If you are anything like me then you have stuffed yourself silly with chocolates, cakes, goodies and generally far too much food. This must be a common practice for many of us Brits because January is always filled with adverts relating to dieting or exercise!
Yes, so many of us make new year resolutions and a great deal of these are to do with our health.
But what about your plans for self development? How is your self esteem? Maybe you would like to gain more confidence this year? Maybe this is the year that your career really takes off? Is this one of your new year resolutions?
Is this not a good time to trying out Toastmasters? You’ve been thinking about it, I know! It’s just that you haven’t found time to come along or you were going to go with a friend but that became impossible to organise or perhaps you just kept forgetting about it.
Well here is your chance to use the new year to give you that extra bit of will power that will enable you to try it out.
Have you been asked to do a presentation of your work? Have you been told that you will need to be willing to speak in order to progress your career? Are you are filled with joy and excitement at the chance to get up there and give a talk? If you feel less than happy with this proposition don’t worry you are not alone. It has been claimed that most people fear public speaking more than they fear death.
Or maybe you are OK with presentations but you would really like that person at the back to stop snoring!
It doesn’t have to be like this.
Come along to North Herts Speakers club and find out how it can help you to improve your leadership and public speaking skills and so progress your career.
Producing great work is key to your personal success but you need to let others know what is important about it and as you did the work, you are the best qualified to talk about it. But it’s not just what you say, it’s how you say it.
As I see it you have three options:
- You can just continue as you are. If you put on a brave face and do a presentation: when pushed, you can get by. But why would you want to just “get by”, that’s not how you approach the rest of your work is it?
- Or you can just avoid ever having to do a presentation. But like I said, this may not be a great career choice!
- Better still you can learn how to speak in public in an easy going supportive environment.
I will presume that you all want to be the best you can be so let me tell you about our club.
I am a member of North Herts Speakers who meet every first & third Wednesday of the month at The Sun hotel in Hitchin. We currently have 23 members of various levels of experience which enables us to learn a lot from each other.
A typical meeting goes like this:
Each meeting 4 members give a short speech for which they are given feedback the very same night. The feedback is always positive and we also offer at least one recommendation on how to improve each speech. In this way it is not just those who give the speech who learn but also the audience. I should point out that the audience is comprised of all the other toastmasters who also want to learn from the speeches.
There are many other roles that members perform at a meeting, all of which give a member the opportunity to speak in front of a welcoming audience. For example you can be an evaluator for a given speaker which requires you to give your feedback to the audience, or you could be the grammarian who will report on points grammar used throughout the meeting and of course, you can always be the toastmaster!
We also have a section of the meeting where we can practise speaking without preparation, a particularly handy skill to have in advance of your boss asking you to step in and talk at the last minute!
Toastmasters value leadership skills and some of the roles available can give you the opportunity to gain experience where you might not have otherwise.
And we’re really nice!
Just imagine yourself presenting your work in a way that keeps all your colleagues engaged. How much more valuable do you think you will be perceived to be? Have any of you heard colleagues complain that “so and so” just knows how to talk the talk? Well maybe it’s time that you got to do some talking?
In summary, you are not alone if you feel uncomfortable about public speaking but you don’t have to remain unconfident if you don’t want to. Being able to communicate effectively will definitely help to progress your career or business for that matter.
At toastmasters we know that effective public speaking is a skill that can be learnt and we all aim to help each other to become the best we can. You can practise speaking and make as many mistakes as you like knowing that you will always be supported.
We meet every first & third Wednesday of the month at the sun hotel in Hitchin at 7:30. We would be very pleased to welcome you to visit us free of charge to any meeting.
What have you got to lose?