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?


Filed under Toastmasters, Writing

4 Responses to Toastmasters

  1. I thought about it, but I haven’t signed up yet. I ended up mentoring with a woman at work on the matter… gave my first presentation today. I think it was fun? I was sort of on autopilot…

    Good luck with Toastmasters. šŸ™‚

  2. elizabeth

    Thanks. It’s been surprisingly fun. It’s interesting to hear people talk on random topics each week, and my group has a good mix of experienced speakers and people like me.

    I know what you mean about autopilot though.

    Are you still thinking about it?

  3. I’m with you – two things I really enjoyed about Toastmasters were trying to think on your feet during table topics and the things you’d learn from other people’s speeches. The trick is getting through that first manual as there are sometimes projects that we tend to be less enthusiastic about. But you’re right about the advanced speeches – they can be a lot of fun. Good luck.

  4. Pingback: Toastmasters, Part 2 | Elizabeth Shack

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