We were keen to include Toastmasters into what we are doing with Collider after plenty of feedback from the local business community that talking in public was not one of their strong points. But what is Toastmasters? And What makes Collider Toastmasters different? We cornered Peter Kerr and posed these questions, so if your pitch is a little bit rusty, you are after some public speaking tips or simply curious about Collider Toastmasters curious read on....
While there are many Toastmasters Clubs in New Zealand, the Collider Toastmasters club is not quite the same as other clubs.
Toastmasters in general is an open membership organisation dedicated to helping people speak better and more confidently in public.
However Collider Toastmasters is the first and only entrepreneurial Toastmasters in the world, and is mostly attended by those taking a bet on their own skills or products.
This makes for, according to members who have attended other clubs around the place, for a quite extraordinary level of buzz, of derring-do, of energy.
That’s because any one of us realise that at any time during our business or social lives, we may be called on to pitch whatever it is that we’re selling. For that reason alone there’s a great willingness to step forward and take part - whether it be an impromptu talk for up to two minutes or a prepared speech from six to eight minutes.
This extends through to the Toastmaster evaluation process - part of the hour-long event’s secret sauce.
Because entrepreneurs live with, and often ‘fail’ (as in not necessarily succeed there and then), the Commend, Recommend, Commend (CRC) evaluation process is considered a fantastic part of the exercise.
The ‘recommend’ component in particular (‘this is what you could do better’) is seen by all as being extremely useful...because it is a shortcut to improving your public speaking skills, rapidly. Rather than being considered a telling off, it is an opportunity to mentally go ‘ah, right, be mindful of that and do it better’.
Personally, the five months I’ve been part of Collider Toastmasters has made me much more confident speaking in public. I can control my nervousness, and even enjoy it. It has enabled me to focus on being clear, focused and entertaining. Toastmasters is the best value for money training I’ve ever had.
The Collider Toastmasters is a fusion of fun and feedback while practising talking in front of an audience.
It is open to all, so get along at 7.15am on a Wednesday morning in the Biz Dojo Events Space.
But be warned. You’ll probably enjoy it and want to do more. If you think that’s a bad thing though, you’re probably in the wrong mental space.