Once you have overcome your nerves and discovered the joy of public speaking, it’s all too easy to get complacent and to think that you have made it. Believe me, you haven’t. Presentation practice without feedback means that even experienced presenters get sloppy over time, picking up bad habits that undermine their messages. So what can you do about it?
A friend of mine is an instructor for the Institute of Advanced Motorists in his spare time. He helps experienced drivers polish their skills and unlearn some of the bad habits they inevitably pick up once they have passed their test.
Talking to him got me thinking that maybe there might be an equivalent organisation for presenters, trainers and speakers. Somewhere they could get presentation practice coupled with honest, expert feedback. So I did some searching on the web and discovered Toastmasters International.
Toastmasters International is a worldwide network of local public speaking clubs. It gives both new and experienced speakers the opportunity for presentation practice in a friendly supportive environment with lots of positive feedback.
Presentation practice Update:
I joined several years ago and am still a member today. That’s a testament to the effectiveness of its “learning by doing” educational programme, and the wonderful people you meet there. It’s the perfect place for presentation practice.
My own local club is Solent Speakers based in Fareham
For information about Toastmasters Clubs in other parts of the world visit www.toastmasters.org