Mastering the art of Public Speaking is one of my career goals. Four years ago, I had participated in an impromptu speech competition. The way it works is that you get a question and you are supposed to speak on that topic without any prior preparation. So I was given a topic – it was fairly broad topic – I “could” have spoken for about 3 minutes – but, I froze. let’s call it fear of public speaking. From that day on, I decided to be better at this scary thing called public speaking. I took up positions in student clubs that required frequent public speaking. One such position was being a President of a Technical student club and I got to practice in front of audience – and that definitely helped. Other role was representing my University as Microsoft student partner (3 years ago) – and in this role, I delivered technical topics as I can to practice public speaking and share what I knew. And to continue practicing public speaker – I joined Toastmaster’s club around 9 months back. And today I completed 5 out of 10 modules of competent communicator manual. I encourage anyone who wants to practice public speaking to join Toastmaster’s club. I have written about this club before, you can read that here: Want to practice public speaking? Join Toastmaster’s!
That’s about it for this post. Just wanted to share my career goal with you all!
Note the title of the blog-post, I have used the word “practice” and not words like learning or Understanding because I believe that one of the best ways to become a good public speaker is to practice – practice – practice. Just do it! You know what, You can listen to 10 great speeches, learn from it – I am not asking you to stop that. But you must find a play ground that would allow you to test out the ideas you have learned. You need a playground that allows you to fail. You need a playground that can help you get feedback.
Toastmasters meeting is a learn-by-doing workshop in which participants hone their speaking and leadership skills in a no-pressure atmosphere.
And from my 8 month’s of experience as a Toastmaster member, Here’s why Toastmaster is a perfect playground for practicing public speaking:
Toastmaster’s has modular format and each module has specific goal. So for instance goal of one of the module is to get your body movements right. The goal of other module is to get the organization right.
Every speech is evaluated. Every. Every Speaker gets an oral and written feedback “evaluation”
Toastmaster’s club meetings are structured. So everyone knows what their role is. There’s no confusion. So for instance, couple of them know that they are speaking. Couple of them are evaluating. There is grammarian to point of grammatical errors. And there are other meaningful roles too.
Toastmaster’s also has a meeting period dedicated to give members chance to practice “impromptu” speaking. So that means you practice how to think on your feet.
Toastmaster’s gives you ample of opportunities to practice public speaking with NO time constraint at all. You can pace your learning the way you want.
Stepping back for a moment, Public speaking is probably one of the most important skill for your career and so I just wanted to point out that Toastmaster’s is THE best resource that I know of that would help you do so. There are clubs all across the globe and if you find a club that’s near you – what are you waiting for?