1924, Ralph C. Smedley held the first meeting of what would eventually become Toastmasters International at the YMCA in Santa Ana, California
Smedley began working as director of education for a YMCA after he graduated from college. He observed that many of the young patrons needed “training in the art of public speaking and in presiding over meetings” and Smedley wanted to help them.
When Smedley started the Toastmasters group at the YMCA in Santa Ana, California, members practiced speaking skills in a supportive, informal atmosphere. Today over 12,500 clubs and more that 260,000 members in 113 countries learn practical speaking skills in a positive and supportive atmosphere.
10 Reasons why I think every planner should go to Toastmasters.
1. Public Speaking is one of the top three biggest fears that people have. Toastmasters in its positive and supportive manner helps you be better able to deal with or even overcome this fear.
2. Your first ten speeches is from a series called the Competent Communicator series. Each speech has a topic as a guideline so you learn 10 different styles of public speaking. For example you learn how to do a speech using handouts. Being able to handle yourself in public is a skill that will carry you far.
3. It allows you to build confidence speaking to people, even on a one to one basis. I am not saying that it will turn a shy person into the life of the party, but it will build you up so you can talk in front of people.
4. You do speeches at your own pace.
5. One of the aspects of a Toastmasters meeting is called Table Topics. What Table Topics is a two minute chance to speak off the cuff. What it does is teach you how to think on your feet.
6. Once you complete the Competent Communicator series there are several other paths including other aspects of public speaking await you. For example one of the series is called the "Entertaining Speaker." A series of 5 speeches that range from giving a toast to a roast. It's a fun series and it's really creative. Any outlet that helps you be creative will help you in a profession where how creative you are can make the difference between you and your competition.
7. All of us have verbal ticks such as saying uh, or my personal favorite filler word, "so". Using the techniques that you learn at Toastmasters you can overcome those ticks and present yourself in a more professional and confident way.
8. Another aspect of the meeting is having your speeches evaluated. I learned so much from what others have told me. No one is mean, always a good comment and one aspect where you need to grow.
9. You can sign up for professional coaching and pay a lot of money for what you learn at Toastmasters for $80.00 a year.
10. Even if you think you can speak in public, you will still benefit from going to Toastmasters.
To find out more about Toastmasters go to www.toastmasters.org
You may reach me through my website www.kilgorebusiness.com You can find my blog at http://plannerspointers.blogspot.com/
You can find podcasts of Planner's Pointers at http://www.talkshoe.com/tc/73353