“You can be trained by the best communication specialists, read all the books on the subject and watch the best speakers in action, but if you really want to improve, you have to practice,” says Michel Filion. “And that’s what Toastmasters focuses on.”
The McGill-HEC Montreal EMBA Program has been expanding its focus on how to communicate effectively, at the suggestion of its graduates. Early February marked an important step on this road with the launch of the EMBA EMBA McGill-HEC Montréal Toastmasters club, dedicated to its participants and alumni. Here are four reasons why:
1) Mastering the art of speaking effectively in public is a must for today’s leaders.
Much of a manager’s job involves communicating. Being able to communicate effectively will help managers gain credibility, rally teams behind them, convey objectives and expectations effectively, avoid confusion and defuse stressful workplace scenarios, among other things.
2) A proven program
Toastmasters International (TMI) is an international non-profit organization dedicated to helping its members improve their communication and leadership skills through public speaking. Since 1924, Toastmasters has helped people with different backgrounds become more confident speakers, better communicators and leaders. The program has more than 345,000 members worldwide.
At Toastmasters, everyone has a role to play. Participants can perform a 5 to 7 minutes prepared speech or be invited to improvise a one-to-two-minute speech on an imposed subject, without preparation or time for reflection. Each role provides an opportunity to speak in public, to practice, and to help members feel more confident in speaking in public.
3) The club is in good hands
Michel Filion, Director of Recruitment for the EMBA was introduced to Toastmasters in 2014 and was named Toastmasters’ Quebec champion in 2016. He is very familiar with Toastmasters clubs and we are pleased that he has taken responsibility for setting up the EMBA club, since launching a club requires expertise and a good knowledge of the Toastmasters program.
The EMBA McGill-HEC Montréal is also fortunate to have people who will be pillars and mentors of its new club thanks to their Toastmasters experience: Davender Gupta, “Distinguished Toastmaster” who already launched a club for Montreal entrepreneurs, Isabelle Valois and Indu Krishnamruthy, both Toastmasters members.
4) An EMBA networking opportunity
With over 300 graduates and participants, the EMBA McGill-HEC Montréal community is a strong network of leaders from different industries. The creation of a club that brings together all these people, from different cohorts, will contribute to the strength of the relationships between members of the EMBA community.
The fact that every member of the Club has lived the EMBA experience has already helped to quickly create a climate of exchange and trust, a supportive environment and a positive and enjoyable atmosphere to develop communication skills.