“I never could make a good impromptu speech without several hours to prepare it.” Mark Twain
This year, as I ramp up my efforts to get published, I know there’s a real possibility that I’ll need to start doing more public speaking. If you’re not a writer you might be wondering what a writing career has to do with public speaking, so I’ll answer the unasked question. It’s all about building a platform. A platform is the touch points a writer has to his or her audience. By audience I mean, people who care about what this writer writes about, tweets about, chats about, and publicly speaks about. Author Seth Godin calls these touch points or groups of people who follow a writer, speaker, etc. a “Tribe.” These days, regardless of the product you sell, you need a following or a “tribe” of people who are interested in you and what you have to offer. In a nutshell, public speaking is a way to increase your “tribe” and show your audience different sides of yourself.
While I’ve done a great deal of public speaking in the past, I’m thinking about joining a local Toastmasters Club to brush up. First, let me tell you about Toastmasters.
Toastmasters is a non-profit organization with over 250,000 members worldwide and offices in 106 countries. The organization aims to help people become more comfortable in front of an audience.
“Most Toastmasters meetings are comprised of approximately 20 people who meet weekly for an hour or two. Participants practice and learn skills by filling a meeting role, ranging from giving a prepared speech or an impromptu one to serving as timer, evaluator or grammarian.
There is no instructor; instead, each speech and meeting is critiqued by a member in a positive manner, focusing on what was done right and what could be improved.” Toastmasters International
Have you thought about improving your public speaking skills? If you’d like to learn more about Toastmasters visit their website at toastmasters.org.