Are You Stretching Yourself to the Best of Your Abilities?

Some were shaking, some were seasoned veterans, and some didn’t know why they were there, but they all had the same goal, to be comfortable talking in front of others. Many were business owners trying to get better at doing presentations, some were veterans that got their start at the same club and wanted to give back by helping others. They’re called “Toastmasters” and last night I had the honour of being their guest speaker. Many it was their first time making a presentation, and others had been part of the group for a while, either way it was fun evening and very helpful to those involved. I had never been to a Toastmaster’s event before and wasn’t sure what to expect. The evening was very structured, and very positive. Even though many were new they seemed to be fairly comfortable on stage in front of the group. The usual items need to be addressed such as talking too fast but much of that is due to the time factor and nervousness of being front and centre on the floor. The people that seemed to come across the best were those that used their personal experiences to support their presentation therefore adding even more exposure to their lives. I applaud each one of them for their courage in standing up against one of the largest fears in the world, public speaking.

The point is whether they feel they need the support of a group, or are already comfortable and trying to improve their presentation skills they were doing something to stretch themselves to the next level. They may have been nervous, they may have been scared, but they were putting themselves out there. I know over my years of public speaking to many different groups there is almost a calming effect when you share yourself with the world. Think about it, people may laugh, but they can’t gossip because you put the topic out there first. You don’t feel as though you have anything to hide because you brought up the information in a way that was comfortable for you. Look at any great scandal and you will see the same thing. If the person accused brings it out it isn’t half as bad as if someone else found out about the secret and blew the whistle. By sharing your life, even the bad times, you may be helping someone else going through the same problem. Life is about giving and giving of yourself is the best way to help both you and the other person. If you are looking for a group to improve your presentation skills may I suggest the Toastmasters group in your area. If you live in Southern Ontario then I not only suggest Toastmasters, but suggest the Executive Yacht Club for Toastmasters in Jordan Station Ontario. You won’t regret your decision. Thanks to Heather Talons and her group  for having me out last night and I would highly recommend the group to anyone ready to stretch themselves to the next level.

About the Author

Bruce Outridge is a motivational speaker, business and leadership consultant from Burlington, Ontario. To learn more about Bruce and his work please visit his websites at www.outridge.ca or  www.bruceoutridge.com . To learn more about the Toastmasters Group please visit their website at Executive Yacht Club for Toastmasters

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