Look no further than Toastmasters when you are planning your New Years Resolutions Resolution #1: Join Toastmasters.
The cost is minimal, and is one of the best ways to invest in yourself. If you are not already a member of the world’s leading communication and leadership organization, then look up a club in your area and join today. Toastmasters provides a supportive environment in which you will conquer your public speaking fears, develop your presentation skills, and become an effective communicator.
As a bonus, sticking to this habit will help you stick to the other four habits on this New Year’s Resolutions list for public speaking.
Resolution #2: Practice. Practice. Practice.
Integrate public speaking into your daily and weekly routines. Toastmasters is once a week, but speaking more often is better. Actively seek opportunities to speak. Chair a meeting. Conduct a seminar. Teach a course. Emcee an event. Speak up at your next volunteer organization meeting. Introduce another speaker. Whether you speak for 30 seconds or 30 minutes, consistent practice will grow your skills over time.
Resolution #3: Study great speakers.
Seriously. Study them. Learn from the video critiques on this blog. Watch the many excellent TED presenters. Search YouTube. Take notes the next time you are listening to a speaker. Emulate their strengths. Avoid their mistakes.
Resolution #4: Study yourself too.
Many people shy away from recording themselves while speaking, but there is no better form of feedback. You can use a digital voice recorder or a video camera (or a camera phone, or …). Watch and listen with an objective view.
Seek out feedback from others to help recognize your strengths and weaknesses, which leads me to the fifth supporting habit…
Resolution #5: Find a public speaking coach/mentor/buddy.
Build a relationship with a public speaker who you admire. Ask them for advice. Find someone else who shares your goal, and work together with them to improve your speaking skills. The buddy system works for exercising, it works for quitting smoking, and it works for public speaking too. Make it a regular ritual.
Let 2008 be the year that you become a great public speaker, a skill which helps you achieve your other resolutions too.
November 16th meeting of Patuxent Toastmasters Our regular schedule (2nd and 4th thursdays) will resume with our January 12, 2013 meeting. Join us at Meetup.com http://www.meetup.com/patuxent-toastmasters/
Patuxent Toastmasters Club meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of every month. Regular meetings start promptly at 7:30 PM at the historic Oliver's Carriage House in downtown Columbia.
Oliver's Carriage house is located at 5410 Leaf Treader Way, Columbia, MD.
All are welcome. Our club offers a diverse learning environment. We have members from many different walks of life, ethnicities, religions and nationalities. Although we meet in a community church, our club has no religious affiliations.
Holiday 2012 Club photo