wheel - 7:33 pm on Feb 22, 2010 (gmt 0)
Back in the 80's as part of a job placement, I was working on an airforce base, working as a programmer, and living in the officer's mess.
Part of an officer's job is public speaking so they seemed to practice it routinely. At many meals, someone would stand up, start giving a random speech, then pass it off to the next person. They liked to pick on the college student - I got lots of practice at being able to speak publicly. And it's stuck.
The single biggest thing is getting over the fear. The only way to get over the fear is to do it. And that's why I suspect toastmasters works. Once they get over the fear, pretty much anyone can be a good public speaker.
It's a good skill to have. Once in a while opportunities open up that many won't do for no other reason than public speaking. It's a shame really, given how easy it is to overcome.