Thursday, June 30, 2011

Overcome The Fear of Public Speaking And Enhance Your Career: Part II

Author: Heather Fork, MD, CPCC

In Part I of this post, I discussed how honing your speaking skills can benefit your career. A year ago I joined my first Toastmasters club and this has been one of the best decisions I’ve made. I visited four different clubs in my area before choosing Capital City Toastmasters. Each club has its own character, and it is important to find the right one for you. When you attend the first time, you are a guest and you will not be required to participate, except to say a few words about your impression of the meeting.


When you are member, there are various roles you can sign up for to practice different speaking skills. Here are some of the options:

• Invocator: gives the invocation (often a short quote) to open the meeting, and delivers the closing “chuckle.”

• Toastmaster: leads the meeting and gains experience being a “host,” setting the theme and tone for the meeting.

• Speaker: there are usually 2-3 speakers who present a 5-10 minute speech on a topic of their choice.

• Evaluator: gives a short evaluation of one of the speeches, offering constructive feedback for the speaker.

• Grammarian: provides the word of the day and listens for ah’s and um’s and proper use of the English language.

When I first attended Toastmasters, I could not believe all that was packed into one hour. The meeting runs very efficiently and just by attending you can learn so much. The members are incredibly supportive and fun, yet committed to the growth of the individual. If you are not familiar with Toastmasters, I highly recommend at least visiting a few of the clubs in your area. I doubt you’ll regret it, and for $54 a year, you can’t beat the membership price. Click here to find a clubs in your area: http://www.toastmasters.org/

About the author:

Heather Fork, MD, CPCC, is owner and founder of the Doctor’s Crossing. As an ICF certified coach, she works with physicians who are seeking to renew and reinvigorate their careers and avoid burnout. She helps doctors tap into their natural abilities and passion to create new and inspiring opportunities within clinical medicine or through non-clinical options. Knowing that too many physicians are suffering from stress and burnout, Dr. Fork is dedicated to improving physician well-being collectively, as well as individually.  

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