How to “Talk Up” Toastmasters: Using Corporate Speak

From the Desk of Laura St. Louis 

On October 18 and 19, Club Growth Director Kim Lynn and I had the opportunity to engage with many different companies, agencies, and schools at the Michigan Society of Human Resource Managers. Kim and I embraced the chance to shift our terminology while hosting the Toastmasters booth.

During our District Council Meeting in September we had the pleasure of hearing Pat Johnson discuss the transition of our vocabulary from “Club Speak” to “Corporate Speak.” This is more than a linguistic change. It is a cultural shift within the District to emphasize professionalism, relevance, and adaptability.

Examples include:

  • Instead of Club, say Meeting
  • Instead of Club Officers, say Executive Board
  • Instead of Pathways, say Educational Program

Use the following as an example of how to approach your company about opening a program where you work: 

“Is your company looking for a way to develop their employees? The Toastmasters Corporate Program is an effective, affordable, self-paced, educational program. The curriculum offers frequent opportunities to learn and practice a wide range of leadership and communication skills, with ongoing feedback. The educational environment also offers space to learn the development of effective succinct answers to questions. Does this sound like something you would be interested in learning more about?”

The transition to corporate speak presents a unique opportunity for companies to invest in individual memberships for their employees.

It takes practice, but after two days, Kim and I were pretty good at it. Are you willing to take the plunge and switch to Corporate Speak? I think you’ll be surprised at the benefits.

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Author: Laura St. Louis

I joined Toastmasters in January of 2015 because I wanted to learn to be a leader. I started with one club, then added a second. The members of this club are the people that have been my biggest supporters and encouraged me to take the leap and run for Club Growth Director. I then propelled to District Director in 2020. They don't just provide leadership support. They also provide excellent evaluations. The feedback I receive from them has been invaluable. If you are looking to advance your speaking skills, this is the place.

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