Author Topic: Toastmasters?  (Read 5904 times)

MgoSam

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Toastmasters?
« on: March 30, 2014, 07:00:33 PM »
Has anyone here done it? Do you recommend it?

I am a fairly good public speaker and don't need to give speeches very often but I figure that it would be a great and positive way to improve general communication skills. What do you think?

kite

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Re: Toastmasters?
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2014, 08:04:46 PM »
Highly recommend it.

Even those who are good can get always get better,  and Toastmasters provides a structured way to practice.   

jba302

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Re: Toastmasters?
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2014, 08:07:52 PM »
It very much depends on the group you are with. The group I am in now at work is mostly feel-good "everyone is a winner" type feedback so I have completely lost interest.

mikefixac

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Re: Toastmasters?
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2014, 09:43:22 PM »
I made it a goal one year to learn public speaking and join Toastmasters.

It was a wonderful experience. I'm not near an accomplished speaker, did it only one year, but met great people. If called upon, I could speak. Don't know how well it'd be, but at least I could do that.

And from what I know now, if I did speak, it would be from the heart, or it would not be at all.

People who attend Toastmasters are people who want to make their lives better and those around them.

nereo

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Re: Toastmasters?
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2014, 06:52:35 AM »
Has anyone here done it? Do you recommend it?

I've had great experiences.  I started going because I'm in science, and part of the job entails both presenting at scientific conferences and speaking to the general public.  Both involve audiences that can be very critical, but in different ways.  My local toastmasters group has been great because they are constructively critical about how i give my presentations, instead of what i am presenting.  It's the only time that I can give a talk and the audience is focused on improving my delivery instead of being focused on whether they agree with what I am saying.

then, when I give the talk "for real" I'm less worried about my delivery and I focus more on the pattern and data.
I still get extremely nervous giving talks, but I think I've gotten a lot better.

Indio

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Re: Toastmasters?
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2014, 07:46:34 AM »
I did a public speaking course with Dale Carnegie early on in my career. It was good practice to overcome a fear about standing up in front of a room of people but the feedback really lacked quality as the weeks dragged on. Also if you don't have an opportunity to continue practicing, you get out of the groove or the newly established comfort zone. I regularly do a lot of public speaking for work. Over time I've gained confidence knowing that I'm there because I'm either an expert or have a unique perspective to share. Most of the audience can appreciate that and isn't as critical as I am of myself.

Vgfns

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Re: Toastmasters?
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2014, 08:34:35 AM »
Highly recomend it.  Like you said, even if you don't do public speaking you will notice the impact it has on your ability to verbalize your ideas in regular conversation.  And it's a big confidence booster.  If you can find a good group whose location and time works for your schedule, go for it!  As to how much it costs, it's usually 60$ for every 6 months, as well as a 50$ sign up fee.  Your numbers will vary, but it will be between 100-120$ to get started.  But it's worth it!

gillstone

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Re: Toastmasters?
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2014, 09:20:28 AM »
I highly recommend it.  I was nationally competitive in high school and college in speech and debate and while it means I can write and deliver a speech very well it also left me with some habits and styles that were good in competition, but not as good in day-to-day work and presentation.  Toastmasters helped me shrug off the bad habits that can come from competition.  Also, itís great for networking with other folks in your community.

curler

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Re: Toastmasters?
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2014, 09:22:52 AM »
It very much depends on the group you are with. The group I am in now at work is mostly feel-good "everyone is a winner" type feedback so I have completely lost interest.

I agree.  I had to try out a few different groups to find one that I "clicked" with.  But once I found a good group, I found it very beneficial.

Gen Y Finance Journey

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Re: Toastmasters?
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2014, 09:55:43 AM »
I am a fairly good public speaker

I personally think Toastmasters is a waste of time if you already feel comfortable with public speaking. Perhaps some groups are better than others, but in my experience it's basically a "get over your fear of public speaking" kind of group.

$200k

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Re: Toastmasters?
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2014, 11:13:17 AM »
Can anyone recommend what is the best time for attending the group (e.g., morning, lunch, evening after-work)?

MgoSam

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Re: Toastmasters?
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2014, 05:14:06 PM »
Can anyone recommend what is the best time for attending the group (e.g., morning, lunch, evening after-work)?
.

I'm not sure if there is an universal answer for that, my guess is that it would be whatever time is more convenient for you. For me the early morning is the only time I know that will work for me on a consistent basis, largely because at the end of the day I know I won't have the energy. Also I work hard during the week so I would like to reserve my weekend for nothing work-related. There are some offices that host Toastmaster meetings for their lunch hour, I think it would be a great idea to check out if you're workplace has such an arrangement.