Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It's all about the members

The members of St. Petersburg Toastmasters club #2284 jokingly refer to our club as "The Best Toastmasters Club in the Known Universe". The fact is that there are very few places where you can receive the real-world benefits which this club provides for such a small amount ($88 annually). Members have the tools and opportunity to connect better with a variety of other people, while gaining understanding of their motivations, hopes, fears, dreams, as well as perceptions of the world. The number one reason people come into Toastmasters is so that they can take what they hope they will learn into the outside world and apply it:

  • To get that job
  • To sway those investors
  • To persuade followers
  • To slam-dunk an upcoming presentation
  • To handle your employees better
  • To get a date with someone
  • To have confidence that they will succeed!

We give members tools which are immediately applicable in countless daily situations. The Toastmasters program is designed for breeding success in people but by a wide margin, club #2284 is the best club I have seen, simply because of its members. They enjoy the learning about others, encouraging them, and growing as group. A common sentiment I’ve heard from new members, who may not exactly be fresh out of school, is that they wish they had done this years ago. The bottom line is that the members of St. Petersburg Toastmasters have taken the outstanding program, and turned it into an outstanding club! As with any input I might give, don’t take my word for it, check it out yourself:
   Tuesday night at 6:15
   Piccadilly Cafeteria
   1900 34th St. North
   St. Petersburg, FL
See for yourself.

Now go out and do great things!
Mike Snyder


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

You don't really want to buy that drill

So you go to Home Depot to buy that sweet new Dewalt 18v cordless hammer-drill:

It'll help you finish your deck in no time!

You need it to drill holes in the wood and screw the boards together. But is the drill what you really want? 

Well, no... Ultimately you want holes in the wood. But you can't just go buy a hole to put anywhere you want, or buy the boards screwed together just the way you want. So, you get a tool to help you accomplish your goal.

In the same way, why would people want to learn public speaking? It's great to  feel confident, speak clearly, and convey your ideas but like the drill, those are tools. And tools are meant to be used to accomplish tasks and goals. So what goals would the "tool" of public speaking help you accomplish?

How about being able to calmly and confidently handle an impromptu speaking situation like when your boss calls you in and blind-sides you with some situation? Being able to think quickly and respond appropriately could save more than your sanity then.

And unless you are a lawyer and find yourself in court, it might be a big advantage for you to be able to address the judge in a coherent manner. And let's not forget the opposite sex. Are you so nervous that you might just forget your own name, or will you be able to sweep someone off their feet?

It's all about connecting with others, be it one-on-one or a large crowd. Public speaking is a tool you can use but honestly, with the right group, it's really a lot of fun. I've had a blast since I joined Toastmasters though when I first spoke, I was so nervous that the room spun. It was not a good time! But through the support of my Toastmasters club, I've grown to have my wits about me so that if I do have to speak in front of anyone else, I'll be able to rise to the occasion with confidence.

"Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel. It is to bring another out of his bad sense into your good sense."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
There are over 14,000 Toastmasters clubs worldwide. No cost or obligation to visit. What have you got to loose? Except maybe a little fear. Watch and see:

Now go out and do great things!

Mike Snyder