by Mark McClanahan
As business leaders, one of our most important roles is communication. As it is the backbone of what we do, how well we communicate equates to how effective we are.
Leaders are often in the position to speak to groups of people of assorted sizes and backgrounds. In these situations, we are typically called to inform, influence and inspire our audience. Because of their importance, public speaking skills should be at the top of the list when it comes to what to nurture and improve in ourselves.
So, how do we do this? A few years ago, my company brought an outside sales trainer in to develop our consultants. During his stay with us, the trainer mentioned the value of public speaking and how important it was for salespeople and really for anyone in an organization. He highlighted his past and ongoing experience with Toastmasters International. He said it was instrumental in developing his effective communication and leadership skills.
This led to my own journey with Toastmasters. At that time, I discovered there were over 80 clubs in the St. Louis area with many locations and meeting times. I picked one that matched my needs, and after visiting a few meetings, I decided to join.
A year in, I have presented nine speeches, all guided by a well-orchestrated tutorial. After each speech, I am evaluated by fellow club members and provided with written feedback to take home. The variety of member backgrounds in the room has been beneficial in understanding how well I connected with diverse types of people.
Since the mission of Toastmasters is to empower individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders, I’ve encouraged others in my company to join. I would recommend the same to you.
Mark McClanahan (email@example.com or 314.909.1800) is the president at Mosby Building Arts.
Submitted 3 years 151 days ago