Have you ever asked yourself this question…
Can active participation within toastmasters replace traditional presentations skills training?
When answering this question. I had to assume this person is asking if one should either take a speaking seminar OR invest in a Toastmasters membership? I would suggest to anyone asking this question, “Go for the Toastmasters membership,” but why choose one or the other? Why not choose both? Most Toastmasters members eventually do choose both.
One or two seminars would not even touch the experience and continuous learning benefits of an ongoing Toastmasters membership. Can it be argued that a seminar is a more comprehensive and professionally presented event? Certainly, there are Toastmasters who provide just that type of seminar. And there are Toastmasters who have been members for decades who still attend those types of seminars. However, they give and attend them on a regular basis. Even professional speakers know that the value of a seminar is in time invested in practicing what you have learned. As they practice, they know that one seminar will not make you a great presenter. Only continuous practice and (more importantly) continuous feedback will reap you the best improvements. They will continue to attend other seminars, not just one. This is why they probably wouldn’t ask this question. But even experienced presenters will take both. Attend many seminars and join a Toastmasters club. Toastmasters is a place you can get continuous membership and training and, more importantly, practice that is not in front of your clients, bosses, or prospects. You can get feedback before it really counts.
By the way, you can also get continuous training and feedback from World Champions Edge. A subscription service run by some of the most renowned professional speakers around.
Do you have some suggestions on improving presentation skills?