Jan 1, 2010
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Anyone here join toastmasters? I keep coming across this on here and I'm wondering if anyone is actually a member and what really goes down at a meeting before I decide to jump into one. I briefly looked over the website but it would be nice to get an actual member's opinion.

Thanks.
 

Slowpoke

10+ Year Member
Sep 15, 2008
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toastmaster here.

definitely if you can fit it into your schedule its worth it.

I find "Table Topics" the most valuable thing about the meetings. It's impromptu speaking in front of an audience on a random topic given by the host that night.
 

bobsmith

10+ Year Member
Sep 15, 2008
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.... what's a toastmaster?
toastmasters is a club that helps people improve their communication/speaking skills. they've got locations all over the US.

edit: oops, actually it's international. not just the US
 

thesauce

Senior Member
10+ Year Member
Aug 5, 2005
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Toastmaster here. Joining Toastmasters was one of the best decisions I've ever made. There are over 10,000 clubs worldwide (check out: www.toastmasters.org) and probably 3 in your town that you never knew about. The only problem with Toastmasters is that they need to change the name.

The meetings open with a quick introduction and then 2 short (3-5 min), prepared speeches, and then what they call "table topics" where they give you a random topic and you speak about it for 1-2 minutes. Then people evaluate your speeches and give you pointers. Then at the end of the meeting (depending on the club), they give awards for best speech, best evaluation, and best table topics. Anyway, that's the general form and there are other roles as well (joke teller, timer, etc.), depending on the club. The schedule is determined in advance so you know what your role in the meeting will be beforehand. The goal of the meeting is to give everyone at least a brief chance to stand up and speak in front of the entire group, either as a speech-giver, evaluator, table topic, or joke teller.

In med school, my public speaking skills really came in handy and I know it'll mean even more for me in residency. I actually volunteer and look forward to giving presentations now, whereas it used to make me sick to my stomach.

Needless to say, I highly recommend the Toastmasters experience!