What is Toastmasters All About?
Everyone needs hobbies.
Of some kind.
That never hurts.
From the field of hobbies, what are a few good options?
What is it that can improve our lives?
Infinite choices, man.
And you can keep going wherever the heart flows.
Let me ask you though…
Why not pick a hobby that will make you a warrior?
Like tackling public speaking.
Public speaking seems daunting and scary until you get your reps in.
The strong feelings never go away.
It just transmutes into creative energy.
Public speaking is a power move.
And thankfully, there is a club called Toastmasters that can help someone build this power move.
Step by step…
What is Toastmasters?
The first time I heard of Toastmasters, I thought it was a breakfast club.
Was feeling hungry that day.
The day I attended the meeting, I was wrong.
It was a public speaking club.
Just kidding, I knew it wasn’t for breakfast…yes, totally kidding.
This club deals with different public speaking exercises.
The members have a very polished articulation muscle.
They enunciate, are witty, and speak with logic.
Something about this club was unique.
I was expecting it to be very daunting with snobby people.
No clue why, but I thought people who figured out public speaking have a certain arrogance.
‘I am here now. Look how far away you are from me…peasant.’
Not at all.
These were some of the kindest people I met.
What is Toastmasters All About??
Calling Toastmasters only a public speaking club is doing it a disservice.
Sure, public speaking is one of the features which are enhanced.
However, it’s much more than that.
‘What else do you consider it?’
I actually consider it a social club first & a public speaking club second.
These people in the club were kind because they witnessed each other grow.
It’s not only polished speakers who attend the meetings.
On the contrary, it’s the exact opposite.
They somehow built the courage to do something about it.
And that’s when they entered the club & were met with welcoming arms.
By people who once suffered from the same tension as them.
Building your Speech Muscle
Even though this is a club to build your social skills…
Let’s not forget the main purpose:
- Public speaking is what we need to put in reps for.
Toastmasters members and guests get out what they put in.
It’s a game of volunteering.
For guests, they get to do the impromptu speech section of the meeting.
Also known as the “Table Topics.”
This may seem terrifying.
‘You’re telling me I need to create a speech without ANY preparation?’
‘I definitely cannot do that.’
Actually, you can.
Many guests think this impromptu speaking is impossible until they raise their hand and volunteer.
For some of those guests, 1-2 minutes is too light!
Guests get their feet wet with the table topics.
But where the long-term thinking comes is at the next step:
- Deciding to be a member.
It’s a scoping-out process…
How Much Time Does Toastmasters Require?
A normal meeting is roughly 1-1.5 hours long.
This depends on the size of the club.
The larger the club, the more roles that are filled.
Leading to the full schedule being used.
Other than the actual meeting, you want to think about the hours outside of the meeting.
That’s the important factor.
Because let’s say you do participate actively.
Then you will have more speaking opportunities.
-To deliver a speech, you must practice the speech.
-To practice the speech, you must build the speech.
How long does building and practicing take??
The answer is so random that it’s hard to give an exact response.
For some people, they are quick at building a speech & practicing it.
Some struggle with building the talk, but when they finally do, their practice rounds are limited.
And some go about it the opposite way.
Fast speech building, slow practice.
‘Come on man, just give me a ROUGH answer.’
I’d say the weeks you do have a speech, it’ll take roughly 2-5 hours outside of the meeting.
That’s from what I noticed.
Is Toastmasters Right for You?
Now you have a stronger understanding of what Toastmasters is all about.
The question may arise…
Is this right for me though?
I have a very simple answer regarding this.
You can logic yourself into joining the club…
Or you can take the emotional approach.
I believe there is a spot for logic.
Where you weigh the pros and cons.
If you’re a tactical guy, then go to a few meetings and decide for yourself.
I recommend going to at least 2-3 different clubs before committing.
On the other hand, my decision to join Toastmasters was not logical.
It was emotional.
I felt fear giving a speech.
Your boy didn’t have much confidence in social skills either.
The communication skills in my life were flat.
And there was a desire to do something about it.
That pain and fear were more than enough for me to make a decision and stick to it.
The emotional route born thru fear gets you to turn dark emotions into fire.
And then turn fire into creative energy that lights up your confidence.
Best Era For Toastmasters?
I’ve joined Toastmasters a few times in my life.
The first time I ever did it was plenty of years ago when all the members had to work out of a book:
- The Competent Communicator.
Nowadays, there is the Pathways Program.
This program allows you to choose the path which is right for you.
Dynamic leadership, comedy, team working, etc.
So there are more CHOICES to take control over your public speaking destiny.
I chose the comedy path.
It was filled with excitement and challenging exercises which forced growth.
Ultimately, you can only decide if Toastmasters is for you.
Check out some meetings.
Socialize with the members.
And then, decide your future.
This is the hobby of modern-day warriors.
Get the pain and set it on fire.
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