I think that most developers by nature are very introverted people that would rather chew their arm off than speak in front of a group of people. I was absolutely one of those developers, however with the recent changes that have bumped me into a managerial role Im finding more and more that public speaking skills are an absolute necessity to effectively execute in this position.
After consulting with people, I kept hearing that one of the best resources for enhancing your public speaking skills was a club called Toastmasters. I was able to join a local club with a co-worker and am pleased to say that even though Ive only been a part of the club for 4 weeks, Im already noticing a difference.
Toastmasters has been given a reputation as a place to go to give speeches, however, its so much more than that. One of my favorite parts of Toastmasters is what are referred to as “table topics”. In a nutshell, you are given a question or statement and then are required to respond to that for no less than one minute and no more than two and a half minutes. The main skill that this is teaching is the ability to think on your feet and being able to quickly and effectively articulate your thoughts.
This is an invaluable resource, and Im really looking forward to continuing to learn and grow with Toastmasters. If you’re looking to expand your skills in this area, definately give the website a look and locate a club in your area.