Leadership Tips from Toastmasters International

A woman speaking to a groupOne of the most important elements of leadership is the ability to motivate people. Without motivation, even the most skilled team of seasoned professionals is unlikely to achieve great things. A highly motivated group of talented people, on the other hand, can move mountains!

While it’s true that motivating people involves more than just changing the way you speak, here are some guidelines you can follow to help build team motivation with only your words and your voice.

Leadership tips

  1. Be enthusiastic. Enthusiasm is contagious! Before you present your ideas, think about the aspects of the subject that you find the most interesting, and don’t be afraid to let that interest come through in your voice.
  2. Use quotes, stories and anecdotes. Along with their obvious entertainment value, quotes and stories can lend authority to your topic and provide concrete examples that people can relate to.
  3. Speak with confidence. Deliver your message loud and clear. Maintain eye contact with your listeners. Don’t mumble or slouch.
  4. Say you and we, not I and me. Instead of telling people what you want them to do, present ways for them to work together to achieve their goals. Involve listeners in the success of the group.
  5. Keep it simple. People aren’t motivated by what you say; they’re motivated by what they understand. The best way to ensure audience understanding is to break down complex ideas into simple components.

Visit a local Toastmasters meeting

There are clubs all over the world! In the UK and Ireland there are more than 600 clubs. Each club has a different personality—you may wish to visit more than one. Use the ‘Find a Club’ tool on the Toastmasters Web site to find meetings near you: www.toastmasters.org/findaclub. You may want to call or e-mail ahead of time to confirm meeting time and location.

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