This inspiring post was written by Roger Wilson, Club President of our sponsor club Shropshire Speakers. Read on to find out how to get started with becoming a more confident speaker – without leaving home …
Want to become a confident speaker? There’s no better time!
Do you wish you had greater confidence when speaking to a group or speaking in public? Have you heard about groups which help with this, however you’re a little daunted to go to the meeting and stand at the front of a room full of people and then speak?
Well, the challenges that Covid-19 has presented regarding social distancing and self-isolation, have also given some unexpected opportunities to those wanting to develop their speaking skills and confidence. Here at Shropshire Speakers, a popular public speaking and leadership Toastmasters club, we have had to temporarily move all our meetings online. The meetings run exactly as before, but everyone joins from home on a video call. If you have any nervousness about being in a room with a bunch of others, what better way to break into this by being able to meet online from a safe space?
What to expect at your first online meeting
At your first meeting you don’t even have to speak, it’s optional. However, you do have the opportunity to take part if you want to, and also listen to others speaking, as well as hear how they are given encouragement and constructive feedback. It’s a wonderful opportunity to see different presenting and speaking styles, with varying levels of experience and confidence.
Toastmasters has an excellent range of programmes, also known as ‘pathways’, which can help structure your progress over time, leading you through key elements of great speaking including eye contact, body language, vocal variety, speech composition and audience engagement.
People join Toastmasters from all walks of life and for lots of different reasons, but a common theme is that they want to gain confidence to improve their performance when speaking. This might not just be for work, but for social interest or perhaps helping with the running of a voluntary group.
Toastmaster clubs meet all over the world and there are over 350,000 members currently.
How to take your first step
Our local group, Shropshire Speakers, usually meets in Telford, but is currently hosting all its meetings online. The meetings are 1st, 3rd and 5th Wednesdays in the month at 7.30pm to 9.30pm. To get the link to the new online format simply make an enquiry through the website – www.shropshirespeakers.org.uk.
Give either, or both, a try, there’s no better time to start building your confidence!
Roger Wilson, Club President, Shropshire Speakers