Okanagan Panorama

All Things Toastmasters!

All Things Toastmasters!

Fillers like: um, uh, y’know, like, so, etc. If not, what’s some advice for accomplishing this?

As originally answered on Quora.com

Toastmasters International Sample MeetingThe short answer is ‘yes’, it can help do that. However, it doesn’t follow that just by joining Toastmasters you will become proficient at not using fillers. Like any other skill, you have to practice, you have to receive constructive feedback and you have to act upon the feedback.

In my club, Kelowna Flying Solo ToastmastersKelowna Flying Solo Toastmasters, I assign all new members the role of Ah Counter as their first official meeting role. I believe that to extinguish fillers in your oral presentation, you first have to be aware of them. After a new member has taken on the role a few times, they start to become aware of them in their own speaking.

To facilitate the ah counting we provide the Ah Counter of the evening a form to keep track of what they hear and make it easy to deliver a report. The following info is mentioned on the form:

<<Helping members off their crutches. The purpose of the Ah-Counter is to note any word or sound used as a crutch by anyone who speaks during the meeting. Words may be inappropriate interjections, such as and, well, but, so and you know. Sounds may be ah, um or er. You should also note when a speaker repeats a word or phrase such as “I, I” or “This means, this means.” These words and sounds can be annoying to listeners. The Ah-Counter role is an excellent opportunity to practice your listening skills. It is unnecessary to report someone with no ums, ers, etc.>>

The 2016 World Championship of Public Speaking wore his underwear over his suit. This gets attention, yes. But is this what people should strive for in their public speaking? Really?

As originally answered on Quora.com

Have you pushed an envelope lately? How about pulled one?This is a question that leads to an opinion-based answer, rather than a definitive yes or no answer.

I’ve chaired some 30 or more speech contests at the club to the District level in my Toastmasters career. In my introductory comments I usually factor in the comment “Toastmasters speech contests are for those that want to challenge themselves. The cream rises to the top …” Or something to that effect.

I usually also mention that there are at least two contests going on here. At the one level, we are choosing a winner of this speech contest, who will rise to the next level of the contest and represent us. But even more importantly to me is the fact that each of our contestants is in competition with themselves. They are stepping out of their comfort zone and challenging themselves to do the best they can. Whether they win or not, they will be better speakers for it.

I haven’t seen the video yet for the 2016 World Championship of Public Speaking. I’ve seen almost all of the last decade or so that have their videos posted on Youtube. In watching the videos, it becomes evident that as a speaker and a wannabee champion, you have to stand out in some way from your competitors.

as originally answered on Quora.com

Ever been to a Toastmasters meeting? You should!To start off I would be remiss if I didn’t comment on the presumption in the question that Toastmasters is a social skills course. It isn’t. Toastmasters members do learn social skills by participating in the program but it is not a specific learning objective.

As a 22-year member of Toastmasters, so far, I continue to benefit from my membership.

I started off as a shy, quiet introvert. I’m still an introvert but am in remission with my shyness.

Toastmasters has served as a catalyst in helping build my self-confidence which has opened up numerous opportunities for me that would never have been available to me.

Once I was terrified of public speaking. Now I speak in public regularly delivering seminars and talks on my specialties. I have an emcee/event organizing business. I never saw that in my future.

The communication manuals of the toastmaster club are avialable for downloadonline.So can i use the material and organize an informal meeting among my friends in college on the lines of The Toastmaster meeting i.e Prepared speeches, Impromptu speeches and Evaluations?

As originally answered on Quora.com

A Leader Takes PeopleTheoretically, you could. I am sure that many speech/presentation coaches have done so. Likely though, they have recreated the content so that it is in a new format. I have done so.

Using the material for what you are suggesting is copyright infringement. Toastmasters International has a well-developed brand and should it be brought to their attention that you are using their material without permission you may very well receive contact from their Legal Department with a cease and desist order.

This begs the question … if you find the Toastmasters material to be of value, why wouldn’t you want to do something about getting a Toastmasters presence in your college?

If your town is big enough for a college, it is big enough to support one or more Toastmasters clubs. There are likely local clubs and experienced members that would love the chance to expand the local Toastmasters membership by helping develop a new college club.

They have the experience to get your club up and running. They will also support your new club for a year or so to help get it established.

As originally answered on Quora.com ...

How to Say It? Good question! The number four project is designed to help you experience the difference between crafting your speech for the spoken work verses the written word. Is there really a difference? Most certainly!

When you write prose, you use punctuation marks in your story to let your reader know extra information that they need to understand the written material. A ? lets the reader know that a question is being asked. An ! at the end of a sentence would indicate that the preceding sentence has some importance. As readers, if we aren’t clear or are confused about something we have just read, we can usually easily go back and reread the previous section for clarification.

 As originally answered on Quora.com

Disinguished Toastmaster PinI can’t imagine there to be any other answer than “of course!”

One needs only to look at the yearly journey towards the coveted title of World Champion of Public Speaking. The title says it all “World Champion.” Everyone who competes at any level of the competition, from the club through to the world championship level has been a member of good standing of Toastmasters i.e. they are a product of the Toastmasters program.

Originally answered on Quora.com …



Mr Emcee aka Rae Stonehouse. Author of E=Emcee Squared:Tips & Techniques to Becoming a Dynamic Master of Ceremonies.This looks like a fairly simple question however, to provide a response of value is considerably more challenging.



Serving effectively as an Emcee at any event, requires quite a few specific skills. You need to be a good organizer, confident public speaker, systematic thinker, have good time management skills, be assertive and be a good problem solver to mention a few.

Originally answered in Quora…


Does Toastmasters Teach Social Skills? Article by Rae Stonehouse DTM.I’m going to take a contrary view as some others have and say “No, it does not.” However, Toastmasters does provide an amazing amount of opportunities to practice them.

As answered at Quora.com ...

Shy?Like any thought-provoking question, there likely isn’t a definitive answer. This one, as others, would likely fit into the “it depends” category.

Let me preface my comments with sharing that I am a 22 years and counting member of Toastmasters, Past District 21 Governor and a Distinguished Toastmaster. I wouldn’t say that I was painfully shy when I joined Toastmasters but my shyness did limit me significantly.

While I can’t recommend a Toastmasters club enough for its ability to help increase your self-confidence, your poise, your communication & leadership skills and in time a reduction of one’s shyness, it isn’t an automatic effect of joining a club. You don’t learn public speaking by osmosis. You actually have to speak and incrementally improve your skill and self-confidence.

The same applies to reduction of one’s shyness. If you join a Toastmasters club with the expectation that they will solve your shyness problem, then you will be disappointed. On the other hand, if you join with the express purpose of reducing your shyness and a self-directed plan to do so, you will likely be successful.

Our Toastmasters club officers take on their leadership role in one year increments. They are learning on the job as they practice servant leadership. I would expect that few of them have any practical experience in helping a shy person move forward. I have encountered far too many people, which tend to be extroverts, say “Just do as I do! That’s the right way!” When helping someone overcome shyness, it isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ scenario.

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