A couple months ago I joined Toastmasters. I really hate getting up in front of a group of people, and I hate that I hate it, so…yeah.
I’ve given 3 speeches so far and am not dead, so I guess it’s going ok.
I’d seen it mentioned as a way for writers to improve their public speaking skills, but I hadn’t given it much thought because the two things I can see myself doing someday are panel discussions and readings, not speeches.
But I must have been bored the last time someone mentioned it, because I looked into it more closely, and discovered 1) there’s a part of every meeting called Table Topics that focuses on impromptu speaking, kind of like a panel, and 2) there’s an advanced manual (after you finish the first 10 speeches you do shorter sets with specific focuses) on interpretive reading. I have a feeling I’m going to go through that manual a bazillion times. I already have a copy and might even skip ahead.
I can see it being a big help if I stick with it. And since if someone had told me years ago that it wasn’t all speeches I might have tried it earlier, I thought I’d let you guys know it’s not all speeches. Any other Toastmasters members out there? Has it been helpful?