Invest in Yourself… with Toastmasters

October 23, 2009

I first blogged about Toastmasters when I became involved in the organization in early 2008 (Click here for the Toastmasters post).    Now that I have been involved with it for quite some time, I thought I should expand a bit on that prior post.  When I first heard about Toastmasters, I admit that I had know idea what they did.   Did they make toasters?   Where they a bakery that specialized in hundreds of unique types of toast?  When I would hear the name of the group, I could just picture someone standing in front of a large room, holding up a glass, and giving a “toast” to something or someone.  Well, I was wrong on all accounts.

After visiting the Dyehard Toastmasters club in Belmont, NC, I came to realize that it was a group of positive individuals and business leaders who wanted to foster exceptional leadership and communication skills in themselves and in others within their community.  I joined  the group back in February 2008 because of my phobia of speaking in public or in front of people I didn’t know.    Since joining Toastmasters, I have come to realize that it is one of the top organizations worldwide to improve your leadership and oral communication skills, which in turn fosters self-confidence and personal growth.

Toastmasters has detailed and systematic educational programs for both communication and leadership.  One of the great things about them is that you are able to go at your own pace.  So many other training and education programs require you to go at the instructor or trainers pace – if your schedule does not permit you to keep up – to bad.  For more information on Toastmasters Educational Program- click here.

One of the greatest things about Toastmasters is the cost – it is cheap!  While individual dues vary by club, it is easily the best bargain out there for this type of training.  For example, ongoing dues at my club are only $24/quarter which covers both our local and our international dues.  Compare this to the thousands of dollars that some “leadership” programs charge for a week of training.  The frequency that clubs meet depends on the individual clubs – some meet weekly, other biweekly, and others only monthly.  The club I belong to meets every week.

I challenge everyone who is serious about improving their leadership qualities to take the time to find some local Toastmasters clubs and visit them.    I invite anyone local to visit our club over in Belmont.  We meet every Tuesday night from 7pm to 8pm.  There are nearly 50 Toastmasters Clubs in the Charlotte area alone – surely you can find one that meets your scheduling requirements:

For a List of Charlotte Area Toastmasters Clubs: Click Here.

To Find a Toastmasters Club outside of the Charlotte area:  Click Here.

(P.S.  If you didn’t notice, I have officially changed the name of this series of posts from “Smart’n Up to Invest in Yourself.  )

Donna Bordeaux, CPA with Calculated Moves

Creativity and CPAs don’t generally go together.  Most people think of CPAs as nerdy accountants who can’t talk with people.  Well, it’s time to break that stereotype.  Lively, friendly, and knowledgeable can be a part of your relationship with your CPA as demonstrated by Donna and Chad Bordeaux.  They have over 50 years of combined experience as entrepreneurial CPAs.  They’ve owned businesses and helped business owners exceed their wildest dreams.   They have been able to help businesses earn many times more profit than the average business in the same industry and are passionate about helping industries that help families build great memories.