Developing Communication Skills

From doctors and lawyers, to educators and politicians, the art of public speaking is important. Nearly every profession requires you to have the skills for both written and oral communication. Communication skills are needed in entry level positions all the way to senior management positions.

Looking back on the history of rhetoric, The Sophists, Greek orators, were the ones to give public speeches in the town. They were gifted with speech and used their talents to get people interested in what they had to say. They were the ones to teach how to properly give a presentation.

Moving in to the modern era, those same principles still apply. When we communicate today, we want to draw the attention of those who are willing to listen. A couple years ago, I participated in Toastmaster’s six-week public speaking course called Speechcrafters. I attended the classes with other people with disabilities.

The abbreviated course taught us how to better express our ideas and present them in ways that were meaningful. I believe the classes allowed us to be better advocates for ourselves and others living with disabilities.

I asked my friend, Nathan Todd, to be a guest blogger and share his thoughts on the Toastmaster program. He was part of the same Speechcrafters class, but he then joined an official Toastmasters Club. Read Nathan’s post below.

Toastmasters: Where Leaders Are Made

By Nathan Todd

Nathan Todd

Nathan Todd

We have all been there, standing in front of our classmates, our papers shaking and our voices quivering. When it comes to public speaking, most of us can relate to that experience. Psychology Today published an article related to people and their fears. The research found public speaking ranked number one over death. 1

There is good news.  An organization is out there to help ease those fears. How do I know this?  I was the guy in front of that classroom. Now I am a more confident speaker. This organization is Toastmasters International. Specifically, the Pretty Darn Interesting Club (PDI). It is where leaders are made!

Toastmasters allowed me to hone my speaking skills, sharpen my critical thinking and develop my writing style. Toastmasters is not only about public speaking. The first time I walked into a meeting, the environment was warm and inviting. Toastmasters is a great place to expand your network and form friendships.  PDI members support each other as we grow and achieve our goals.

When you leave the podium after a riveting speech and someone says, where did you learn to speak with such confidence?  Your response should be, have you heard of Toastmasters?

For more information about the PDI Club, send an email to or visit the website at



About Tuesday Talk With Alex

Born in Charleston, SC, I was injured in a motor vehicle accident when I was nine months old. I acquired a C5-C6 spinal cord injury. I'm now 30 years old and I do not let my disability deter me from acheiving my goals and enjoying life. I will be sharing my experience of living with a spinal cord injury.
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One Response to Developing Communication Skills

  1. bowenm2013 says:

    Hi Alex,
    Please join our CofC Toastmasters club.
    Meet Thursdays in Stern 322 at 12:15 – 1:15pm


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