When hiring most employers at some point in the process will require potential candidates to do a job interview.

Credentials alone usually isn’t going to cut it, and successfully getting hired could be the difference between a good interview and a bad one.

The Toastmasters Club is an organization that helps to improve people’s public speaking skills. A skill that is not only critical for getting hired in this trying time, but is a great life skill to have in general, and a real confidence builder.

But in addition to helping people with their public speaking skills, Toastmasters offers several other benefits as well. For one, a skill that perhaps might even more crucial to success in life and business is the ability to listen, through the club’s methodology and coursework members can work to develop this skill.

“Communications skills everyone is trying to reengage their workforce and reconfigure their work culture the way they work. One of the key skills they need is absolutely two-way communications,” Said Rosemary Ward, a founding member of the White Lake Toastmasters in Whitehall.

The next very real, but less obvious benefit to joining Toastmasters is a business networking opportunity. Ward describes the organization as a poor man’s Dale Carnegie.

Dale Carnegie of course being the now legendary author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” and who’s writing has gone on to be the basis for countless sales training and business management course. Toastmasters helps to put you in touch with a wide variety of people and local business leaders, all with their own varied backgrounds.

The cost to join a Toastmasters Club can vary, but a fee of $45 is typically paid every six months to the international organization, and there is usually a $20 fee charged to new members.

In the White Lake Area there are two local clubs: The White Lake Toastmasters which is hosted by Alcoa in Whitehall and meets mornings, and Coastal Communicators which is hosted by the Book Nook & Java Shop in Montague and meets in the afternoon.

Currently, both clubs are operating via Zoom Meetings.

In addition to working on public speaking there are different tracks for improvement members can choose to follow, and officer roles that allow them to take on leadership positions within their own clubs.

There is a detailed curriculum that the club follows, so people can attend different club’s meetings and receive credit for the work they are doing.

Ward said what brought her to the club was at a transition point in her career. She had previously worked in the agriculture industry, and found herself struggling to communicate with people who didn’t come from that background.

“I’m really rough around the edges. I can communicate, but not in the best way. I come from a farming background, I use agricultural slang, I worked with agricultural co. and leadership development for all these years. So, the people who didn’t come from agriculture weren’t used to me, “said Ward.

Barb Sheeran, who is a member of the Coastal Communicators in Montague, shared that she initially joined the Toastmasters was to get help with a speech she was going to be giving in front of a large group of people. She said she had a friend in Toastmasters and thought it could help.

She found out that she really liked the people in the organization and decided to stick with it. She describes the club like being aerobics for the brain, being asked to write a speech or thinking about something to speak about on the fly is like a workout for the brain.

To learn more about Toastmasters International visit: https://www.toastmasters.org