By Coach Delisa Deavenport, MBA, CPC
Toastmasters is the best way for anyone – whether a working professional, student, stay-at-home parent or retiree – to improve his or her communication and leadership skills. Peter Vogel explains that “true leadership is much more than authority and recognition from the outside world. Leadership is about developing people and helping others reach their full potential. It’s about equipping others with the right tools and strategies not only to maximize the success of an organization but also to the lives of individuals. Leadership is about breaking down barriers and leading others through the uncertainty of the future”. I personally love this definition and that is exactly the kind of leadership that Toastmasters talks about in their slogan “Where Leaders Are Made”.
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Hawaii’s former governor, Linda Lingle, says, “Toastmasters is the best and least expensive personal improvement class you can go to. Anybody who begins and sticks with it for any length of time ends up a better speaker. As a result, they build confidence and are able to do their jobs better”. When I Googled “famous Toastmasters”, I was not surprised at the long list. No doubt, Toastmasters helped these successful difference-makers recognize their dreams. People like the comedian, Tim Allen, Peter Coors of Coors Brewing Company, Debbi Fields Rose of Mrs. Fields Cookies, and John Young, former astronaut are just a few of the long list of remarkable Toastmasters that have gone on to use their speaking and leadership skills to make their mark in the world. How will you grow as an individual?
- Improve public speaking skills
- Practice writing speeches and presenting in a group setting
- Build leadership skills
- Gain a competitive advantage in the workplace
- Networking opportunities in a small and supportive environment
- Build self-confidence and self-awareness
- Allows for unlimited personal growth even in your senior years
- Ability to maximize your potential
The Toastmasters’ individual benefits are profound, yet, Toastmasters is also a valuable asset to any company. With the impressive, time-tested benefits that Toastmasters offers companies, it is no wonder that many Toastmasters clubs are springing up as closed corporate clubs. Corporate clubs are clubs that are organized inside a company and only employees from that company are allowed to join that particular club. Toastmasters proves to be so beneficial that this is an effective form of employee training. These clubs carry out the Toastmaster mission and curriculum in every way as a community club. For many other companies, the member’s annual membership fee, of approximately $110 annually, is paid by the company because of the powerful personal and professional skills members gain in their Toastmasters journey and go on to use as employees of the company.
A company’s success depends on communication. Employees interact with their colleagues and customers to exchange ideas, messages, and information. How well they communicate and share their ideas can determine whether a company grows into an industry leader or is mired in mediocrity. At a very reasonable cost, Toastmasters teaches employees to become better presenters and leaders:
- Give better sales presentations
- Hone their management skills
- Work better with fellow employees
- Develop and present ideas more effectively
- Offer constructive criticism
- Accept feedback more objectively
Toastmasters helps many members in their community service activities. Using the skills developed in Toastmasters, members have become more active in business, church, service and charity organizations. Toastmasters are able to organize activities, conduct meetings, and speak in public as their organizations’ representatives. Some even become active in local, state or national government as with former congress members; John Tunney, Pat Roberts, Carl Albert, and governors Richard Lamm and Linda Lingle.
Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped millions of men and women become more confident when communicating with others. The Toastmasters network of clubs and its learn-by-doing program were created to help you become a better speaker and leader. Why pay thousands of dollars for a seminar when you can join a Toastmasters club for a fraction of the cost and have fun in the process? With Toastmasters, the potential is unlimited.
If you would like to see what Toastmasters is all about, then come on over to Positive Professionals’ “A Taste of Toastmasters” this Sunday, November 17, 2019, at 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM in the Sperry 2nd Floor Dinnerhouse. Hi-Noon Toastmasters will be there too. The event is free and there is a pizza – salad bar included sponsored by CoachDelisa.com. Sit back, eat pizza and feel free to get yourself an adult beverage at the Dinnerhouse bar. Bring a date and learn how Toastmasters can bring your personal development to full potential.
Delisa Deavenport is the founder of Healthy Evolutions, LLC, a coaching company that focuses on learning quieting techniques to find your direction, purpose and joy.
Coach Delisa shares her message to “Find Your Direction in Your Quiet” and authored a book by the same title, published in March 2019. She describes her life with an undiagnosed anxiety disorder and how she finally learned to manage her anxiety, quit drinking and find joy and purpose. She is currently writing a book titled “One Man’s Courage, One Mother’s Strength”, the story of fighting for her son’s survival from alcohol, malnutrition, dehydration over a two-year period stunning the medical profession with his complete recovery.
Before devoting her life’s work to coaching and public speaking, Delisa worked in the nonprofit finance world after obtaining her bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Walsh College and her MBA in Leadership from Argosy University. She is an active member of Toastmasters, a certified speaker and Legacy instructor from the Ziglar Corporation, a certified coach from the Professional Coach Academy and her proudest accomplishment – “granny’ to a precious little boy named DJ.