I just came from the District Conference of Philippine Toastmasters in Cebu.
It was huge! It was incredible! It was fantastic!
I’ve met other Toastmasters from all over the country and some from overseas. It was also great to listen to world-class speakers. One of them is none other than the 2001 World Champion of Public Speaking, Darren La Croix.
I don’t have a title like Darren.
I am not yet a professional speaker and don’t speak in big stages yet but once in a while, one or two friends would come up to me and ask how they can prepare for their speech in class or for their presentation at work.
And with the learning I have from powerful public speakers who I consider my mentors, actually and virtually, and through the learning I receive in Toastmasters, I answer them and they walk away with some tips that they can use the next day.
But I don’t think tips are enough to transform one’s public speaking skills. It has to be a continuous process.
And so this moment, if you are to ask me 7 steps to level-up your speaking skills, it would be these:
1. Go get wisdom from great speakers in small and/or big events.
2. Blend this with your personal voice.
3. Practice in small events.
4. Get feedback in small events.
5. Deliver again in small events.
6. Once again, get feedback in small events.
7. Repeat the process.
In Toastmasters, “small events” can mean club meetings and “big events” can mean district conferences like the one I just attended last week in Cebu where I’ve met Darren, the world champion.
If you noticed, “small events” is mentioned 5 times in the above 7 steps.
This is how important attending club meetings is.
It is where you start.
It is where you can practice.
It is where you can fail.
It is where you can try again.
It is where you can fail again and again.
It is where you can try again and again and again.
It is where you can rise up and transform your craft.
It is where you can level-up your speaking skills.
It is where you prepare yourself for big events.
Before the competition in that one morning of 2011 at the International Convention, Darren LaCroix walked into every club meeting he could go to deliver his speech and receive feedback. Among other tools, he made use of “the club meeting” as a springboard to finally jump high and emerge as the World Champion.
Like Darren, let’s make use of these small events. You and I may not have the same purpose as his, but we can make use of it just like he did.
Use it as a launch pad to catapult you to your desired success.
Live your life, young mind!
PS: If you are not yet a Toastmaster, I invite you to attend and experience our small event, the club meeting. Be our guest! Our club meets on Saturdays, 6pm, at IAME, Metropolitan Ave, Makati City. If can’t come to Makati, you can try other clubs in other locations. Visit www.toastmasters.org.