Thursday, 5 May 2011

"Its How you Say it"...Toastmasters Leadership & Communication Program

Toastmasters International ( is a public speaking and leadership training program running in various countries across the world. I became a member of this non-profit organisation back in 2004 in Dubai. My dad introduced me to Toastmasters (TM) where he and his office colleagues used to get together every 2 weeks to practice speaking before an audience. 

We all come across instances in our daily life where we need to speak up - whether it is an office presentation, dealing with clients, teaching, giving a farewell or welcome speech or simply talking things through with out spouses and children. Most of us feel nervous when we are up against a big audience and thats only natural. At toastmasters you are given the chance to practice before audience, before you have to actually speak in a real life situation. It is a very organised training program with a structured meeting design and training manual to follow. Every Toastmaster (member of the club) has to go up the levels as per the TM manual to improve their speaking skills. 

I have personally benefited so much from this program that upon my return to Pakistan I decided to open a chapter in Lahore. So a group of us enthusiastic MBA fellows from LUMS, intiated the first chapter in Lahore, The LUMS Toastmasters Club.(

Toastmasters helps you improve your skills across different aspects of public speaking including voice clarity, body language, vocabulary and even styles of speech e.g. motivational, convincing, emotional, humorous. It is a fun place to be in and interact with people from all kinds of diverse backgrounds, professions and ages. Once you reach a certain level, you can then participate in regional speech competitions and finally enter the global Toastmasters conference held annually in different parts of United States. You can find a full overview of this amazing programme on their official website ( 

I was visiting as a guest at the Karachi Toastmasters Club (( meeting yesterday and I was utterly impressed by how professionally and enthusiastically the team is running the Club.  Apart from building your speaking skills, Toastmasters is a great place to meet new people and to get motivated! 

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