gstm-officer-steved-200wA guest post by George Sutton Toastmasters Member, Steve Doherty…

One of life’s great paradoxes is that so many people find selling distasteful yet virtually all of us sell to survive and succeed.There isn’t ONE position in life, either personal or professional, where communication and selling skills are not a critical component of success.

In fact, I would venture to say that the vast majority of our lives we spend “selling” via trying to influence our kids, convince our co-workers, influence a client, buying a home or car, lead our professional teams, lead our Boy Scout troop, convince our spouses, convince the butcher, and on and on and on.

LIFE is about conveying our thoughts, ideas, innovations, and our creative input in a way that allows us to influence the world around us. This is the EPITOME of selling whether you actually “sell” for a living or not. Get used to it. And get GOOD it!

So with the stakes of selling this high and the art of effective communication this necessary, and valuable, why wouldn’t the average person want to get better at it?

There are few things that have the kind of return associated with them that heightened communication skills have. To that end, there are few ways to acquire those skills in less time—with less investment—and with more successful outcomes, than Toastmasters!

Toastmasters International

Toastmasters is the ultimate strategy to improve your speaking, selling, communication, persuasion, and ability to influence the world around you. Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. Our membership is 280,000 strong. These members improve their speaking and leadership skills by attending one of the 13,500 clubs in 116 countries that make up our global network of meeting locations.

Membership in Toastmasters is one of the greatest investments you can make in yourself. At $36 every six months (club dues may vary), it is also one of the most cost-effective skill-building tools available anywhere.

How Does Toastmasters Work?

A Toastmasters meeting is a learn-by-doing workshop in which participants hone their speaking and leadership skills in a no-pressure atmosphere.

There is no instructor in a Toastmasters meeting. Instead, members evaluate one another’s presentations. This feedback process is a key part of the program’s success.

Meeting participants also give impromptu talks on assigned topics, conduct meetings and develop skills related to timekeeping, grammar and parliamentary procedure.

Members learn communication skills by working in the Competent Communication manual, a series of 10 self-paced speaking assignments designed to instill a basic foundation in public speaking.

Who Should Attend Toastmasters

It is hard to imagine ANYONE who would not benefit greatly from enhanced communication and presentation skills. Ask yourself a simple question. “Am I EVER in a circumstance where I am communicating thoughts, ideas, or value propositions to people I hope to persuade?” Period.

Aside from shepherds and monks, the rest of us would have to answer that question honestly with a resounding “YES!”

Most people are capable of being listened to, but only the good communicators are truly heard. And to those people, society rewards with greater compensation, respect, influence, and admiration.

Nothing beats an effective communicator.

So whether your goal is to become the best salesman in your company or merely to be able to give a great toast at your daughter’s wedding, Toastmasters International is the place to start!