Did you know that the term glossophobia is a fancy word used to describe the fear of public speaking? In fact, it is said that glossophobia affects 75% of the population.


While some people have shaking hands, butterflies in their stomach and quivering voices while speaking on stage. Others have a full-blown panic attack and tremble in fear. The question that boggles the minds of many people is, can a person beat glossophobia? Well, the answer is yes.

People look at professional speakers and think they were born with some sort of speech enhancing drug in their bloodstream. They weren’t. They learn, they practice, and they repeat. It is crucial to search for resources that would enhance the skill you’re trying to build.

And this is why I joined a toastmaster meeting…

Toastmaster International originated in Bloomington, Illinois, United States. It started as a series of clubs organized by Ralph C. Smedley. Smedley saw the importance for men to speak, conduct meetings, and plan programs.

Today Toastmaster boasts 16,000+ clubs, in 143 countries, with 358,000+ members. More importantly, toastmasters have created an environment where building communication and leadership skills is possible.

After hearing so much about it, I decided to join a meeting, and these are some of the things I learned from my first meeting…
Listening Is an Act of Selflessness; Toastmaster Enhances Your Listening Skill.
The Toastmaster meeting I attended had some of the most eloquent and articulate people I have ever virtually met. Often types times, people who are well-spoken never stop talking. I am guilty of this dilemma.

Listening helps the person you are in conversation with feel heard. Feeling heard help improve our emotional and physical well-being. To enjoy your life, you need to have someone who listens to you and genuinely validates your emotions and opinions.

My Toastmaster meeting was full of masterful listeners (no pun intended). At the end of the meeting, fellow toastmasters were asked precise questions about details revealed the speeches presented for that day. This quiz was announced at the beginning of the meeting. I believe the timing of the announcement allowed fellow toastmasters to listen intricately to all the speeches rendered.

Toastmasters teaches its participants to respect the person speaking.
There Are Many Opportunities to Build Leadership Skills.
Toastmaster runs what seems to be a very well-organized system of events at every meeting. There are many positions within the organization that delegate tasks that help the robust system called Toastmaster to continue working.

With these positions, responsibilities and support are given to the holder of said positions. This way, the fellow toastmaster doesn’t just build excellent public speaking skills, but they also develop leadership skills.

Some leadership positions at Toastmaster include:

• President.

• Vice President — Education.

• Vice President — Membership.

• Vice President — Public Relations.

• Secretary.

• Treasurer.
Toastmaster Creates a Safe Space for Constructive Criticism.
A famous quote I heard once focused on the fact that every human is entitled to common courtesy and respect. The writer went deeper to say that constructive criticism should not only be expected, but it should be sought.

The Toastmaster forum provides a safe place for people to grow confidently through constructive criticism. Each speaker is given the opportunity to speak without interruption. Then, each assigned “judge” gives feedback pointing out strengths and opportunities. I put the word judges in quotation marks because there was no judging involved but thorough, constructive criticism and encouragement.

It is essential to know that the people you would meet at Toastmasters have the same goal as you. They are willing to work with you to achieve that goal. Have you been thinking about enhancing your public speaking skills? Have you also been thinking about becoming a better leader? Well, Toastmaster might be the place for you.

This post was previously published on Hello, Love and is republished here with permission from the author.


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