A Place for Improving Public Speaking Skills
by Curt Remington
Whatever you do in life, communication is probably an important part of it. If you’re like me, you might get along fine one-on-one or even talking to a small group of people. But, what happens when the group is large enough to qualify as public speaking?
Many of us have done our best to avoid speeches or business presentations.
For most of my adult life, I’d face challenges like whitewater kayaking, black diamond ski runs and mountain climbing, but when a client would ask me to put on a presentation, I’d feel a sense of panic come on. Usually, I’d struggle through, but I certainly wouldn’t have volunteered to give a presentation or speech.
Once I decided to write a book (Simple Meditation), it became clear that I’d have to get up in front of audiences, for book signing at the very least. So what do people do to overcome their fear of public speaking? Join Toastmasters, of course.
I joined in 2009 and hurried through the Competent Communicator Manual, anxious to get past my nervousness. There are a lot of other roles at a Toastmasters meeting that will get you speaking, without actually being one of the “speakers.” As I attended weekly meetings, I did get better at speaking. I also learned that it can be downright fun, challenging, even exhilarating. It’s wonderful to connect with people and get an important message across, whether your goal is to convey information, persuade others on an important topic, or learn to sell your nifty product.
Not only is Toastmasters a place to improve your speaking skills, but you learn to listen better, gain self-confidence, hear some fascinating speeches and meet some very nice people.
Now I’ve performed countless speeches, performed many roles within our club, have served a variety of officer roles in Bellingham Evening Toastmasters, and I’m currently the Area 11 (Whatcom county) Governor. After seeing how much fun I’m having, my wife joined too, and she is currently the president of Bellingham Evening Toastmasters.With my book now in print, I am booking numerous speaking engagements, and I’m very thankful for the skills I’ve learned at Toastmasters. By the way, if you’re interested in booking me for a speaking engagement, my talks focus on meditation, spirituality, nature and the trips you can find on my website. Email me, and we can discuss your needs.
If you do something in your life that involves communication with others (most of us do), especially in groups, of if you’d just like to meet nice people and hear fascinating speeches, I encourage you to visit a Toastmasters meeting. They are a very welcoming place. You just might find that it’s a lot of fun and not so scary after all.