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Topic: Toastmasters
Posts: 6
on: Dec 13, 2011, 1:19pm

Quick and simple question:

If you joined, or tried, Toastmasters, how was your experience?

Posts: 2
Re: Toastmasters
on: Dec 17, 2011, 5:43am

David -

Joining Toastmasters was one of the best things I have ever done. Really helped me in my career and now I actually enjoy speaking (while still being an introvert)

I shared my Toastmaster story in one of Susan's blog posts this summer - read it here:

Since then my son, an introverted senior in high school, was encouraged by my experience in Toastmasters and he just joined a Toastmaster club for his class project. He has just gone once to the club but he reports it was a positive experience (he even did a "table topic" his first visit, a short impromptu speech. When I first joined it took me 3 months to do a table topic!)

I would encourage you to visit a Toastmaster club or two in your area and you can get an idea if it is right for you.


Posts: 6
Re: Toastmasters
on: Dec 18, 2011, 2:34pm

Thanks for your post. I did my icebreaker last week, and it went well.

Posts: 3
Re: Toastmasters
on: Jan 3, 2012, 1:35am

David, I once went to Toastmasters, and I found it to be a very uncomfortable experience, totally alien to my nature.

BUT…It can be valuable to an introvert. Toastmasters works by a formula for giving talks and speeches. If you master the formula, you can slide almost any subject into the format and do well. And you can warm to your subject without worrying if the presentation is "correct" or not. It helps conquer the fear of speaking in public that cripples many introverts.

Posts: 1
Re: Toastmasters
on: Jan 28, 2012, 11:48pm

Toastmasters makes sense, that if you want to learn to speak you speak and speak and speak and speak. . .If you really get into it you might speak maybe once a month for a few years through a guided program with lots of manuals with lots of techniques.

But. . .It intimidated the heck out of me. I then searched for alternatives, and found SPEAKING CIRCLES. A group of maybe 5 or 10 will take turns 'speaking' for 5 minutes or so maybe twice in an evening.

The skill used is to practice making eye contact with each person for a few seconds. And the rest is up to me. I can then speak off-the-top of my head, speak something prepared, or even not speak at all.

For myself, I spent once a month for about 6 months not even speaking, just totally startled at how fabulous it felt to not speak for 5 or 10 minutes twice in a night, just to make eye contact with each person. Then a totally strange calmness came over me, and I started to calmly speak and love it. I have since left that group because it did not meet regular enough, but found other groups where the power of silent waiting for the inspiration to speak is more respected (another topic).

To the Heck with Toastmasters, a strategy similar to SPEAKING CIRCLES is better for the Introvert!

Posts: 1
Re: Toastmasters
on: Feb 16, 2012, 2:53pm

Just went to my first Toastmaster's meeting last evening and the group had 6 new visitors. This was evidently some kind of record and I thought, hmmm, others must be catching the Quiet fever. The experience felt to me a bit like stepping back into the 50's; however, I am going to give it a try because it has the necessary structure and support to help me speak without notes. (I can write the speeches, but when I stand up to deliver, the words sound foreign to me.) One of the speeches delivered last evening was nothing short of a political rant, and truthfully, I was appalled. The group and evaluators were exceptionally non-judgmental and tolerant. I applaud the seriousness of the group, but I was uneasy. I may check out a few other groups around to get a better sense.

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