“How long does it take to improve my public speaking?”
This is a question that we sometimes get asked by our guests.
The time taken for improvements depends on a few factors. These can include:
- how much existing public speaking experience you have.
- how confident you are at present in front of an audience.
- how much ‘natural ability’ you already have.
The reason that Toastmasters works so well in improving your speaking is for a number of reasons:
- You get to practice every session (you can even attend other clubs so that you get even more practice).
- You will receive structured and positive feedback on what you did well and what can be improved.
- You will build your confidence in a ‘safe’ environment – no-one is going to be negative about you, and there is no pressure.
- You will learn the ‘mechanics’ of speaking, such as vocal variety, body language, content.
A good analogy is gym membership. You will get the best results depending on the level of fitness that you have already, and how willing you are to regularly attend sessions. In short, you get out what you put in!
After being in Toastmasters for nearly ten years, I have observed the following:
- Everyone who puts the effort in will improve – I have never seen anyone who has failed to make any improvement.
- For motivated individuals, the improvements happen relatively quickly. It’s sometimes surprising how quickly people lose their nerves and find their voice. Many go on to become truly excellent speakers.
Once you are a member you can aim to deliver 5-6 speeches in a year. In this time-frame, and with regular practice, you will see a great improvement.
Being a Toastmaster is not always easy, but your fellow members will be there to help and encourage you. All Toastmasters understand how difficult it can be.
However, once you give it a try and you feel your confidence building, it becomes a positive feedback loop.
Why not come along as a guest and see how far you will get?