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How Toastmasters Can Improve Your YouTube On-Camera Presence

 

How can you become more comfortable speaking on YouTube by going to a Toastmasters club?

I’ve been going to a Toastmasters club now for about a year now. I’ve really enjoyed doing it, and it’s really helped me organize my thoughts speaking and just presenting, in general.

Now I’ll admit I’m not an expert about Toastmasters. I am just someone who goes some of the time. I haven’t gone through all the workbooks and all the things you can learn. But if you want to follow the system they’ve established for improving your public speaking in a more structured way, I’ve seen people make great improvements by doing so.

There’s A Toastmasters In Your Town

Toastmasters is a worldwide organization, and there’s probably one in your town. And usually they meet up once a week. The club I’m a member of happens to meet on Wednesdays at 8:00 a.m. in my office building, which couldn’t be more convenient. We have a group of people that regularly show up and they give talks.

One of my favorite parts is when we do “table topics,” which is where you get up and speak off the cuff on a topic for a minute or two. The “Table Topics Master” will give you at topic that you had zero preparation for, you have to begin to speak suddenly off the cuff. I’m always the first person to raise their hands for this part – I love challenging myself this way.

Get Comfortable Speaking Quickly

What is most interesting to me about Toastmasters is how quickly people who are initially shy can get up in front of the group and speak clearly about an interesting topic that I previously never knew anything about. I’ve seen this with a number of people. They see everyone else getting up to talk, and soon they’re doing so with great comfort and composure.

Importantly, we give great feedback to each other. It’s very, very organized and it’s very supportive. And I’m sure each Toastmasters is different. Some might be more situated to business, some might be more interested in non-profits. I don’t really know for sure, again, I’m not really an expert. I do know there’s all sorts of Toastmasters and people will go around to a number of them in their town before deciding which one to join.

Recently, I gave a talk at my Toastmasters about YouTube thumbnails, which was a lot of fun – and even though my club isn’t for YouTube experts, I think they all got some value out of it.

Structure Of Toastmasters Meetings

The structure of ours Toastmasters meetings are always the same: We have several leaders, prepared speakers, off-the-cuff speaking, and there’s also a lot of evaluation of each component, which is key. We evaluate how long each person took, their grammar and crutch words, and how organized we were. And in general, the process really helps everyone learn to speak better, learn to organize, and learn to run a meeting.

The best part is we respect each others’ time. Each meeting begins exactly at 8 a.m. and ends at exactly 9 a.m. on the dot (your meeting may have different start times).

I’m sold on Toastmasters. I really enjoy it! I wish I had more time to give to it, but I don’t. So I’m just sort of a part-time member. But I can tell you that it is helped me get more comfortable on video.

Even though there are no actual people in my video studio, I know that you are watching. And so I feel more comfortable looking at the camera, organizing my thoughts, and speaking off the cuff.

It’s Easy To Try Toastmasters

So if you’re having trouble feeling comfortable on YouTube, I would suggest just stopping by your local Toastmasters meeting. I’m sure you can find them online. The thing about it is that you can even come as a guest and participate, sometimes even get up and speak for a minute or two. And you can do this more than once and maybe that’s enough for you.

Or maybe, like me, you want to join and attend a meeting almost every week.

Dane Golden

Dane Golden is CEO of HEY.com, a video content marketing agency. His mission is to help brands get viewers to come back to their videos again and again through use of helpful how-to content, driving loyalty, conversion and ROI. Please connect with Dane on social media using the links below:

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