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When I attended my first Toastmaster meeting as a guest, I was asked to introduce myself. I was shaking so much that I had to use both my hands to put my water glass down afterwards.

Toastmasters (1) is a non profit organization to help develop public speaking and leadership skills. In that first meeting, I realized that it was a safe environment to learn and develop, which is why I decided to attend meetings every fortnight. That was more than 15 years ago and I still attend meetings and am even part of my club’s committee.

With time, patience and regular training, I can now safely say that I love public speaking. I liken it to going to the gym. If I don’t go, I feel rusty and unfit but if I do go regularly, when I am asked to speak at a talk or a workshop, I’m more comfortable and relaxed.

One of the biggest benefits of Toastmasters is that you receive constructive feedback. You learn from each other and become aware of what you are doing and saying. When you are aware, then you can make conscious changes. For example, who is going to tell you that you made 15 “Errs” in your 5-minute talk?

A fantastic way to grow your business is to speak about your work in public. So if this is a route you would like to go, check out a Toastmasters club now.

Footnotes

1) Toastmasters Links
Toastmaster International Organisation
Clubs in Switzerland
International Lunchtime Toastmasters (Club I belong to – meets every second Wednesday at lunchtime at Central, Zurich)