Softskills Central to Us
Softskills are central to who we are and how we carry ourselves. We spend exorbitant amounts of time learning and furthering our hard skills portfolio. But we overlook and take for granted our soft skills. These skills define each of us and determine how we function and carry ourselves amongst others. Soft Skills are what our hard skills rely upon. Once practiced and learned, we should spend regular amounts of time maintaining our soft skills. Skills not practiced and maintained can slowly fade and take us back to where we started.
As I was completing my 2nd DTM, I reflected on why I felt the Toastmasters program is successful.
Why Is Toastmasters Successful?
- not expensive – on average of $100 year
- meets weekly – based on regular and constant repetition
- leadership and speaking skills are intertwined during meetings and mutually inclusive
- members set their own pace of speech completion
- members meet in a common neutral environment of their home club
- many levels to achieve and strive for
- educational levels are pyramidal and build on the previous level attained
- members evaluate, mentor, and support each other
- members meet on neutral ground – no threat to each other as in the workplace
- great for developing your networking skills
- a relaxed environment to learn team building & group dynamics
- meetings are structured with an agenda, focused, and start-finish on time
- members learn skills by positive reinforcement in a safe environment where they cannot fail
- meetings are fun and have the flexibility to tailor their club culture based on member initiative
- 7 executive positions oversee the club changing each year with members volunteering
- meetings are on most any day, and members can pick clubs close to their work or home
- clubs are international in 142 countries, numbering 16,000 clubs and 345,000 members
Who can benefit from Toastmasters? Most anyone from academics, tradespeople, professionals, and the average ordinary person. It is ideal for people who work from home as it allows interaction with real people to grow and maintain their speaking and leadership skills. Toastmasters is a great confidence-building organization and a fantastic place to learn how to network and develop your speaking, presenting, and leadership soft skills. Much happens at a meeting. So I always invite guests to join me, observe and ask questions during or after the meeting.
How Are YOUR Softskills?
Start by searching for a club near you at toastmasters.org/find-a-club. Drop-in for free 15 minutes before the meeting starts. Identify yourself as looking for more info and even take part in a minor role during the meeting.
Don’t let your public speaking fears hold you back preventing you from being the person you want to be. Softskills learned and honed will make you a confident leader and a motivating inspiring speaker. Be sure to watch the video post at the top of this article for tips on what the Toastmasters program can do for you.