In an article this week I talk about presentation skills and being ready to talk about your company. Are you prepared? Could you give a coherent speech on what your business does?

You should have your elevator pitch memorized, as well as a brief 5 — 10 minute speech about your company. Both of these should have a point and a call to action of some kind.

One way to build these skills is to go to Toastmasters (www.toastmasters.org). Toastmasters is an international non-profit organization helping people build their presentation skills. You'll learn good basics like giving a 15 minute speech, how to be a master of ceremonies, how to speak impromptu and still make sense. As well, it's a great way to meet other people who have a similar interest in improving themselves. You may even make some good business contacts out of this connection.

There is likely a Toastmasters meeting near you and at a time that is convenient to you. Check them out. Go once or twice (you are usually welcome to attend a couple sessions for free). After that, it's a reasonable annual fee for skills you'd be hard-pressed to develop elsewhere.