by Cori Arnold, PM2, Mount Vernon Club
Toastmasters has traditionally been known as the club for public speaking, but it is so much more. Members have the opportunity to learn a variety of skills by participating in meetings, taking on new roles, and getting involved in club leadership.
Marissa Campbell of the Nth Degree confirmed these are the top 5 skills pursued by employers:
- Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
- Teamwork and Collaboration
- Professionalism and Strong Work Ethic
- Oral and Written Communications Skills
First, employers want their employees to be able to think and analyze data through critical thinking and problem solving. Companies want employees who will think for themselves, find new ways of working, and implement process improvements. Each Toastmasters meeting includes a segment called, Table Topics, which is an improvised talk. Participating in Table Topics requires members to think on their feet. They need to think creatively and quickly, sharpening their minds.
Next are teamwork and collaboration. As technology continues to expand, many transactional tasks are completed automatically, which leaves more complex problems for employees, creating the need for further collaboration skills.Members volunteer for different roles at each Toastmasters meeting. Each role needs to collaborate with other roles and attendees. Every meeting is a collaborative effort, providing huge opportunities for growth in this area.
Professionalism and strong work ethic are third. My employer wants me to feel like an owner of the company. They want me to work as if I’m an owner. What actions do we take differently when we have that perspective? Similarly, companies want employees that have a great attitude and strong work ethic. At Toastmasters, you have the opportunity to network with professionals in your area and around the globe. Seeing how they contribute in meetings provides a lot of opportunity for professional growth. Being committed to your full-time job as well as your Toastmasters club shows you have the work ethic that employers are looking for.
Fourth is oral and written communication. In today’s ways of working, you can easily work with colleagues around the world. Communication is #1 when it comes to how effective you are at passing along information and getting your perspective across. Whether in person or virtually, communication is key to progressing within a company. The Toastmasters meetings are set up to foster communication. Every meeting has opportunities for all members to participate. Communication is at the heart of how these meetings work.
Fifth is Leadership. If you want to grow within your company, you’ll need to understand how to lead others. You’ll need to set the example, influence others, and inspire others.
At Toastmasters, you have the opportunity to get involved in the local and district leadership. You can participate at every meeting. You can start your own club. The leadership opportunities are endless!
Source: Campbell, M. Nth Degree. Retrieved from Top 5 Skills Employers Look For
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