As I mentioned in another post, I attended the 30th anniversary of the Toastmasters club I used to belong to last night. While you can outgrow the format that Toastmasters uses, you can never outgrow learning and at each Toastmasters meeting I’ve been to (with only a couple exceptions), I’ve learned something useful. Sometimes I learn something new about communication while other times I’ll learn about something unrelated to speaking through one of the speeches that night. Speeches are a true gem because everyone has a story to tell (a point I emphasize in the classes I teach). So have an open mind when you’re listening to someone talk.
When I first started using Twitter, I knew very little about the service or the benefits of using it. Now that I’ve used it a bit, I’ve finally figured out how to do the things I want to accomplish with the network. But I’ve also developed a number of pet peeves about the way some other folks use the service that I feel take away from the overall benefit to everyone. Some people are trying so hard to milk the benefits of the service that they’re missing out on the real purpose (and benefit) of the service – making real connections.
Have you ever met anyone who is soft spoken? Are you soft spoken? One of the biggest challenges facing people who occasionally speak is the volume of their voices. Speak too loudly and you come across as too aggressive. Speak too softly, and you come across as too weak. Many executives (as well as regular folks) struggle with the latter – they’re soft spoken so when they address their teams, they appear weak.
Getting the right volume is tricky for a lot of folks. It depends on so many factors such as:
- The size and layout of the room.
Back in January, I was rushing about town doing some errands when I came across a country music station. I had never been a fan of country music, but a song caught my ear as I was trying to find something other than news or commercials to listen to. The song was about how things may seem bad, but there’s still a lot to be grateful and thankful for. The song was “Lucky Man” by Montgomery Gentry.
Tomorrow I’ll be attending the 30th Birthday bash for the Toastmasters club that I was a part of for a little over four years. I still drop in when I can from time to time as the club constantly attracts nice and interesting people.
The club has changed significantly from the first meeting I attended in August of 2002. People have come and gone, yet there never seems to be a lack of enthusiastic people that want to help others become better speakers. I’m still friends with many of the people who were a part of that club when I first joined and it’ll be exciting to see some of them at the party.
If there was one question that I knew would immediately infuriate many of my teachers and professors, it was this one. There were always people that missed class, would ask this same question (even though the instructor blew up at the last person that carelessly asked it) and get an earful. And rightfully so – it implies that it’s possible that nothing was missed which translates to the class or meeting is a waste of time. Even if that’s the case, it’s still impolite.
In the prior post from this series, we discussed some of the ways that college students can better prepare themselves for after graduation while still enjoying themselves. We’ll continue with this theme in this post and pick up from where we left off.
6. Get an internship
Internships (both paid and unpaid) can help get your career started quickly. Many of my friends in college ended up working for the companies they interned with after graduation. But even if you’re not offered a job, it’s great resume building experience (and you may even learn a thing or two). Students with actual work experience in their area of study are more attractive to employers than those without.