fear of speakingAs a salesperson working in Corporate America for over 15 years, I was very accustom to providing sales and marketing presentations to potential clients. The start of my speaking career began with GE. I was living in Houston, TX and was not only needing to speak to potential clients, it was essential I get up and give presentations during our sales meetings to peers and upper management. A very grueling process, yet one I am glad I endured. One of the first places I started to frequent to help me understand the speaking process was Toastmaster’s in Houston, TX. I found the group very helpful to assisting me with the preparation and execution of my content. It was also a great place for me to work out some of the intense anxiety I had about public speaking.

Recently I had some time to pop into a Toastmaster’s here in Philadelphia. I am so glad I did because I realized that every salesperson, entrepreneur, author and solopreneur can benefit from a Toastmaster’s meeting. Of course becoming a regular member is ideal, but before worrying about joining another club or association, I am suggesting you just stop in as a guest. Here are 5 reasons I think you should make it a point to find a local Toastmaster’s and attend as a visitor.



There is a good chance you will be asked to introduce yourself and even give a 1-3 minute speech on a topic the group chooses. This may sound nerve racking, but being able to get it together fast is a great asset when in business. Imagine if you get an unexpected opportunity to tell an Influencer, potential client or investor about your business. Would  you be able to do that without tripping over yourself? Writing a business value proposition is a great way to start articulating your business and benefits.

Network With Potential Clients

This is an obvious one, especially if you your target audience is speakers.

Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

No matter what type of sales or business you represent, getting out of your comfort zone is going to push you to grow. Many extroverts, including myself, even say that attending networking events can bring on a little discomfort. Attending a Toastmaster’s event has the potential for even more growth with the opportunity to get up and speak. Take this opportunity to grow. The folks at Toastmasters are some of the most welcoming people. You will feel loved and supported if you have the jitters. Especially if you have a fear of public speaking, you should push yourself to get to a Toastmasters meeting.

Opportunity To Be A Connector

Before any networking event, I think of at least 5 people I can possible connect with people I am about to meet. Being a connector in business has tremendous rewards and going to a Toastmaster’s event puts you among a diverse professional community. You will no doubt meet people you can connect with your community, making a win win situation for all.

Tips On Speaking

It is a common practice at Toastmaster’s events to get tips on speaking and how to develop your speaking craft. These tips obviously translate no matter if you are an inspirational speaker, a motivational speaker, a teacher or any other type of speaker. In addition to translating across the speaking landscape, the tips I received at the Toastmaster’s I attended in Philadelphia will also be helpful in my emails, value propositions, blogging and even sales literature. The tips were very helpful and I even got some ideas for the MastersGroup I founded on Facebook, Speakers and Livestreamers for Business.

Check out the Periscope video I broadcasted (by clicking the Periscope image below) about my Toastmaster’s event. I give these 5 tips in the broadcast to with even more information on how they can be applied. I have said it before and I will say it again, speaking is the number one way a professional can differentiate in a crowded business environment. Speaking at events and conferences is a good investment for any professional and now with livestream apps at our fingertips, we can push broadcast and fill a room from our home office.


Lisa Illman is the creator of SpeakerStream™, an online course for professionals to use public speaking and livestream to create revenue streams. She is a business development consultant and livestream strategist.





Hi, I'm Lisa Illman.

Business Development Consulting.

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