One of the benefits of improving your speaking skills is that you can actually uses these skills to make money, even a living. It’s a great way to put your speaking skills to use and can be rewarding in more ways than just monetarily. If you feel comfortable speaking to groups, becoming a professional speaker can be quite lucrative provided that there are people willing to pay to hear what you have to say.
Professional speakers can make money a number of different ways. We’ll talk about some of them, both the obvious and not so obvious. Read more...(969 words, 2 images, estimated 3:53 mins reading time)
Speech contests are a huge part of Toastmasters and can be interesting to watch. While I’ve never competed, I’ve had the pleasure of acting as contest master and chief judge (on separate occasions, of course) and have really enjoyed being a part of them. But the big question about speech contests is whether or not it’s worth all the time and effort.
Like anything, it really depends on your goals. I know people that make thousands of dollars for each speaking engagement they do, yet have never participated in a speaking contest. I also know of people who have won the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking that haven’t been able to leverage their win to create a successful speaking career. But on the flip side, I know people that haven’t participated in contests that have struggled to make a career out of speaking and people that have won contests and have done well for themselves. And of course, there are thousands of us in between. Read more...(958 words, 2 images, estimated 3:50 mins reading time)
In my public speakingclasses, one of the first things I teach is that you won’t improve your speaking skills unless you get up in front of an audience and speak. I was sharing this story recently at a networking event and a friend said to me “wait a second, don’t you sell CDs and books about speaking?” When I confirmed that I did, he asked then how do I expect anyone to buy them.
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I get asked this a lot by aspiring speakers, especially those in Toastmasters that are looking for a shortcut on the path to becoming a professional speaker. The short answer is no, you can become a successful paid speaker without joining the National Speakers Association (NSA). The follow up question is then “will it help me if I join?” My reply: it depends.
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It’s no secret that most people associate some sort of discomfort with public speaking. In fact, many people flat out hate it. I believe part of the reason for this is that there’s a lot of advice on how to be a better speaker (and even how to get rich from public speaking) that is either only semi-accurate or in some cases, completely inaccurate. So when people follow it and it doesn’t work they get frustrated and think that there’s something wrong with them.
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While I recommend Toastmasters to my classes and clients, it’s not always the perfect solution for becoming a good speaker. It’s hard for me to not seem wishy washy on the subject because my four plus years in Toastmasters were mainly positive. Yes, there were those not so good moments, but in general I enjoyed being part of an amazing club and making some excellent friends.
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Toastmasters is a great organization for people who want to become better speakers. It provides a safe, low-pressure environment where you can achieve your speaking goals at your own pace. With thousands of Toastmasters clubs throughout the world, chances are there is at least one club in your area.
Regardless of your reason for wanting to join a Toastmasters club, there are three things that you want to look for in selecting the club that’s right for you: convenience, membership, and experience.
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