Confidence, pitching skills at Toastmasters
The difference between business success and failure can depend on an entrepreneur’s communication skills.
Too many very smart people with very smart business ideas fail because they cannot communicate effectively – they fail to rally support from customers, investors, employees and media.
The ability to share important information, articulate your intentions or plans, and persuade others to do what you want them to do is absolutely essential to building a successful business.
Businesspeople may improve their communications skills by attending Toastmasters. With 270,000 members attending one of 13,000 clubs around the world, the non-profit organization Toastmasters International is a leader in communication and leadership development.
You’ve likely heard of it. A Toastmasters meeting is a learn-by-doing workshop where participants may hone their speaking skills in a no-pressure environment.
The one-hour weekly meeting is like a public speaking workout. Club members can volunteer to deliver a short keynote speech, give a toast, provide a speaker evaluation, or participate in another brief speaking role – some as short as 60-seconds.
I learn something new each week at Toastmasters – like how to use my hand gestures more effectively while I speak. (I’m now raising my hands to chest level and moving them around more!). Some members enjoy learning how to construct a persuasive presentation. Others may like the helpful feedback given by club members on their speech.
Don’t worry about giving a speech on your first visit. Toastmaster clubs are designed to encourage participation when you’re ready.
Do you think public speaking makes for better business owners? Please share your thoughts below.
By Roger Pierce