at all. I couldn’t make it twice a week either, but if you check it out you’ll see that some clubs meet only twice a month.

      I’m not surprised your friend loves it, I really love it too.

      Thanks for coming and have a wonderful weekend!
      Sylviane Nuccio invites you to read..How Can Toastmasters Help You In Your Personal Life And BusinessMy Profile

  • Harleena SinghTwitter: harleenas says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    Never heard of the term, but many congratulations on becoming a Toastmaster! 🙂

    I can understand that such a meeting place exist only in the US perhaps, because our end, they don’t have anything like it. I like the idea of breaking your fear of public speaking, even if it’s just speaking impromptu or to each other, some people have a tough time even doing that.

    Even though they have many such clubs in our country too where you can meet up with fellow bloggers or those associated with various causes, but they aren’t based on the same lines. I hope you have fun and learn a lot more joining it as well.

    Thanks for sharing. Have a nice weekend 🙂
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Harleena,

      No, it’s not in the US only. As I mentioned in the post Toastmasters exist in 90 countries, but maybe not yours, or did you check? I know many people in the US who have never heard of Toastmasters, even though there are plenty of such clubs here.

      Thank you for coming by and have a great weekend.
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  • Claudia says:

    Consequently delectable! That seems to be amazing.

  • donna merrillTwitter: donna_tribe says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    Toastmasters is one of those things I’ve always wanted to do! It is one place where you can learn how to speak in a polished way. In any business, I think it is a must do!

    David and I are always talking about it, but you know as well as I that is an “excuse.”

    Writing about it in this post has sure given me a push! Especially now that I’m creating so many videos, why not do it better?

    Thanks Sylviane!

    -Donna
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Donna,

      Oh yes, you and David would really get something out of a toastmasters. It would really help you guys for your videos/webinars.

      As they say, even if you’re good, a Toastmasters will make you better. I will have my first speech in a couple of weeks and I’ve already written it. It’s introduction speech. I’m very excited and I will blog about that for sure. I will also talk about some breathing and energy exercises that one should do before a speech.

      It’s a new adventure for me, and one with a goal in mind. Something I wanted to do for years as well.

      I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
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  • GladysTwitter: coachgladys says:

    Hello Ms. Sylviane
    Congratulations on becoming a Toastmaster!

    Your post broke down every area which is carried out in the meetings.

    I was involved in Toastmaster’s for about three years, in which I advanced to the Bronze level.
    As we practice public speaking, we learn to be comfortable with speaking in front of others. We had a great group, but due to other pressing things, I had to drop out, but maybe I will go back some day.
    Thank you for this great post.
    And yes Toastmasters can benefit everyone.

    Gladys
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Gladys,

      Yes, I know remember you mentioning that you’ve been a member of of toastmasters and progressing nicely there.

      Of course you could always join again. After all these years that a first for me, and it’ s time.

      Thank you for coming and have a great week ahead!

  • AdrienneTwitter: adriennesmith40 says:

    Hi Sylviane,

    Well I’m happy for you and glad that you’ve found one that you’re thrilled with. I know you’ve been thinking about this for awhile and I’m sure you’ll benefit greatly from it. As far as rearranging your schedule, I think that’s the best thing for you right now.

    I did join one some years back to help me get over my fear of speaking in public but I didn’t try a bunch of different ones mainly because of the area of town I’m in. I’m not driving far to attend a meeting but I admit not liking the group of people that were in the one I attended. Very stuffy, very unfriendly and just not people I cared to be around to help me get over my fear.

    At that time there wasn’t another one close to me so I just didn’t go back. I haven’t really given it much thought since, it just wasn’t a very pleasant experience for me at that time. Maybe when I feel the time is right down the road I’ll look into it again. It’s literally been years now and maybe others in my area have cropped up by now.

    Glad you’re enjoying it and I know it will benefit you greatly.

    ~Adrienne
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Adrienne,

      I’m right with you on that, I do not want to drive far to get to a toastmasters, I’m too darn busy for that 🙂 I’m sorry that the people in that toastmasters were so stuffy, I would hate it too.

      Since I had my share of attracting the WRONG people in my life, few months ago I started to affirm every day “I am attracting only the right people for me” which I also tap as I’m saying it everyday.

      So, that being a factor or not, I couldn’t have asked for a better group. Everybody seems very nice and some are even pretty funny. When I first came they even encouraged me to check other groups, but I didn’t because I can’t do this right now.

      I’ve already written my first speech and can’t wait to get back 🙂

      Thank you for coming and have a wonderful week ahead.

  • maxwell iveyTwitter: mistermidway says:

    Hi Sylviane; Until reading this post I didn’t realize how much toast masters could help people with their businesses. and i thought maybe you should have put self confidence first on your list. I do pretty well, but we can all use improvement. so, I will be checking to see if there is a club nearby. of course for me it always comes down to can i get there from here. Often the trick is finding someone else in a given group I can travel with. I am not fortunate enough to live in the parts of houston with good transit. I do like that you can attend any meeting once you are a member. by the way what are the costs? I know you said they are minimal. and have you noticed anything that I might have difficulty with at the meetings themselves. I like to be positive, but it never hurts to go in knowing what to expect. thanks for sharing, max
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    • Sylviane Nuccio says:

      Hi Max,

      Yes, indeed, a Toastmasters can help us with confidence no matter what we do or are in this life.

      The cost is $20 for registration fee and then $36 for six months, but for example, if you enter in the middle of the season they deduct from that $36 for each month that you’ve miss. Like I said, very cheap, isn’t it?

      To answer your question, as for what’s going on in the meeting I do not see any difficulty for you. This is totally something that even a blind person can do.

      I hope this help, and if you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

      Thanks for coming by Max

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