With employers looking to develop and improve the soft skills of their employees, nearly 300 of the 2020 Fortune 500 companies now offer in-house Toastmasters clubs to help build their employees’ communication, leadership, and public speaking skills. Toastmasters International, the global organisation devoted to communication and leadership skills development, is particularly popular among oil and petroleum companies, with industry giants including Chevron and Exxon Mobil offering corporate clubs to their employees.
Amazon, Caterpillar, Lockheed Martin, General Electric, Google, IBM, Intel, Microsoft and Verizon are among other industry leaders using the Toastmasters International program to develop and enhance these valuable soft skills as well as the confidence of their employees.
In addition to all the top 20 Fortune 500 companies having at least one active Toastmasters club, 92 of the top 100 Fortune 500 companies have at least one active Toastmasters club, and 32 of the top 50 Fortune 500 companies have at least three active Toastmasters clubs.
During the past 18 months, more than 1,000 corporate Toastmasters clubs were formed. According to LinkedIn’s 2019 Global Talent Trends Report, with the rise of AI/automation changing the job market, 92% of talent professionals and hiring managers agree that candidates with strong soft skills are increasingly important. In fact, it could make or break hiring the perfect candidate, as 89% of hiring managers feel that “bad hires” typically have poor soft skills.
A LinkedIn Emerging Jobs report found that soft skills, including oral communication, leadership, and time management, make up nearly half the list of skills with the largest skills gaps. Many employers are finding that the training taught in Toastmasters helps to fill these gaps, and approximately 60% of the 2020 Fortune 500 companies have at least one active Toastmasters club.
Toastmasters’ communication and leadership program teaches employees how to:
- Sharpen their presentation skills,
- Enhance their listening skills,
- Conduct effective meetings,
- Boost team collaboration,
- Guide successful teams,
- Practice time management.
“In today’s rapidly evolving job market, employers recognise the value of developing and improving the skills of their workforce,” says Toastmasters Chief Executive Officer Daniel Rex. “Organising a Toastmasters club for employees gives employers a cost-effective way to enhance many vital soft skills, including public speaking, collaboration, and time management. Additionally, job seekers and employees looking for a promotion who already have the soft skills employers desire will have a significant competitive advantage over other candidates.”