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Toastmasters Helps Refine Speaking Skills

by Ron Kurtus (revised 29 January 2000)

A good way to reduce the fear of speaking to groups, develop better speaking skills and improve your ability to communicate verbally is through participation in an International Toastmasters Club.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.



What is Toastmasters?

Toastmasters is an non-profit organization dedicated to helping people improve their public speaking skills, as well as minimizing the natural nervousness involved in speaking. It also teaches leadership and meeting management skills.

Participation is relatively inexpensive, with fees for a monthly magazine and administration.

What are meetings like?

Meetings are usually held weekly or bi-weekly in various community meeting rooms. It is an extremely non-threatening environment where members help each other improve by giving positive feedback.

Everyone usually gets a chance to speak at a meeting, whether to give a formal speech, to participate in impromptu table topic mini-speeches, to evaluate another's speech, or to give a report on the meeting activities. Not only do you get a chance to speak in front of a group, but you also can go at your own speed.

You can attend Toastmaster meetings as a guest free-of-charge.

Benefits of Toastmasters

Some people use what they have learned in Toastmasters to advance in their careers, some go on to become professional public speakers and others simply enjoy the increased confidence of being able to effectively speak to groups on a variety of subjects.

Toastmasters has a very good program to guide a person through the steps to effective public speaking by participation in the club meetings. Besides that, the meetings are usually fun or enjoyable.

Summary

Participating in Toastmasters can help reduce nervousness about speaking before a group, as well as to improve your speaking and leadership skills. I thoroughly recommend looking into Toastmasters.

Check the Toastmaster World Headquarters, to find a club in your area.


Seek to improve yourself in every way you can


Resources and references

Ron Kurtus' Credentials

The following resources provide information on this subject:

Websites

Toastmaster World Headquarters

Speech Club - Comprehensiive resource on public speaking, including videos

Speaking Resources

Books

Top-rated books on Public Speaking


Questions and comments

Do you have any questions, comments, or opinions on this subject? If so, send an email with your feedback. I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.


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