I’ve already shared the first reason why I’ve created a new Toastmasters club in Toronto: to enhance my public speaking skills in an environment where people speak a second language (or more). I felt that need back in July 2011, and reaching out to others I found out that it’s not only my need. 🙂
I have to mention here that I couldn’t start this Toastmasters club without the generous support of other people (Toastmasters, friends, people that I knew) who believed in me and this idea – thank you!!!
Turned out to be the first bilingual English-French Toastmasters club in Toronto, but that’s another story. 🙂
Now I would like to share other reasons why I was so motivated to start this new club, which took a lot of my energy and time to get started, and to guide it on the right path.
I’m a Professional Certified Coach, and I truly believe that people can enhance their career and improve their life through Coaching. I am a live example of that, and there are many others that could say the same thing, including Google CEO Eric Schmidt.
But you know what?! Toastmasters shares similar concepts with Coaching!
1. They both focus on personal growth. While the speed is different, they both create a supportive environment that facilitates personal growth.
In Toastmasters you will focus more on enhancing your communication and leadership skills, while Coaching approaches life and career from a holistic perspective (takes more in consideration than just communication and leadership).
2. They both understand the concept: more you give, more you receive. This concept touches two aspects:
– They both ask for a fee, knowing that it’ll bring some commitment to the process. Without commitment to personal growth you won’t get results in Toastmasters or with Coaching! There is a difference in fees, but if you measure it in time units and global benefits on the person… that difference makes sense! It is an investment in your life, have you thought about that?
– More you put your heart into this process (either Toastmasters or Coaching, or even both), more you will get out of it! Showing up at a Toastmasters meeting without being prepared for the role you’ve chose will not help you as much as when you had prepared for it! Same in Coaching: not being accountable to what you said you’ll do by next session, we’ll not get you the results that you expect!
3. To help you feel comfortable enough to progress toward your goals, both Coaching and Toastmasters create that supportive and challenging (but safe) environment; and act as cheerleaders when they notice your progress.
Toastmasters focuses on creating this environment in a group setting (Toastmasters members, regular meetings), and provides valuable tools to achieve that. The drawback is that your growth speed depends on others too, because there are a limited roles in Toastmasters meetings, and you might not get the chance to advance as quickly as you would like (as in Coaching).
4. Talking about goals and objectives: both Toastmasters and Coaching highlight the importance of setting goals and work toward achieving them. They have their own “tools” to support you.
In Toastmasters you get manuals, valuable feedback from other members, and learn through experience (deliver speeches, take on different roles). Coaching has a different approach, more creative I believe: it customizes the methods to your topics, goals and personality, so you can progress in your own way, while discovering new things about yourself and empowering you to change those that you would like to.
I have no doubt that we can co-create a wonderful future, if we believe that such future exist! Since personal growth could fast track this process, I totally appreciate Toastmasters contribution in building this future!
Please keep in mind that Toastmasters and Coaching are not competitors. 🙂 I consider them as different tools in your tools box, that could enhance each other results!
Why not try them both?! 🙂