Sunday, October 10, 2010

Farming & Toastmastering - Similarities

Are you a hunter or a farmer? In my last 4 years with toastmasters, I have seen several guests entering the toastmasters meeting, wanting to improve their communication skills in just few weeks. Some of them, out of excessive enthusiasm, end up enrolling in a "costly" training program that "teaches" communication skills for a couple of days. However, they don't realize that "improving communication skills" is equivalent of "farming" than "hunting".

A hunter, wakes up one fine morning, takes his gun (or bow/arrows) and goes for hunting. If he is lucky, he may shoot an animal and bring home some food. If he is unlucky, he may starve for weeks together.

However, farming is different. Farming involves ploughing the land, sowing seeds, watering the field, removing weeds, adding fertilizer, and finally doing harvesting. Farming produces more food when compared to hunting. There is more predictability of results in farming, than hunting. Farming is more disciplined/organized way of generating food (when compared to hunting).

Similarly, toastmasters provides a structured program to improve communication skills. Toastmasters provides an opportunity to nourish & constantly re-enforce your communication skills.
 One of my toastmasters friends said, "You cannot be a seasoned speaker by just being a seasonal speaker". You should be constantly practicing in front of people to deliver speeches. That is the only way by which you can be a successful public speaker.

You cannot swallow a "magic pill" before going to bed and get up the next day morning as a "seasoned public speaker". The law of harvest applies even for sharpening your communication skills. It takes time. But, if you are constantly working on it, you'll be a professional soon. Start ploughing the field today, to reap the benefits tomorrow.

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