7 reasons to join Productboard’s Toastmasters club
Meet new people. Advance your career. Have fun. There are many benefits to joining Productboard. Free membership to Toastmasters International is one of them. This nearly 100-year-old organization that helped many people become better versions of themselves through public speaking and leadership skills development.
Here are our top seven reasons for joining Productboard’s Toastmasters club:
Reason 1: Get to know each other
We started our club in the middle of the Covid lockdown, which initially forced us to hold all our meetings online. It is not the same as meeting in person, but we made it work. After all, the club is about more than just improving our speaking and leadership skills. It’s about connecting with people you wouldn’t normally speak to on a daily basis.
Productboard’s Toastmasters club has become even more helpful during these times of rapid growth, where we’ve seen a lot of new people joining the company. The club works to unite us, regardless of what team we are working on or what office we are based out of.
Reason 2: Improve public speaking skills
Alright, now the obvious one. One of the main reasons to run a Toastmasters club is to improve public speaking skills. Maybe you’d like to get rid of your stage fright or struggle to deliver a clear and structured message. Perhaps you want to learn how to work with your voice and gestures effectively or have issues with timing.
Whatever your reason, joining Toastmasters might be just what you need. Getting out there, delivering your speech, and hearing constructive feedback will help you to get better. Maybe you do not see yourself as a speaker at a huge conference, but the skills you’d learn through Toastmasters can help you with day-to-day activities as well. For example, you might need to present something in front of your team or run a meeting. Being able to deliver your message clearly will make you more effective during these presentations or meetings.
What if you are already an established public speaker? No problem, Toastmasters has you covered. There is always something new to learn, no matter how experienced you are. You might also want to join just to get regular practice and maintain your skills. If you are competitive, you can test your skills during speech competitions that range from the club level to international ones. Is this not for you? As an established speaker, you can also focus on other roles and help the rest of the club to advance their public speaking skills.
Reason 3: Getting out of your comfort zone
Toastmasters is a great way to challenge yourself and get out of your comfort zone. Just delivering a speech might be challenging enough for you. Sure, you’ll learn tips and tricks to calm your nerves before speaking in front of a large crowd, but there is so much more on offer. Table topics is a good example. During meetings, our table topics master will prepare a few topics or questions and then ask for volunteers. The volunteer is randomly assigned one of the topics and has only a minute to prepare a short impromptu speech. The fact you cannot prepare in advance might raise your heart rate a little bit. Especially if it is a tough one. But don’t worry, our club members are very supportive, so even if your speech did not go so well, they will appreciate your bravery and provide you with constructive feedback to help you do better next time.
You might consider becoming a mentor to other club members or even sign on to be one of our club officers. Positions up for grabs during every election include Vice President of Education, Vice President of Public Relations, and even club President.
Reason 4: Learn how to give and receive feedback
Giving and receiving feedback is a core part of Toastmasters. Attending the meetings will help you learn how to provide constructive feedback as well as how to receive feedback and actually use it to better yourself. Someone is assigned as an evaluator at the start of each meeting. Their job is to help speakers understand what was done well and how to improve upcoming speeches. If you sign up to be an evaluator, you are not only practicing giving feedback, but you will also receive feedback on how you provide feedback. Isn’t that great?
Reason 5: Beef up your organizational skills
Toastmaster meetings could not happen without the toastmaster. The toastmaster is the organiser of a meeting and its host. This role will help you hone your organizational as well as time management and public speaking skills. It’s sort of a three-in-one deal. If you are interested in building your leadership and organizational skills, you can become one of the club officers and help run the club and recruit new members.
Reason 6: Advance your career
Viktor Tymoshchuk, founder of Productboard’s Toastmasters club, shares: “During my seven years at Toastmasters International, I keep seeing people, active in TM clubs, inevitably get to the next levels of their careers, regardless of their occupation.”
A few years ago, Toastmasters rolled out a new learning experience — Pathways. It focuses on five core competencies: public speaking, interpersonal communication, strategic leadership, management, and confidence. There are 11 paths members can choose from. These include “dynamic leadership to build strategic leadership and conflict resolution skills” and “persuasive influence — build skills to lead in complex situations.”
Reason 7: It is fun!
Last but not least, Toastmasters is FUN. One of the reasons why we keep doing this is that we are having a good time. We are learning something new. We are meeting new people. We are getting to know them well. We are smiling, and we are laughing. If you do not care about the other reasons listed above, then just consider this one, and give Toastmasters a try!
As we continue on our journey, we’ll be seeking more great makers and doers to join our team of product dreamers and visionaries. If you know anyone who’d fit right in, or if you’re looking for a new opportunity in San Francisco, Vancouver, Dublin, London, Prague, Brno, or your remote office, stop by our careers page to see how you can make your impact! We’d love to hear from you!