Growing up in Toronto, I first encountered public speaking when I ran for VP Student Council in grade 6. While I lost the election with just one poster and no flyers, everyone remembered the speech! I didn’t know it then, but I had found my creative space.
Emotional Expression is one of several EQ benefits to public speaking. Multi-Health Systems (MHS) describes this as “expressing feelings both verbally and non-verbally.” For effective communications, you need congruence, as otherwise Albert Mehrabian’s famous research finds that only 7% of your words are received.
Later in 1987, I embarked on community public speaking; client and work presentations followed after university; and eventually, I found my way to teaching, training and then my own Leadership Development business. I took the unconventional route of finally joining Toastmasters after 100 speaking venues across 5 countries.
In Hong Kong, I discovered like minds at both Centraler Toastmasters and Dynamic Toastmasters. We refer to the Toastmaster journey – finding your authentic self, being open to peer feedback and learning together. With TM best practices, I have watched as those once fearful of public speaking have truly become confident communicators.
Self-Confidence is one of Daniel Goleman’s EQ competences, which he describes as “knowing your abilities and playing to your strengths.” While I bring leadership & life experience, I am learning to extend my versatility and practice humour & storytelling for my Speaking Events. Many Toastmasters take on leadership roles at the club, area or division levels.
Another EQ benefit of public speaking is Interpersonal Relationships, which MHS describes as “building and maintaining relationships”. You speak to your peer group, and in addition to sharing feedback & social events, there are opportunities for integrated meeting roles such as Toastmaster of the Evening and Table Topics Master.
Below, Centraler Toastmasters wins 3 awards at the Area K1 contest in Hong Kong (Ruth Benny, Salim Ladak & Sean Lin).