"All Great Speakers Were Bad Speakers at First"
Those words are attributed to the American poet, writer and lecturer, Ralph Waldo Emerson. Okay, so maybe some speakers start out better than others, but the bottom line is, we can all improve at our public speaking skills. An outstanding way to do that is to join a local Toastmasters club. Toastmasters International is a non-profit organization dedicated to excellence in communication and leadership.
Many people struggle with their ability to communicate well and confidently, whether at work, in a job interview, or simply at home. Through a low-cost, hands on approach, each member is given the tools, resources and opportunities to improve their speaking and leadership skills. Typical club meetings include three parts: prepared speeches – members are given opportunities to prepare, rehearse, and then deliver presentations in front of their fellow members; speech evaluations – whenever you speak in Toastmasters, you receive helpful and supportive evaluations from your peers; and finally, impromptu speaking – members, and guests, practice speaking “off the cuff” for one or two minutes by responding to general topics of interest. And all of this is done in a positive and encouraging environment.
Toastmasters is open to anyone 18 years or older and willing to apply themselves to improving their speaking and leadership skills. Many clubs exist in Northeast Ohio, and there's one club that meets at the Euclid Public Library every Thursday from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Guests are always welcome. We'd love to see and hear you!
Greg Fondran is a proud Euclid native who attended the Euclid City Schools from Kindergarten through 12th Grade and is overjoyed to be living along the shores of Lake Erie in a community with such an incredible past and limitless potential for its future.