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Toastmasters-anybody a member or looked at?
Old 01-09-2009, 11:53 AM   #1
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Toastmasters-anybody a member or looked at?

They have been trying to get a club going in my area (town of 8000 or so) so far since early summer....not sure if they will be able to get enough people to make it worthwhile long-term....I had been to a few meetings with my sister in a larger community....one of the few clubs that I have found that actually have some membership under 50
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:01 PM   #2
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I belonged to Toastmasters from about 1999-2005, but the membership at my chapter dwindled so it disbanded, and then there was Katrina and people had too much on their plates as it was. Anyway, it has since re-started, I think, but I haven't been back.

It is DEFINITELY worthwhile if public speaking ability is important to your life for some reason. It helped me at work.

One of the little exercises is to talk for a few minutes extemporaneously on a topic that is given to you and which you may know nothing about. That was tremendously helpful to me at work, in meetings where people ask you questions out of left field. I learned that people are very complimentary and happy if you just talk around the subject while conveying that you are at ease and confident, even if you don't know a thing. (When I found that out, my opinion of the value of meetings went even lower.)

I think that the practice in brief, extemporaneous speaking was more helpful to me than the speeches I did, frankly, because giving a predetermined formal speech is easier to me than speaking off the top of my head.
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:10 PM   #3
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Excellent public speaking training. It will increase your confidence in public speaking situations a lot.

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Old 01-09-2009, 12:50 PM   #4
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Yeah....they did the "table topics" and I tried that also and was really hard for me as I would expect for an INTJ...yes, that is one issue that concerns me about them getting enough members for the local group to stay viable....
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Old 01-09-2009, 01:36 PM   #5
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Yeah....they did the "table topics" and I tried that also and was really hard for me as I would expect for an INTJ...yes, that is one issue that concerns me about them getting enough members for the local group to stay viable....
That's what they were called! "Table Topics". They were really hard for me too, (INTJ too, coincidently!). After doing them every week in a small, friendly Toastmaster's group, I got a whole lot better at them and started looking forward to the challenge of doing that. Well, sort of. With nobody being critical or nasty about it, sometimes I would do pretty well at it and it is inwardly satisfying to absolutely 100% nail something even though the skill is innately a huge obstacle at first. Also, we used to crack up in Toastmasters at some of the incredible lines of BS that people would sling in tackling a Table Topic.

What amazed me, was how much I would "shine" in medium sized meetings with management, using just my new "Table Topics" skills. But then I got my promotion in 2006, so basically a lot of the upwardly mobile motivation has declined.
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Old 01-09-2009, 01:49 PM   #6
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I considered it back when I was a realtor for Century 21. I never did it, though. Now that I'm an old(er) geezer on the brink of retirement, I guess I'll get by without it. Not to brag, but I think my oratory skills are fairly decent already, and nowadays I really don't have much of a need for what the Toastmasters could offer me. I do purty good, I reckon.
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Old 01-09-2009, 02:52 PM   #7
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When I was in jr. high school I was in a junior toastmasters group. I found it very helpful in developing my communication skills, and also got to meet some of the business leaders in the community who were sponsoring our group. I would highly recommend it.
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Old 01-09-2009, 02:54 PM   #8
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I did it. It was more helpful than the Dale Carnegie class I took..........
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Old 01-09-2009, 08:59 PM   #9
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I've been a member since October '08. So far, very good experience. It really is giving me confidence in myself that I never knew I had. Definitely worth checking out.
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Old 01-09-2009, 10:48 PM   #10
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I can only give a second hand account, but a guy I worked with right near the end of my career mentioned that he was in Toastmasters. He was a real down-to-earth guy, hard worker, knowledgeable, and just all around good guy. He thought it was a worthwhile thing for him.

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Old 01-10-2009, 04:39 PM   #11
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I did it and completed the competent toastmaster program. I found it very useful but did not continue after completing the competent toastmaster program due to a promotion, which meant more work, and due to my decision to get another degree. There are only so many hours in the day. I will say that toastmasters is very useful if you ever have to communicate with other humans. I know that's a very broad statement, but it really is true. Sure it's helpful in public speaking, but it is also helpful in daily interaction with others. I also noted that during my year in the group, several members obtained promotions in their jobs and the toastmasters training may have had something to do with it. I know my boss felt like my public speaking ability and my drive to improve my skills were some of the reasons for promoting me.
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Old 01-10-2009, 05:08 PM   #12
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Went to a meeting at the MBA Toastmasters meeting (as if the MBA is not 5 Toastmasters thrown together), and I still found the meeting useful. If you have never done a lot of public speaking or even if you have and just want to keep your skills sharp, Toastmasters is the way to go.
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Old 01-10-2009, 05:54 PM   #13
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I took a short Toastmasters course in the late '80s. It really helped this INTJ as well. I will forever be grateful I was dragged into/persuaded to try it. It's incredibly useful to have a safe, knowledgeable group to practice with, separate from your professional colleagues. I learned a lot.
But an ongoing commitment once a week would be too much for me.
If you have to do public speaking, it's definitely worth it, at least for a few months.
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:19 PM   #14
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My son and I have Asperger's Syndrome. I am/was very introverted and would usually only speak to people if (1) I had to [for work, or (2) we were talking about a subject that was in my "favorite subjects" [as my wife likes to call them]. I joined a TM club at our work last year.. actually, my boss strongly encouraged all of us to join, and it looks excellent on my yearly reviews. It's been wonderful for me, especially the table topics and the evaluations [where as an evaluator you have to listen very carefully to the speaker]. I'd encourage everyone who has trouble with public speaking to do it. Plus it's very, very cheap. Our total dues are $30 every six months. Plus, the humurous speech contest was freakin' hilarious.
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:31 PM   #15
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Several of my former co-w*rkers got involved. I passed since I was up to my eyeballs with w*rk and MSEE courses at the time. They enjoyed Toastmasters thoroughly.
I'm an ESTJ and ultra organized, so shutting me up during my briefings was usually the issue at hand. The knee knocking and sweating eventually went away with repeated briefings.
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:45 PM   #16
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On downside of TM is that when others are giving presentations [outside of TM], I start counting "ah's" "um's" and "so's".
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:28 AM   #17
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I belonged to Toastmasters from about 1999-2005, but the membership at my chapter dwindled so it disbanded, and then there was Katrina and people had too much on their plates as it was. Anyway, it has since re-started, I think, but I haven't been back.

It is DEFINITELY worthwhile if public speaking ability is important to your life for some reason. It helped me at work.

One of the little exercises is to talk for a few minutes extemporaneously on a topic that is given to you and which you may know nothing about. That was tremendously helpful to me at work, in meetings where people ask you questions out of left field. I learned that people are very complimentary and happy if you just talk around the subject while conveying that you are at ease and confident, even if you don't know a thing. (When I found that out, my opinion of the value of meetings went even lower.)

I think that the practice in brief, extemporaneous speaking was more helpful to me than the speeches I did, frankly, because giving a predetermined formal speech is easier to me than speaking off the top of my head.
But why would anyone want to hear you speak about something which you might not know anything about ?
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:31 AM   #18
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Want2 - Off topic I just noticed you're under a year till retirement now. Wooooohooooooo! Good for you!
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Old 01-19-2009, 09:36 AM   #19
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Want2 - Off topic I just noticed you're under a year till retirement now. Wooooohooooooo! Good for you!
Thank you!! I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:47 AM   #20
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I went to my 2nd meeting yesterday....I think the extemporaneous speaking is really what I need to improve on as well and did better this week...I am happy enough with this group, that I will join next time...
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