What To Expect From Toastmasters Effective Public Speaking Meetings

August 13th, 2013 by
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If you’ve ever been nervous about speaking in public or in front of a group of people, you’re not alone. Public speaking is considered one of the most common fears among Americans, and even professionals and industry leaders have had to overcome obstacles in order to feel comfortable speaking in front of a crowd. Effective public speaking skills can be hard to master, but they are considered invaluable in successful business endeavors.

Public speaking is especially important in the MLM industry. Remember that you play every role in your MLM business: you are the sales person, you market and advertise the product, and you are in charge of all communications to the public and to your downline. It is important to be confident and poised at all times during presentations and meetings. The more clear and direct you present your message, the more effectively you’ll spread the good word about your company and motivate people to join in.

But how does one master the art of public speaking? It’s difficult to teach yourself how to be a better speaker because you may not notice all of the nuances and inflections of your conversational speech. It also may prove challenging to spot and track your own body language habits as well. Having someone monitor you while you’re speaking proves much more valuable, and it also gives you the chance to practice speaking in front of an audience. That’s why there are public speaking courses or clubs that you can join, such as Toastmasters International.

What is Toastmasters International?

Toastmasters International is an non-profit organization that is designed to help people learn effective public speaking tips and tools and to overcome their fear of communicating in public. Toastmasters aims to teach speaking and leadership skills through practice, a “learn-by-doing” approach, and offer a non-pressure atmosphere in which to do so.

What Goes On at a Toastmasters Meeting?

Sometimes even the thought of joining such a club can bring on anxiety, because it’s the first step to take in confronting your fears. That’s why it’s important to know what to expect before you join. Take a peek into a real-life Toastmasters meeting by clicking on video below.

The Roles of the Members

Each person who attends a toastmasters meeting is given a role, all of which are designed to help the speakers hone their skills. The speakers are the ones who are actually giving the speech and being evaluated. The toastmaster of the day’s role is to keep the meeting moving along smoothly and to introduce the speakers and the activities. The toastmaster of the day gains useful practice in curating and organizing meetings or speeches. The timer makes sure the speakers don’t go beyond the allotted time slot, and the grammarian listens to members speak and provides feedback that helps them build their language skills. The general evaluator reports on the overall flow of the meeting and what to improve.

If you are the speaker in a meeting, you are evaluated on the following criteria:

  • Organizing thoughts
  • Getting to the point
  • Delegating
  • Mentoring
  • Controlling your voice
  • Working with visual aids
  • Getting comfortable with gestures, and more.

All of these peer evaluations will help you communicate your MLM message more effectively in both presentations and marketing materials such as videos. They will also help you communicate to your downline in an organized, efficient fashion that inspires and motivates. The more you practice effective public speaking, the sooner you can become a confident leader and inspire success among your team.

Table Topics for Quick Thinking

At every meeting, a few minutes are set aside for table topics, where one person prepares topics and each member gets 1-2 minutes to discuss the topic. This portion of the meeting helps you learn the art of thinking fast and saying the right thing, and it allows you to practice the skill of impromptu speaking. In the MLM industry, members are often confronted with questions about business practices and products, because no matter how well you present your message, people will always want more questions answered so they can make an informed decision on whether to enter the business. A lot of these questions require you to think on your feet and maintain composure in order to effectively communicate your goals and your mission statement. Table topics are a great way to hone this skill.

Eliminate Your Fears for Effective Public Speaking

It is important to know that Toastmasters meetings are designed as a non-pressure atmosphere that welcomes guests to the table and guides you while you overcome your fear of public speaking. The participants not only evaluate you based on what you could improve, but they also let you know what you’re doing correctly. Once you have a better understanding of how to improve your public speaking skills, you can start to put them to use in front of your customer base and your downline to motivate your team.

The exciting part about network marketing is that you can own your own piece of a business and you’re responsible for the success of the business. You get to be in charge of all aspects of sales and marketing, and you’re responsible for communicating your message to the public in order to grow your downline. This is why effective public speaking skills are so important; you need to maintain composure and communicate clearly and directly when presenting your company’s mission. Now that you know what to expect in a Toastmasters meeting, you can put yourself out there in the world and overcome your fears of public speaking.

More articles on how to build and maintain lasting MLM relationships can be found here at CatalystMLM!

J. Audrey Hoy is the CatalystMLM team’s resident wordsmith. With a master’s of fine arts degree from New York University, J. Audrey has served as an Adjunct Instructor of Creative Writing at NYU and she currently works as the Content Editor and contributor at CatalystMLM. Originally hailing from the Chicagoland area, J. Audrey has previously resided in Iowa City, Brooklyn and currently lives in Burlington, Vermont. She spends her free time reading novels, writing, exploring the Burlington area and enjoying the outdoors.

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