All Things Toastmasters! (33)
Toastmasters has been the world's best kept secret for providing inexpensive, real-world communication & leadership skills training.
Rae Stonehouse DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster) has been a Toastmaster for over 27 years. In this series of articles, Rae shares his sage advice and experiences. Enjoy!
Would a speech coach or toastmasters be better for overcoming paralyzing anxiety and fear of public speaking in classes?Written by Rae Stonehouse
While I would whole-heartedly recommend either option for someone who was experiencing anxiety and fear of public speaking, I am concerned about the aspect of the anxiety being ‘paralyzing.’
Toastmasters is the world’s leading provider of inexpensive, effective communication and leadership training. They are experts at helping their members at overcoming their fear of public speaking and developing skills to become better communicators and leaders.
While there may be anecdotal stories from Toastmasters clubs around the world, as to how their club has helped someone who is paralyzed with fear, to becoming fearless, or at least less fearful, I don’t believe it to the norm.
Toastmasters is truly an International organization. You only have to go one of its annual conferences and watch the parade of banners in the opening ceremonies to truly appreciate how international it is.
You don’t say what country you live in.
What are some suitable, persuasive, entertaining, inspirational, and informational speech topics for Toastmasters?Written by Rae Stonehouse
There are no universal answers to this question. The best resource material for topics lay within your own personal history and experience.
I often share humorous stories from my childhood or other times of my life. I tie the story into making a point i.e. a teaching moment.
Recently I delivered a speech entitled “It seemed like a good idea at the time …” The speech is about a series of situations that didn’t go the way they were planned and the lessons learned.
Yes, they most certainly do.
On-line, virtual clubs have started up in the past two years. A Google search should help you locate one.
As far as I know, most of them are open to membership but tend to have members that are able to share a common meeting time. It doesn’t matter where you live in the world, as long as you have a fairly fast internet connection, you should be able to join a club.
Toastmasters International is slowly rolling out their new educational program called Pathways. It includes face-to-face meeting as in our traditional clubs as well as a plethora of educational tutorials you will be able to access on-line for self-directed training.
Generally, we don’t use the terms ‘critic’ or ‘criticism’ within Toastmasters.
Criticism, tends to have a negative connotation. Very few people enjoy being criticized.
In an effective Toastmasters club, the act of criticizing has been replaced with providing constructive feedback.
This of course, depends on the level of self-confidence and experience of the evaluator.
Almost every aspect of a Toastmaster meeting receives feedback. Some is better than others, but the overall intent is to help the person being evaluated to improve.
Speech ideas are all around us.
If you are interested in something, curious about a topic or even close to being an expert on a particular subject, you have something to talk about. And odds are, somebody will be interested in hearing what you have to say.
In the Competent Communicator manual and throughout the Advanced Communication Program manuals there are projects i.e. speeches that have a specific set of objectives.
Any number of topics can likely fit into a project’s objectives if you craft it to do so.
I’ve completed 16 Competent Communication manuals and two DTM’s worth from the Advanced program.
The Toastmasters program is a learning program. It is a self-paced, self-directed program.
You learn by self-study i.e. by participating in the communication & leadership program. You learn by researching topics for your presentations.
You also learn about many subjects from listening to other members sharing their experiences, research and presentations.
In this current age where people don't actually deliver long prepared speeches, how is Toastmasters relevant?Written by Rae Stonehouse
I would start off by challenging your assertion that people don’t deliver really long speeches anymore. We certainly still see it with church leaders and long-winded politicians.
I would suggest changing the words ‘long prepared speeches’ to ‘presentations’.
Longer presentations are very common in the business world.
A presentation incorporates speaking skills, listening skills, facilitating, educating and many more. As where long speeches tend to be a one-way data dump.
It is becoming a well-documented fact that verbal communication skills are deteriorating in our younger generations. Social media may be providing more interconnectedness but it is not providing a similar increase in the quality of communication. A 144 character message does not leave a lot of room for quality communication.
There are many different ways to ensure and determine your success as a Toastmasters Club President.
Probably first and foremost, is reading the Club officer roles & responsibilities manual to have a thorough understanding of your responsibilities as well as those club officers that you in turn lead.
Many, yes, but not all.
Most Toastmasters clubs are open to the general community and accept members over the age of 18.
Then there are specialty clubs. A specialty club may have specific membership criteria. An example might be that to join you must have completed and hold a Competent Communicator designation, or be close to completing one.
As originally answered on Quora.com ...
Toastmasters is not a product but rather a service. I have plans to apply Design Thinking to my club through discussions among our members. Also, the Toastmasters members are the customers here. So, basically, I want to apply Design Thinking to a service with the customers in the same room.
As originaly answered in Quora.com...
I want to improve my public speaking skill, and I've given a lot of thoughts to join Toastmasters Club in New Delhi, India. But my speaking English, which isn't good, always creates a doubt in my mind.
Should I first improve my English, and then join Toastmasters?
As originally answered on Quora.com ...
I would suggest rephrasing the question to “How can my Toastmasters portfolio improve my university application?”
When it comes to applying for a job or an educational pursuit I believe that nowadays it is more important to illustrate what you can do, rather than what you have done.
My understanding is that many institutes of higher learning are looking for candidates that give back to their community as a way of life, rather than a way to manipulate a system for personal gain. I have seen this with colleagues who have applied for entrance to medical and pharmaceutical university. There are a lot of qualified, brilliant applicants out there. You need to position yourself so you stand out from the rest.
As originally answered on Quora.com ...
As a 22-year + member of Toastmasters, I have continually found more reasons to stay in Toastmasters than I have to quit.
I’m fond of a quote from a Past International President of Toastmasters and I paraphrase her “If you get everything out of Toastmasters that you can get out of Toastmasters, you will never get out of Toastmasters.”
During those 22 years of Toastmastering I have seen numerous reasons that people quit. I would say almost all of the reasons, if not all, are the same ones shared by other organizations and are not specific to Toastmasters.
Here are some reasons that people leave Toastmasters, based on my personal experience. They are not in order of priority or incidence.