You really should join a Speaking Club
‘Yeah, okay’ you might think ‘but I’ve not got any real need to develop Public Speaking, so it’s not really worth the effort to me, besides I’ve not got the time, what with golf and football and kids and shopping and work, and it’s quite scary and I don’t know anyone, and I might make a fool of myself, and...’
There are a million good reasons NOT to join a Speaking Club, but are there actually any good reasons to join a Speaking Club?
Good reasons to actually join a Speaking Club:
1). Public speaking is a bona fide superpower
However, unlike laser eyes or icy breath blast, it is a superpower you can actually have. It’s a superpower that takes a lifetime to master and years to improve upon, but it’s one of those superpowers that you can actually develop in short order.
I have been a member of Farnham Speakers Toastmasters for over three years and in that time I have gone from a timid, repressed and socially-awkward 'wallflower' to a confident leader of men, almost. I’m still socially-awkward and quite repressed but I definitely have a new confidence and an ability to speak clearly and confidently in so many scenarios, which would have been impossible for me back in 2015 when I gingerly visited the club for the first time.
I’d set a goal back then to improve my speaking skills after my presentational ineptness lost me a series of business opportunities. I was terrified at the idea of speaking in front of an audience and held it off for a while, but the friendly atmosphere and supportive members I found in the club made my seemingly impossible journey seem more possible, and within five months I’d done my first Ice Breaker Speech. I love the way the Toastmasters meetings are set up to gently educate and encourage new members to take baby steps towards getting more used to speaking in front of people, it’s a lot like progressive weight training, where you start with a small dumbbell and slowly increase your capability and before you know it you're dusting up your hands in front of the world’s press. I’m still losing business opportunities left, right and centre but now I do so with panache, verve and aplomb and if I’m ever in front of an audience, I know I have the muscles to at least ‘land the plane’ as they say in buzzword land.
2). Visiting a Speaking Club is a cheap fun night out
For guests, the evening’s meeting is completely free and you can attend as many times as you want. If you do decide to become a member – to reap the membership benefits – the cost is still only £10 a month (which includes two fortnightly meetings). Where else can you spend two hours hearing fascinating talks, participating in speaking exercises, while getting essential speaking practice, building your confidence, making new friends, and enjoying tea, coffee and biscuits and drinks in the bar afterwards? (The bar is not free).
3). Joining a Speakers Club will change your life
You'll learn so much you didn’t even know you didn’t know. Members are from all walks of life, each with different interests, so each meeting is a rich and entertaining learning experience. I’ve had the great pleasure of seeing and hearing tales of woe, adventure, sadness, humour, philosophy and dog agility. I’ve also learnt so much technically about how to conceive ideas, how to structure presentations, how to write captivating details, how to use my body and face and voice and props and slides on a stage to communicate as effectively as possible. And what is life if not the opportunity to express oneself?
In my relatively short time as a member I've seen other once-timid socially-awkward 'wallflowers' progress and improve through speech after speech, and are now being offered promotions and partnerships at work, are developing their own brands, are being invited as paid-speakers to perform before big audiences and one person – following an invitation from his child's school's PTA – even had the courage to go on to 'man' an entrance desk at a school fete.
Toastmasters clubs have nothing to do with red coats, white gloves or speaking loudly to guests at a reception – and everything to do with slowly getting better at talking in public with a friendly and supportive group of fellow learners, sharing experiences, laughs and biscuits.
Yeah, okay so you’ve not got any real need to develop Public Speaking, it’s not worth the effort, besides you’ve not really got the time, what with golf and football and kids and shopping and work, and it’s quite scary and you don’t know anyone, and you might make a fool of myself, but look on the bright side: you will get a superpower, you will have fun, it won’t break the bank, you’ll get cleverer and it will change your life.
You really should join a Speaking Club.
Come along, as a welcome visitor, to Farnham Speakers Toastmasters Club at 19.15pm – every second and fourth Monday of the month – at Farnham House Hotel (GU10 5ER). Follow us or message us on Twitter and Facebook for updates. Twitter: @FhamSpeakClub / Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/farnhamspeakers/
Member since: 10th July 2012
Hi, if we have yet to meet, my name is Martin and I have been running the Best of Farnham for over 13 years.
My aim is to promote and champion only the best of businesses throughout the area, helping...