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toastmasters

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Posted

Now that I've kind of locked in fitness as a hobby I feel like its time to add something new. I'm interested in toastmasters but it's really outside of my comfort zone. I'm scared of going to a meeting where I don't know anyone. I was wondering if any one has been a part of toastmasters before. Could you share your experience?

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Posted

I have a fair bit of experience with Toastmasters.

I can't say for sure what your experience will be like, every club is slightly different.  But the one thing they all seem to have in common is that the organization and the people in it are very supportive.  I'll give you a likely scenario of your first experience.

Firstly find a group in your area, most have websites and most will be happy for you to just drop in on their Toastmastering night.  I would advise calling before just in case they have a different venue or event for the night.

When you arrive and walk in, it's possible you'll feel a little lost to begin with but someone will talk to you about Toastmasters and what to expect.  They might ask a little bit about you just so they can introduce you as a guest.  Don't worry, it's not a big thing, just a formality they do soon after the meeting starts.

You might have to sit through a business session(not my favorite part), you'll get to hear a couple of speeches.  You also might get the chance to participate in Table Topics, this is where someone gets a question or a statement and they speak about it, off the top of their head for 1 or 2 minutes.  If they do give you this opportunity you're not obligated to do it.  On my first meeting I was asked if I wanted to give it a go,  I think I managed to talk semi coherently for about 12 seconds.

After the speeches and Table Topics they will have other members evaluate the previous speeches.

At the end of the meeting they will ask guests if they have any comments about the meeting, again your not obligated to say anything but even saying, "thanks, it was a fun night" will be appreciated.

 

There are advantages and disadvantages with Toastmasters, some clubs might charge bigger fees.  They're quite often not as critical of a speech as they could be.  Though if you're at the stage where you get extremely nervous about giving a speech this is a great thing.  Obviously I can't vouch for everyone in the organisation but everyone I met has been incredibly supportive.

 

I can not recommend Toastmasters enough, they've helped me immensely, they'll help you.  At the very least go and checkout a meeting.

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Posted

Thanks Ed! I definitely will now. I'll have to do some research to find one that works with my work schedule though as the ones near me are at noon. I'll let you know what happens.

Thanks again for a great response.

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Posted

@Ed Alright I had to look through a bunch but I finally found one that works with my schedule. Fun enough they have there next meeting tomorrow night! It's like fate or something. Thank you for the encouragement!

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Posted

@Ed I went tonight. It was really awesome man. Thanks for psyching me up for it. I'm definitely going back again next week.

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