For years one of the hidden benefits of the Toastmasters program was that it enhanced participants’ leadership skills. There is nothing surprising in this.

You see, the process of becoming a good public speaker within the Toastmasters program instils confidence and a preparedness to speak out and lead. It provides the ability to think on your feet, to deal with challenges as they come.

Club leadership opportunities abound in that all Executive positions are spilled each year, which encourages an attitude of giving a new challenge a go, aided with the knowledge that there is support available from more experienced members who have held the same position before.

An interesting aspect of club leadership opportunities too is that the members you are leading are ‘volunteers’, not paid employees. It necessitates a carrot, rather than stick, approach to club leadership. This arguably induces better leadership skills in the individual in the longer term.

With the new ‘Pathways’ program that has been introduced worldwide, leadership training has become a more explicit component in the Toastmasters program. In fact Toastmasters is being actively and correctly promoted as an environment ‘where leaders are made’.

You may have approached Toastmasters initially simply with a view to becoming a more confident and capable speaker. Most members joined for this reason. But look on the leadership skills aspect as a rolled gold, unexpected bonus. Plenty of leadership opportunities will open up to you as part of your membership. You should embrace them with enthusiasm.