Who's making New Year's Resolutions? Raise your hands.

Whether you are making resolutions or not, I urge you to seriously consider becoming a Toastmaster. That means being part of this global organization called Toastmasters International. That means making the investment in time, money, and effort to be a better communicator and leader than you already are. Follow this advice and this time next year, you'll be wondering why you didn't do this sooner.

Why should you become a Toastmaster? Here are three good reasons why:

You will expand your NETWORK.
You will increase your NET WORTH.

Expanding Your Network

Within the first few months that I was an active Toastmaster, I landed a training gig in a top multinational corporation. A guest in one of our meetings asked me to coach him in language proficiency. I considered that pretty good ROI for the membership dues I paid the club. And I have the club to thank for exposing me to a network of potential clients, suppliers, mentors, friends.

Every Toastmasters Club has a roster of at least 20 members. Multiply that by more than 150 clubs in the Philippines, where there are year round activities to allow you to rub elbows with different people from different industries. Consider too that there are thousands of clubs all over the world. By any standards, that is a pretty vast network. It is up to you to get the most out of that network by being as active and friendly as you can be.

Though using Toastmasters activities for blatant selling and guerrilla tactic marketing (the equivalent of spamming) is frowned upon, you can build up your image by volunteering to host events, visiting clubs as an evaluator, and excelling in speaking contests. These are more subtle, less offensive, and certainly more effective ways of showing off your talents and building up your name recall without doing any hard sell.

Networks are not limited to professional contacts. The friendships that have grown out of my Toastmasters experience are rich and thriving. These are friendships with people who want to use their time productively, who share my desire for lifelong learning and continuous development. These are people who know how to have fun. Friends who have taught me so much more beyond just communication.

Increasing Your Net Worth

Joining Toastmasters for the first time - US$20.00
Approximate Annual Membership fee - PhP5,000.00
Competency Development and Growing Self Confidence - Priceless

I can honestly say that I'm a better person, better speaker, better writer, better communicator, better leader than I was when I started in my Toastmasters journey. Our club, Butter N Toast Toastmasters Club, values lifelong learning and aims to make that possible by providing a fun, motivating environment. It's hard to think of a better investment in self development than Toastmasters.

Our members who are entrepreneurs come into the club even when it seems like they don't need to be a Toastmaster in their career. They can put their money elsewhere, but they see the value in developing their skills and confidence.

Learning in an Environment that is Not Work

If the first two reasons have not convinced you yet, then this could be the one to cinch the deal. Toastmasters is not a have-to. For me, it's a want-to. No matter how busy my schedule gets, I need to be there in the twice-a-month meetings. It's a break from the tedium of work. It's a great, productive way to be entertained. And I can mess up without worrying about getting fired. It's a laboratory to experiment with new behaviors and to take risks. Mistakes are not going to affect my career.

But the learning and all the benefits are sure to make me better in my career as well as in my personal life.

2009 is predicted to be a tough year -- one that can challenge us in many ways. I encourage you to take the Toastmasters challenge.


  1. Sana said...
    I enjoyed this site! How do you have the time to maintain soooooooooooooo many sites?!!! =D
    gege said...
    Thanks, Sana. It's not easy maintaining all these blogs. But it's fun writing and sharing what I can with those who want to write and speak better. So the effort is worth it.
    Boom San Agustin said...
    Like I told you on Twitter; Great Article!

    This site should be marketed to the hilt! So many people need this! I noticed in my blogs that I have been sending some traffic your way; but not much. Let's see if I can throw some more. :)

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