When I joined Toastmasters I wanted to improve my speaking skills. That is what Prof Mufunani Khosa sold to us in our Graduate Trainee Business Communications class those many years ago. When I attended the next meeting and subsequently joined, it lived up to its billing, it was an organisation to improve speaking skills.
With time I learnt that the main skills you learn in Toastmasters are speaking, listening and critical thinking skills.
Brian Tracy highly recommends Toastmasters in his book, “Your Coach in a box”. He espouses that the program works wonders through a psychological phenomenon that he refers to as “systematic desensitisation”. The more you stand in front of people the less afraid you are and the more you build your confidence. I have since learnt that this does not just apply to speaking. It also applies to leadership.
I used to wonder why the tag line for Toastmasters is “Where leaders are made”. Speaking, listening and critical thinking that are learnt in Toastmasters are core skills in leadership. The beauty is that you get to practice the skills in the organisation. The experiential leadership platform in Toastmasters is second to none.
As election season is upon us step up and take up a role in your club and be made into a leader. You may struggle with your first days like you did when you started the speaking journey but you will have learnt a lot by the end of your term of office. The beauty is that you have a lot of support on your journey. You learn speak by speaking, you learn lead by leading.
Edmore Gamundani DTM
Executive Club Zimbabwe