There are many good, natural speakers out there. They are to be admired. But take comfort from the fact that what they do does not have to remain a black art or mystery. The fundamental precept behind Toastmasters is that the elements of good speaking can be broken down, learned and applied. With practice and with the aid of feedback from helpful evaluators and mentors, anybody should be able to improve her or his public speaking skills.

As a member of a Toastmasters club you can expect to become a much more confident and accomplished speaker than you were to start off with.

Most of us are naturally reluctant to step out of our comfort zone. But we do when we take the decision to actually join a Toastmasters club. That said, very few people ever join a Toastmasters club expecting then to go into speech competitions. They’re a scary thought. But in due course, as you improve, you could well benefit from participating in the speech competitions that are scheduled in all clubs worldwide twice a year.

You’re just going into a club competition in a friendly club environment. After you’ve done it once, it becomes so much easier the second time around. It’s a ratchet effect.

If you want to quickly become a better public speaker, this process of continually challenging yourself is fundamental. But how fast you progress is up to you. When you join a club you are free to move at your own pace, reflecting other demands there may be on your time and the level of confidence you have initially. But do attend meetings, watch how your fellow members are working through the program and how they seem to be learning. Consult with your mentor. You’ll be surprised at how much you learn just from doing this.

In due course you should find your confidence and skill increasing. You will be well on the way to becoming a very good public speaker, as thousands before you have become over the years through the Toastmasters program.