We're always reading self-help books on topics like love or happiness, so why not do something different this month and focus on your professional development? There's always room for learning, and bettering yourself will give you more focus and drive towards your job. It's also a chance for you to revamp your career, feed your brain, and gain confidence. Click through the slides to find out how to get started today!
Pumped up from my own recent experience at a Toastmasters meeting, I decided to speak with Toastmasters International President Pat Johnson to see what tips she can give us to improve our public speaking skills. It was interesting to find out that Pat had started out with very little confidence and gained a lot of it throughout her years at Toastmasters. Click on through to read her tips.
My first Toastmasters experience was unreal — think hedonism, Patrick Dempsey, and bacon-hating. But first, let's go back to the beginning. Yesterday, I started the eight-week professional development kick challenge, and I told you readers that my first step was to go to a Toastmasters meeting. I admit I was nervous when I walked in, because I wasn't sure what to expect. You hear about it all the time — Toastmasters, Toastmasters — but you can't fathom what that means until you've experienced it.
I think what surprised me the most about the club, a nonprofit aimed at helping professionals develop public speaking and leadership skills, was how structured it was. There were officers, timers, and schedules to be followed. Everyone had to stand up when they spoke, and the people who were assigned speeches stood behind a lectern to speak. There was someone assigned to time each speech, someone to watch for verbal distractions such as "ah" and "um" and someone to scribble down a detailed evaluation of the presentation. It all seemed pretty intense, so when it was my turn to say something, I was really nervous.
To find out what happened, read after the jump.