Effective communication and leadership skills are vital when it comes to the role of being a Project Manager or a Project Professional and Toastmasters is an efficient, enjoyable and affordable way of learning to master both.
I first heard about Toastmasters through a dear friend of mine and always wanted to attend but was side-tracked by the hustles of life. However, this year decided to stop procrastinating and take it up after being called to take on numerous talking engagements either at work or externally at other business ventures. I discovered that Toastmasters is a place where members can get an excellent opportunity to practice their communication and leadership skills, including planning, organization, and time management and also gain skills that will improve their lives personally and professionally. And if I wanted to be taken seriously as a Motivational Speaker – I had to conquer my fear of public speaking as Failure is not an Option in my new journey.
After reviewing so many toastmaster clubs from the list – I decided upon PMI UK Toastmasters Club since I am already part of PMI (Project Management Institute) Worldwide and the UK Chapter as well. I also discovered some unique benefits of the PMI UK Toastmasters Club:
- An opportunity to participate amongst other PMI members, covering themes applicable to your project management career
- The opportunity to network with fellow project management professionals
- PMI Club members are able to earn PDU’s for attendance (reported under the Leadership skill set as described in the PMI Talent Triangle) which includes participation and have the opportunity to network with fellow project management professionals.
I can confidently admit that since I started attending the club, PMI UK Toastmasters has given me the skills that I need to effectively formulate and express myself in any situation, opening an entirely new world of possibilities. I joined back in February and to date, can confirm that I find myself to be more persuasive and confident when giving presentations and it has helped improve my relationships with others. Most of all, I love the applause I get when I have done a speech or completed a project task. To top it off; I was recently elected as Vice President of Public Relations for the club and this has increased my confidence even more.
I will advise future attendees (regardless of which toastmaster club) not to expect to sit passively in the audience listening while somebody delivers a long lecture on a specialist subject. Toastmasters is all about participation, we help each other grow by giving feedback on each other’s speeches; we undertake various roles during an event; and of course, we give speeches ourselves.
Mentoring Programme: PMI UK Toastmasters Club recently started a mentoring programme and offers the opportunity for every new member to benefit from being assigned a mentor at the club. A mentor will help you become familiar with the club, the Toastmasters community, roles at meetings and your first few speeches. It can help you to develop speaking and leadership skills quicker and participate more. Further details will be provided upon joining. My mentor is constantly on my case to be the best that I can be and does not accept excuses or procrastination which is a plus for me as a mentee.
Training Workshops: In addition to normal meetings, learn-by-doing workshops are organised by club officers frequently, in which participants hone their speaking and leadership skills in a friendly atmosphere. Training topics can range from “Evaluators as leaders: Motivating speakers, staff, and companies” to “Table topics & impromptu speaking” to “Conflict management”. Workshops are free of charge for all club members.
Membership: Membership in the PMI UK Toastmasters Club is open to all members of the PMI UK Chapter. Let a member of the Toastmasters Club executive know and they will be more than happy to help you complete the requisite paperwork. You can attend a PMI UK Toastmasters Club meeting or two as a guest to find out more before joining.
If you’ve always wanted to improve your public speaking skills, but have felt anxious about doing so, the PMI UK Toastmasters Club is the perfect place for you. If you’re still not sure if the PMI UK Toastmasters Club is for you, why not come down as a guest and see what all is about? Afterwards, I’m sure you’ll want to be involved in our next event. Non-project professionals or non-PMI-UK members are also welcome to attend and join the club as it is now OPEN to non-PMI members.
When and Where: Club meetings are held on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at St Botolph without-Aldgate and Holy Trinity Minories, Aldgate High Street London EC3N 1AB. The nearest underground tube station is Aldgate, which is just 3-minute walk to the venue. Our meetings start at 7 pm but are there at 6:30pm for networking with fellow project management professionals. After meetings, we normally head to the nearby Hoop & Grapes pub (47 Aldgate High St, London EC3N 1AL) for a pint or two. Register your interest by dropping us a message via the Contact Us form.
Mastering the art of influencing others’ beliefs through well-chosen words is timeless and offer great rewards. One of them might be securing your place as a speaker to future events or becoming a change agent within your organisation.
I did it! So can YOU!!!
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Yours in love – The Renaissance Lady ©