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March 2018



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Toastmaster update

So, for those of you who haven't been pay attention - I have joined a local Toastmasters Club.

Toastmasters International is essential a support group for public speakers. Local clubs get together on a regular basis and practice public speaking. The International organization publishes a magazine and support materials with advice and speaking and evaluating other speakers. They also encourage leadership skills by rotating club duties. It is very formal and organized.

I've joined the Ithaca Area Club that meets on Thursday nights. So far the first meeting I attended was a region wide Humorous Speech competition. Since then I have spoken on Table Topics twice. Table Topics are short (1-2 minute) extemporaneous speeches on assigned topics. Mine where on "I hate Miriam Zimmer Bradley" (the topic was books) and "Rosa Parks Wasn't Tired She was Sick and Tired" (the topic was who do you think should be added to Mt Rushmore). I have been the Grammarian once. The grammarian chooses a word for the day that people are supposed to try to use in their presentations. I have been Ah-Um counter once (the Ah-um counter counts the number of times speakers say "ah" or "um" or any other place holder words). I have jumped in with both feet once again.

And this past Thursday I gave my first prepared speech. It was my introduction to my Workshop on "Gods and Mehn". I thought I did terribly. I was disorganized and underprepared and I said ah-um at least a couple of times. But they were very nice to me.

Everyone thought I was very smart for talking about difficult ideas. *sigh* I really hate it when people say that. It means I'm talking over their heads again.

Well at least it served its purpose for me. Giving this practice speech helped me clarify my intent for the workshop I need to rewrite the announcement and make some posters.


think you'll keep going?
Toastmasters really helped me with my confidence SPEAKING in front of people...
I stopped going because other things became more important but I learned a LOT when I was there...

as to the talking over people's heads thing...

I think that if you use the approach of a) what is the educational level of the people who will be coming to this workshop (which you can asses by using a questionnaire for the people coming) b) plan accordingly for 1. those who know NOTHING 2. Those who have an inkling 3. Those who are ready for a detailed discussion about your topic....

Preparing for all levels and for a variety of tough questions and how to answer things in abstract as WELL as non-abstract ways will really get you prepared for anything :)
What are you talking about!? Of course you will have done well!

And dont worry about the Um and Ah things! It wasn't exactly a formal speech!

I have been doing lost of presentations to my class, and im sure im getting better at it! At first i was totaly frightened by what they would thing of me! I was stuttering, sluring. i could have Um'd and Ah'd till the cows came home! LOL But now.. i actualy like them, and more so... enjoy them!

I have actualy found that, if i dont prepare, and just speek what i should be talking about. It goes better! BECAUSE, im not thinking about, what i should say next! I just let it flow! =D Give it a try!

xXx Pheonix xXx


Thanks for your support, I really appreciate it.

It actually is a formal speech, that is whole point.

They don't encourage reading your speech, most of the techniques are for speaking extemporaneously. I'm pretty good that way, (it shows in my table topic speeches) but I want to get better at prepared long speeches. That is why I joined this club.
My grandfather was an avid toastmaster, in fact he helped found the Lancaster PA toastmasters group. He always wanted me to join. I was afraid to, mainly because I figured I'd always bring home the "AH" award.


My group is very friendly. The point is to help people get better, not make fun of them for not being perfect. There is no "Ah" award, they only give awards for giving speeches.

Re: Toastmasters

I'm serious. My grandfather on occasion would win - and this is a completely true honest-to god story - a funny looking little trophy called an "ah" award. It was given to the person whose speech was peppered with the most "ah's". I think it was all in good, gentle humor.

I am sure that Toastmasters are a friendly bunch. You'd think that with my involvement in drama and forensics back in high school I'd be a shoe-in. But honestly I have always dreaded giving speeches. I'd much rather write my thoughts down because thinking on my feet isn't exactly my greatest skill.

Re: Toastmasters

I believe you.

But I don't think they do that now. And I can see why.

Toastmaster's really is for people who dread giving speeches and want to get over that dread, not people who have no problems. The idea is to help people improve. You can come to a meeting as a guest and take a look around if you want. You can sit with me. They won't make you talk if you don't want to.

Re: Toastmasters

That's very thoughtful. Maybe someday I will do this, but life's a bit complicated right now. Let's talk about it when things settle down for me a bit.