by Robin Spano
At Toastmasters, we learn how to speak in public. We learn how to express ourselves confidently and intelligently, so the image we put forward is the one we want the world to see. When we’re faced with a real life speaking engagement, like a wedding speech or a business presentation, we’re armed and ready.
But increasingly, a strong public image is founded on a strong social media presence. Social networks fight with search engines for top spot in web hours logged—in other words, Facebook is fighting with Google for popularity. Nothing will ever replace the value of face-to-face contact, but if you want to truly speak in public, it’s time to take social networking seriously as a medium for your message.
It’s not hard to get started; if you do it right, it’s even fun.
#1 Facebook, 41% social media hours
#3 Twitter—105 million users
#5 LinkedIn—65 million
To get started, browse these sites and find the ones where you can be natural; the sites that groove with your personality. Social Networking is about being yourself, but it’s about being your best self; the one you want the world to see. Consider the Internet one giant cocktail party that everyone’s at—prospective bosses, employees, clients, friends. Have fun—no one trusts the guy who can’t have fun—but have fun on purpose.
As Richmond Toastmasters‘ incoming VP PR, I’m starting this club blog for two reasons:
1. The things we learn are interesting, so why not share them in a public forum?
2. I’d like to help members who are interested craft their own online presence. Where better to learn than a blog supported by your peers?
Every member of Richmond Toastmasters is invited to be a guest blogger. Don’t feel overwhelmed if you want to try but don’t know where to start—I’ll have this job for a year, and I’ll help every club member who’s interested craft their own web presence during that time.
Just like we help each other put on a confident face speaking in public, we can help each other shine online, the “public” of the future.
VP PR, Richmond Toastmasters, 2010-2011