For some people, public speaking, whether it be presentations or speeches, comes naturally. Others require at least some form of training and a lot of rehearsal. This need is exactly what Toastmasters tries to address. But, the important question is – are programs like Toastmasters worth it?
Toastmasters is perfectly suited for you if you wish to overcome your shyness and improve your public speaking skills. In addition to being affordable, Toastmasters also helps you build your self-confidence and hone your leadership skills.
There is a lot that we can discuss about Toastmasters. That is what this article is going to be about, we are going to take a look at everything that you need to know about the program. So, without wasting any more of your time, let’s jump straight into it.
What is Toastmasters?
Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational program whose goal is to help people move forward in their careers. They offer a wealth of educational materials that we will discuss in the list below. So, let’s take a look at some of the best things that Toastmasters has to offer and what they aim to help you with.
- Improve your public speaking skills.
- They help you practice your speech writing and delivery skills.
- Build up your self-confidence, belief, and self-awareness.
- Work on your leadership ability.
When you join Toastmasters, you will be able to join clubs that act as groups within the program. These clubs will hopefully be the ones closest to you, or at least in your country but this is not necessary. Once you are in a club, you will work together 2 help each other with the program.
They also hold events all across the world that you can attend to get a better understanding and to have a more interactive engagement with the people behind the program.
As long as you are a member of Toastmasters, you will be able to choose from one of the 10 learning pathways. Don’t worry though, you will not be stuck to only that pathway. These pathways include things such as public speaking, interpersonal communication, and so on.
Whatever you feel that you need to work on the most, should be the first part way that you choose.
Toastmasters is available in over 145 countries as of writing this article. If you are unsure as to whether or not you can join from your country, feel free to email Toastmasters to find out.
You can also click on this link to locate a Toastmasters Membership club near you.
Is Toastmasters Free?
A lot of people, when they hear that something is a “non-profit organization” might be expecting the services offered by that organization to be free, after all, they are not in it for the profit are they? Well, let’s get into it.
Toastmasters is not free. This is because even a non-profit organization still needs to maintain its running costs which may include infrastructure, equipment, and salaries.
If something is non-profit, all it means is that the company is not designed to make money for the founders or owners of that company. All the money generated must, by law, be used within the company.
How Much Does Toastmasters Cost?
The last thing that I would want is for you to be turned off of the program simply because there is a fee that you have to pay. My main objective is to help you and others like you push forward in your career. So, let’s take a look at how much toastmasters costs.
Toastmasters membership will cost you $45 every 6 months and that works out to $90 a year. When you are joining Toastmasters, there is also a $20 sign-up fee. This means for your first 6 months you are looking at $65. After the first 6 months, it will just be $45.
I can only assume that the reason why they did not make it $90 a year but rather $45 every six months, is because they want to make it affordable to as many people as they possibly can.
Does Toastmasters look good on a Resume?
I guess for anyone who is looking into something like Toastmasters, what they are trying to do is give themselves as much of a competitive edge as they can when it comes to their careers. So, you would be hoping that it will look good on your CV.
While Toastmasters is not guaranteed to give you a competitive edge, any employer who looks at a CV with Toastmasters on it will see that you take yourself seriously.
If they know anything about Toastmasters, they might consider the fact that you might have skills such as leadership and speaking skills. So yes, Toastmasters does look good on the CV.
What are the Benefits of joining Toastmasters?
The main benefit of joining toastmasters is the way in which you will learn all of the abilities that they have to offer.
Within Toastmasters, you will find a friendly community that is more than happy to engage with other members to help them achieve the same thing that they are trying to achieve. This is especially true for new members.
Does Toastmasters Help with Shyness or Public Speaking?
Public speaking is one of the main things that Toastmasters focuses on. They also have programs to help you deal with shyness but one of the best things that help with your shyness is the way they structure their learning and the way that the club system works.
With Toastmasters, you will be able to practice your public speaking and the best way to deal with shyness is to do something over and over again until eventually, you get over that fear. Toastmasters will help you with that.
How Long does it Take to Complete Toastmasters?
The time that it will take you to complete toastmasters depends on you, how busy you are and which pathway you choose.
Toastmasters allows you to do everything at your own pace because they understand that some people are busier than others. This is especially true when those people are focused on their careers.
With all of that being said, the average time that it takes to complete each pathway within Toastmasters is about 2 years. This is because each pathway is made up of 20 to 25 projects that need to be completed.
Can Anyone Join Toastmasters?
Toastmasters International only has one requirement that you need to meet before you can join the program and you might be relieved to hear what it is.
The only requirement to join Toastmasters is your age. You must be at least 18 years or older and that is it. So yes, any adult can join toastmasters.
So, Is Toastmasters Worth It?
In my experience, toastmasters is a great platform that provides access to a group of people that are unbiased, and are members of the club for exactly the same reason as you – overcome their fear of public speaking.
So, if your goal is to really to become confident and feel comfortable to speak in front of large gatherings, Toastmasters is a great program which allows exactly that!
You should also keep in mind the fact that most public speaking courses are super expensive. Furthermore, the fact that most courses are profit oriented in nature, their goal is to get you finish the course as soon as possible to maintain efficient flow of new members.
Toastmasters, on the other hand, is a non-profit. While you do have to a pay a membership fee, it is only nominal as compared to some of the other courses. Furthermore, their main goal is to enable you and others to really become a good orator and a confident leader in your domain.
Thus, given the cost and the value you get in return, Toastmasters is totally worth it! (in my humble opinion)
A Few Alternatives to Toastmasters
If you don’t want to join toastmasters then I would recommend attending public speaking lessons in your area. One of the best ways to do this is to phone your local College or university and ask them if they have any classes available to the public.
That said, the consistency and quality of the courses will vary from place to place. Furthermore, some courses will need you to pay perhaps more than what Toastmasters would charge; while only a few universities may offer such courses for free.
That brings us to the end of this article. Hopefully, we have helped you decide whether or not toastmasters as a program is worth it for you as that was the ultimate goal of this article.
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