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Landmark Toastmasters: Conversation, Confidence & Camaraderie

Public speaking can be a private nightmare for many. Conquering that beast is a challenge laden with rewards both professional and personal: with improved public speaking abilities come better communication and leadership skills, increased confidence, accelerated career success, a positive attitude and more eloquence in expression.

I've always been interested in improving my abilities to address an audience, so I was thrilled to learn that the Landmark Group - as part of its initiatives promoting excellence and growth - nurtures its very own chapter of Toastmasters International, a voluntary "learn-by-doing" club in which participants are encouraged to hone their speaking and leadership skills in a friendly atmosphere.

Area-Contest.pngThe Landmark Group Toastmasters - "LMG TMs", for short - meet regularly to share prepared and impromptu talks on assigned topics; encourage, exchange and help develop each other's presentations; improve grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation; and generally loosen our ties (and tighten our public speaking skills) in an environment of shared camaraderie where everyone is welcome. There is no instructor; instead, we take turns in facilitating meetings and documenting minutes, which allows us to be on equal footing and experience various roles. Group members include colleagues, co-workers and employees across brands, territories and job functions, so being a part of Toastmasters is also a great way to get to know each other on a more personal level.

Club-Contest1.pngI never thought I could enjoy learning about a topic as seemingly dry as Supply Chains before a humorous speech on the subject (which managed to incorporate witty anecdotes and Hollywood movie references), or be deeply inspired in under 5 minutes by a talk on how key decisions have the power to affect us all. As my own speaking skills have improved, I've seen close bonds developing with fellow Toastmasters and I find myself looking forward to the next meeting. Getting over cold feet and stage fright has never been so much fun.

Do you have a memorable public speaking experience to share? We'd love to hear about it here!