Toastmasters

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Postby dani » Sun May 27, 2007 11:25 pm

pattyn, Oh, yes!! You’re the terrific Success Team Leader who shares good stuff all of the time. My, you are one busy lady. From what I recall, I think you'd have more to offer TM than the other way around. Best, dani :)
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Postby pattyn » Mon May 28, 2007 12:50 am

Thanks, Dani. I suspect TM has plenty to offer me, but not until I have the time to invest in full participation. I love your Helen Keller quote.
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Having trouble finding a local Toastmasters group

Postby Fiona_J_Fell » Tue Nov 13, 2007 9:40 pm

Do any members here know of a centralised database of Toastmasters groups. I am in Australia, and am having trouble finding a group to participate with. Any help would be great. Cheers, Fiona
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Postby pattyn » Tue Nov 13, 2007 9:59 pm

- Patty Newbold
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Postby dani » Tue Nov 13, 2007 11:12 pm

Fiona, If only I had the name of a Toastmaster I heard many eons ago... :) My club was temporarily low on members and issued an emphatic call to bring in guest speakers. The following meeting we had a winner! The guest speaker was from Australia and gave a hilarious speech on closet hangers reproducing like rabbits. In a scholarly moment, he said with perfectly trilled Rs that \"recent research reveals...\" Of course, I've forgotten the punch line. Part of the hilarity of it all was that since he was headed back to Australia, he couldn't possibly become a member. :lol: I'm not sure how funny this comes across now, but clearly it made a lasting impression on me. I hope you find what you're looking for. Best, dani :)
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I was in a Toastmasters Club in St.Helena, Ca for four years

Postby decterlove » Sat Dec 01, 2007 6:57 pm

I really got a lot out of it. It actually started my (still tentative) writing career because I started writing short "tale tales" performance pieces for some of the assignments in our club and actually won a local contest or two with a couple of them. The great thing about Toastmaster's is that it keeps it real simple. Meetings are very structured and are generally over very close to their intended time limits. My club meet just for an hour and fifteen minutes I believe. Everyone gets to participate a little in each meeting and the scheduled speaker is often a real treat for those attending. I think the 5-7 minute limit is a great discipline and a great place to start for any public speaker. If you need to do a longer presentation you might even think of it as a series of 5-7 minute segments. Bottom line is that you have to keep your audience entertained and interested and you have to present the material in a way that people are able to retain at least some of what you are saying. It was a nice four years. I wound up inevitably getting more and more involved the bureaucratic side of it and served as President of our club the fourth year which was fun but not something I wanted to commit my time to. Some people go just for the practical business skills and the organizational aspects of it and get a lot out of it also. "Greeting Fellow Barbara Sherions! I'm here to tell you a tall tale from the Future! A story that will confound your confirmations and rehang the Doors of Your Perception! So hang onto your Cosmic Lunchboxes! We're going on a Picnic of the Imagination!" Something like that always worked for me!
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Postby pattyn » Sat Dec 01, 2007 7:10 pm

Thanks for sharing that, Decterlove.
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Re: Toastmasters

Postby jwwillis100 » Sat Feb 16, 2008 2:31 pm

pattyn wrote:Anyone tried Toastmasters? Is it worthwhile for a future self-help speaker? Or is it better just to jump in and start speaking and hope no one's carrying ripe tomatoes?
Hello Patty! I joined a Toastmasters Club about 3 months ago and have given 4 speeches so far and have another one scheduled in 2 weeks. I have found that it is a good thing I did it. After the first 2-3 speeches I finally got over the nervousness before the speech. First is the challenge of getting a plan together about how to speak for only 5-7 minutes and have a logical beginning, middle and end. Then as I began to try to move around properly on the stage I found that I couldn't concentrate on the movements at the same time I was concentrating on the speech very well. I'm sure it is just a matter of practice. And that is what Toastmasters is about, practicing speaking. One of the members of the National Speakers Association told me that it was a good way to practice and he recommended it.
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Re: Toastmasters

Postby pattyn » Sat Feb 16, 2008 8:17 pm

Thanks, Jerry! The local Toastmasters meets at the same time as another weekly commitment, so I may look now for one a bit further away.
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Re: Toastmasters

Postby expatana » Tue Feb 19, 2008 2:13 pm

Hey Patty, Where's the local Toastmasters meet? (IDK, maybe someone else also lives in our neck of the woods ...) Ana
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Re: Toastmasters

Postby pattyn » Tue Feb 19, 2008 4:43 pm

http://www.tmdistrict38.org/clubs.html We've got lots of options.
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Re: Toastmasters

Postby Thriving Miss Susan » Thu Mar 06, 2008 6:42 am

Have never been to Toastmasters, but if you want to take Ed MacMahon's advice - do anything that gets you speaking in front of people. I agree with him; I was a debater in high school and college, which means hundreds of short speeches every year during practice and tournaments. The repetition has given me a lot of experience with the various things that can go wrong in a speech, the various emotional states that arise within in a speech, and how to speak regardless. I am not afraid of speaking, and it is just because I have done it so much, not because I have some magic ability. One thing I learned is that speaking is not really the exalted art that many try to make it; it is mostly about being yourself (letting yourself show) in front of an audience, and realizing that all you have to do is survive the five or 20 minutes you are on stage. The rest of it (writing the speech, finding your own style, etc.) comes as a result of that core. And that core is strengthened when you get up and do it; that is where you make contact with it. I think that is what audiences really want from a speaker, an expanded sense of self because the speaker (a) is in touch with his or hers and (b) offers the possibility of something greater to those who are in the audience. Susan
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Re: Toastmasters

Postby Halcyon Chapter » Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:16 pm

Here is the smallest, easiest-to-use-right-now tip I can give you, based on years of speaking in public, in a wide variety of settings. My first speech was given to the women in the local DAR club, when I was 11 years old. I think my most recent speech/presentation was at a symposium. Tip: A lot of people sort of hem and haw their way into the beginning of a speech and kind of ramble and fade out at the end. I found that it helps a lot to write on index cards my first two sentences and my last two sentences. This helps me start and end with strength and clarity, etc. I make the sentences sound like natural talking, not a formal speech. For the rest of the speech/presentation, I make an extremely detailed outline on index cards. The bullet points remind me of what I want to say but because they're points and not whole sentences, I'm forced to speak naturally instead of reading or trying to memorize. Here is a slightly bigger tip: read the book, "How to Get Your Point Across in 30 Seconds or Less."
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Re: Toastmasters

Postby pattyn » Wed Apr 02, 2008 5:27 am

Thanks, Halcyon! I like both of these, and I'll give them a try.
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Re: Toastmasters

Postby Wildlifephotographer » Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:49 am

I, too, am a member of my local Toastmasters. I joined about six months ago. I've found it extremely helpful. Getting instant feedback on your speech helps you improve. And the people there give you feedback in a positive, supportive atmosphere. They tell you the things they liked about your speech and the things you did that were good. Then they give you suggestions on things you might improve for next time. It's not a negative environment at all. Everyone there is there to learn to make better speeches. Going from being able to make a 5-7 minute speech with notecards to being comfortable enough to do it without notecards is a big step for some people. Then, as you progress, making a 20-30 minute speech without notecards is an even bigger step. But in a safe, friendly atmosphere like Toastmasters, you learn to do just that. It's definitely something to investigate if you are seriously considering making speeches of any length.
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