Toastmasters

Is/was anyone a member of Toastmasters? - by Houston
No, and I've never actually met a member of toastmasters either. Hmmm... maybe I need to get out more. :) - by Jackie
I was a member of Toastmasters for several years. It taught me a lot about presenting and speaking.

If you are considering joining, I suggest you visit several chapters in your area. Every chapter is different and the chemistry in the club contributes to the overall experience. - by Kelley Robertson
I was a member of Toastmasters for several years. It taught me a lot about presenting and speaking.

If you are considering joining, I suggest you visit several chapters in your area. Every chapter is different and the chemistry in the club contributes to the overall experience.
Kelley, can you describe what goes on in those meetings? Is it like attending a college class or more like an association meeting? - by SpeedRacer
It's more like an association meeting. The typical meeting is structured somewhat like this:

- Welcome

- New business meeting - this part of the meeting follows Parlimentary procedures to help people learn how to effectively and proper chair a meeting.

- Table Topics - This is an impromtu speaking exercise. While there are many different ways to conduct it, typically one member is chosen (at least one week ahead of time) to faciliate it. A topic is selected and members are required to stand up and deliver a 1 minute speech with little or no time to prepare. This is great development for thinking and speaking on your feet.

- Speeches - During this portion of the meeting up to 3 members give a speech ranging in length from 5-10 minutes. Every member receives a manual that outlines the type of speeches they are to give. The beginners manual has 10 different types - icebraker, speaking with passion, using gestures, etc. After the speeches, other members stand up and evalute a particular speech. Ribbons are later awared for the best table topics, speech, and evaluator.

- Closing

One of the great things about Toastmasters is that you progress at your own speed. For example, I completed my first 10 speeches in just a few months while other people in the chapter seldom gave a speech.

The drawback is the focus on the contests that happen every year and it like any "group" can be political. However, you get out the group what you put into it. I enjoyed my time there and left only because my job at the time required a significant amount of travel and I couldn't attend many meetings.

Cheers!
Kelley - by Kelley Robertson
Thanks for the overview Kelley. :) - by SpeedRacer
I know people who have belonged, and they felt it helped to make them a better speaker.
I actually hired a coach before I started the speaking end of my busiiness. I found the information really helpful and I've gone about this in a focused way. Also, it really helps to have products to sell.

Susan - by susana
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