Do you have problems making public presentations?
Are you nervous when you stand in front of a large group of people to speak?
Do you want to enhance your presentation skills but you just cannot find cost effective ways?
I have a suggestion for you: join a ToastMasters Club!
Two weeks ago, I was invited to attend a ToastMasters gathering. A friend of mine had joined four months ago and invited me to come with him; I have to admit, I was totally blown away by the presentation skills of the members.
My job requires me to observe and evaluate many presentations. The average performance standard of the people who presented at that ToastMasters gathering was at least 100% better than the standard of the people I have evaluated before.
What really shocked me was my friend's presentation. He was actually going to compete in a presentation contest in the following week! (He won that contest.) I have known my friend for 15 years and I have never seen him presenting in such a professional and humorous way.
I was also amazed at the very professional setup for the gathering. They have members who are assigned different presentation topics. They have hosts. They have people coaching and advising on presentation skills in different areas - specifically grammar, control of speed, timing, content, gestures, etc. They have experienced members who occasionally come back to contribute to the comments section of the gathering
People who join a ToastMasters club can learn to speak, to comment and to receive criticisms (very important for growth and development) from other sincere members. I have never seen any way to improve your communication skills at such an affordable cost. In Hong Kong, they charge a member about US$125 per year.
The ToastMasters Club organizes clubs with about 20 to 30 people per club. There are clubs specializing in different languages. If you are looking to enhance your presentations in English like my friend, you can join an English club. You can also choose to join clubs in the language of your choice.
If you are looking to form a new club with your own organization, this is also possible. You can contact the ToastMasters Club local office for resources to set up a club dedicated to your own organization.
ToastMasters have a very systematic way of training new members. You can learn different presentation skills in their well-planned regular meetings. (My friend's club meets once every fortnight)
Please note that the ToastMasters club is not free. I am not talking about the annual membership fee - that fee is a steal. I am talking about the dedication and effort you have to devote to enhancing your presentation skills.
For more information, visit the official ToastMasters website and find out more: http://www.toastmasters.org/
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