It doesn’t matter if you are an introvert or an extrovert, you are eventually going to need people skills. Unless you went all Into the Wild, burned your IDs, gave away your money and are living a self-sustaining life on a mountain. Then sure, maybe you don’t need people skills. I agree with Eddie Vedder society is a crazy breed, but you don’t need to run away from it.
You just need the right tools and resources to adapt and get you through the day. What would you say if I told you I know the cheapest way to further your education? You likely may spend more dining out in ONE week versus the cost of this. And it can catapult you into leadership roles (if you desire this path). As well as teach you how to write compelling blog posts that will inspire your audience to take action?
Do I have your attention yet? Read more to find out what this is!
Surprise! It’s Called Toastmasters. Don’t Groan – Keep Reading!
Ok, before you roll your eyes and click off this page – hear me out! Toastmasters is no longer where you send your dysfunctional employees to go to learn how to play nicely with others (well, that may still be the case in some situations). But for the most part, it’s where people are going to perfect one or a few of their skills. Even writing.
Since being a part of Toastmasters, I’ve met 3 other writers and bloggers who are also in it! Holy shiz! 2 blog as a side hustle and the 3rd is a professional motivational speaker and author. Yeah, my mind was blown and I was star struck. I totally want to weigh in on some of their conversations! Especially help a stay-at-home mom blogger out who has a struggling Pinterest game, “It’s called Rich Pins…they’ll make your Pinterest pins look rich! Change your personal account over to a business account Right Meow! Edit your Snippit to include your key words and make sure it calls a person to read more! Oh cripes.. fill in the Alt Text in your images (pins) and use a few hashtags in the descriptive review of the article!”
(Save a pin from this page and you will see what I am talking about).
But, I can’t bring up my Pinterest game since I’m an anonymous blogger and play the, “Oh, I only look for recipes on Pinterest” card.
Build Your People Skills And Your Network
I digress, but Toastmasters is like a big underground party that’s been kept on the down-low. Not sure why? Maybe because there was stigma there is something wrong with you. You can’t socially interact with others. You have no people skills. And you’re afraid that’s going to be public knowledge. But not anymore!
In my club, there are some pretty high profile people. One night, I saw one of the members on TV being interviewed. It was my claim to fame moment, “Hey! I know that person!” The next meeting in Toastmasters I bring up the fact that I saw him on the news and so I struck up a conversation, “Great job fielding that journalist’s questions!” He laughed and said there was always room for improvement and that’s why he keeps going to Toastmasters.
Being in a room full of people with positive, professional energy also radiates back into you. My personal motto is: “Wish well for others, celebrate successes, offer encouragement through failures and surround yourself with those who are healthy for you!” And this group is a big part of a healthy environment to surround yourself with. How often do you enjoy going to work and seeing the people there? Yeah, Toastmasters may have one or two crabby people…but not for long. You get voted out if you are too negative and can’t keep it professional in the club. Wow! When in work do you get to vote someone out for not upholding the business’s values and ethical standards?! Count me in!
Invest In Your Biggest Asset
I’ve said it before, but you are your biggest asset. You have to live with yourself all your life, so keep reinventing yourself, adapting to change and staying on top of your game. I don’t care how introverted you are, you still need people skills. And people. I’m an introvert and am exhausted more than usual after a full day of work and an hour at Toastmasters. Guess what? I never regret going, can crash by 8:30pm and get the best sleep ever during the night!
Get out of your comfort zone. Don’t have time for it? Make it a priority. Give up time wasters. Adding more to your plate does not mean you can’t handle it. Embrace stress and see what all you can get done in a week. Still on the fence for Toastmasters? Read about why I joined in my Ice Breaker speech.
It’s So Cheap:
The price of a membership may vary from club to club, but, overall, it’s so cheep ya’ll! From Toastmaster’s FAQ’s site,”Members pay international dues of $45 USD every six months. (Some clubs may charge additional fees.) International dues are $33.75 USD every six months for clubs not in Toastmasters districts. All new members also pay a one-time $20 USD fee.”
Overall, I pay $64, every 6 months. So averages out to be about $10 per month. Umm, yeah. I’m guilty of spending more than $10 on McDonald’s in a weekend?! I have spent more on books and other training material over the years as well.
This is a program where the amount of effort you put it, gets you the biggest return on investment. Don’t ever show up? Bail out on giving speeches and participating in other club roles? Well, then you likely just wasted your money (and you’ll likely get voted out anyway).
Get Your People Skills On And Find A Toastmasters Club Near YOU!
They always encourage you to visit a club first to find out if it’s a good fit for you. Sure, I’d encourage this too, but I didn’t do this. I just creeped the people in the club. #TheIntrovertedWay. Checked out their open Facebook accounts. Read to see which clubs were active and what kind of members were in each club, etc. To find a club near you, just go this address and plug in your zip or city/state: https://www.toastmasters.org/find-a-club
If you live in New York, NY, you really have no excuses. Dannnnng! Check out how many there are ya’ll:
Conclusion & BONUS!
Toastmasters is thee cheapest way to 1). Further your education and 2). Get yaself some much needed people skills. I am only a member of Toastmasters. I don’t hold any special roles and do not receive any kick backs or monetary compensation for promoting this organization. There are NO Affiliate links in this post! Click away guilt free! The views are based solely on my personal experience and are my opinion from being a part of such an awesome club.
I am just that nerdy excited about it and think if anyone wants to get ahead in life (and keep their sanity in life or their job) needs to be a part of Toastmasters. It’s amazing for keeping your life professional, organized, and honing your side hustle!
BONUS: Toastmasters is rolling out the Pathways program in 2018. In some Districts in the world (China, Malaysia), this is already available to you! This program is revamped, and members can now pick which learning path they would like go down. They realize communication is more than just public speaking, and have included paths that are tailored to the virtual world. Example screen shot of some projects below (hello Podcasts and Blogging!).
So what do you say, are you in?