Toastmasters. This organization is worldwide, highly recognized and respected. I joined Toastmasters (TM) a few years ago because my employer valued the benefits and supported a corporate club by providing time, space and even paying fees. Such a deal, who can refuse? Sure there was some committment, but anything positive always does. Plus it was fun. I had always known I was not the shyest guy in the room but I also hid the fact that I lacked confidence.
I wanted to be able to stand up and speak well. I wanted to be free from anxiety from simple tasks like joining in a discussion in a public forum. I did not have that confidence.
I saw TM as a bonus for me personally with any work applications as secondary. I was the one who wanted to be able to speak on behalf of myself at family occasions. I was the one who had missed opportunities to be recognized.
You might find it interesting that a poll conducted in 1973 about fears discovered the following responses when asked “What are you the most afraid of?”
Some most frequently given responses were heights (second), insects and bugs, financial problems and deep water (tied for third), sickness and death (tied for fourth) and flying (fifth). The most common biggest fear, apparently considered a fate worse than death, was speaking before a group.
What about now? I have moved forward and completed two manuals, Competent Communicator (CC) and the Competent Leader (CL). A decent start but I realize that I am still learning, and far from flush with courage or confidence. But now I am in a leadership role and communication is even less optional. http://saidso.FreeToastHost.org
If you are wondering what to do for yourself or for a loved one that will benefit them long term. I suggest you join a Toastmasters Club for six months – attend a meeting as a guest, guests are always welcome. There is a reason that TM is respected, and is international and that reason is because it is a positive experience!
Positive, beneficial, fun, instructive and possibly life changing. One more avenue that you can do something lasting as a gift to yourself.