By Corrie Miller
Recently I decided to check out Toastmasters. The reason I initially set foot inside the local rec centre for my first meeting was not because I felt compelled to become a better speaker; it was for research. I wanted to know, in joining Janice’s Tomich’s business, Calculated Presentations, what the differences were in what she offered (which I found were many) from a business perspective. The first thing I discovered was that Calculated Presentations (find us on Twitter @calcprez) offers much more in terms of personal attention and the ability to work with you on your individual presentation and associated slidedeck if the need is there. But I will say that that where we offer intensive training for the corporate audience, a group like Toastmasters can be a great place to get the long-term practise of standing up and speaking in front of others. The biggest take-away I’ve received from presenting to others, both with Janice in the corporate environment and at those recent Wednesday nights spent at the rec. centre?
Get feedback… an evaluation. Get the debrief after a training session. Get others’ opinions. It’s paramount to your personal (and business) growth.
Hearing how others perceived your talk/pitch/presentation is really the best way to improve. Whether practising with a personal coach like Janice or in a more long term social setting, having someone else adjudicate you is so important. From the content of your presentation to “ums” and “ahs” and making you aware of nervous body language (mine is touching my hair and swaying on my feet, another woman I know rubs her nose. I also know a man who is a chronic belt fiddler!), having an evaluator take an objective look at what you’re doing can do amazing things for your personal growth in this arena.
Bottom line is, everyone needs a mentor. A coach.
As Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google has said:
“One thing people are never good at is seeing themselves as others see them.”
To Your Voice,