If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, you need a message that expresses your new big idea. Just as important is finding an initial audience that can help refine your message. Therefore, an ideal group would be a network of welcoming, supportive leaders. What’s  more, they would help improve your delivery and build your confidence. A bonus would be if they could also direct you to resources essential for your business.

Gathering a network of trusted leaders could take years on your own. Before the pandemic, you could attend endless networking events. However, you might struggle to get noticed by the people you need. Also, there are business networking groups, but the most effective are expensive and selective. Furthermore, unless you fit their requirements already, you can’t join.

Yet, there is an organization of welcoming leaders. They are willing to listen and provide supportive feedback. This isn’t a local group; it’s worldwide. They guide new members to reach their potential as communicators and leaders. Because it is a non-profit organization run by members for members, it is very affordable.

The Toastmasters Community is a Worldwide Network

For over 90 years, Toastmasters International has helped people. It is one of the most successful non-profit organizations in the world. The stated purpose is teaching public speaking and leadership. But there is an enormous additional benefit. Upon joining a club, a new member connects to a network of 364,000 members, in 16,200 clubs, in 145 countries. Most of those clubs welcome guests. Many are willing to allow presentations by guest members.

Over nine decades, Toastmasters has developed practical step-by-step training to build communication skills. The organization also trains members to provide supportive evaluations. Toastmasters takes evaluation so seriously that they run evaluation competitions. Volunteering as a test speaker is one of the fastest ways for new members to improve and get noticed.

Outside of regular club meetings, various events provide networking opportunities. Before the pandemic, Toastmasters District 42 held conventions every spring. Leadership Training events are held several times per year. Toastmasters also holds various speaking contests in fall and spring. These events are opportunities to get together with friends you haven’t met yet.

A Successful Pandemic Pivot to Online

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Toastmasters International shut down in-person meetings. The entire organization pivoted to online sessions, including the International Speech Contest. District 42 retrained officials, judges, and contestants. The pivot took an enormous effort by dedicated volunteers. They succeeded because of the members’ leadership abilities and communication skills.

An Opportunity to Network with Members Anywhere

Everything Toastmasters used to do as live events now happens through online meetings. Training sessions, contests, and regular club meetings have all moved online. As a bonus, members can attend meetings in other cities or countries without leaving home. Now that is a tremendous networking opportunity. Toastmasters International is an organization that doesn’t just provide networking opportunities. It will train you to network without really trying. To find a club near you, go to Toastmasters.org today.

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