Three reasons I'm not a Toastmaster

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There are better ways to improve your business presentation skills than joining Toastmasters. Find out why in this slideshow!

There are better ways to improve your business presentation skills than joining Toastmasters. Find out why in this slideshow!

More in: Business , Education
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  • @Nelly Gillman, PMP To state that I'm not a TM is true, but that doesn't mean that I haven't attended TM meetings. I have. That's where I've formed my opinion.
    And, to suggest that this discussion has lasted so long and had so many views because of my self-promotion is comical. Have you read some of the 61 comments? A lot of them are from TMs who absolutely agree with me.
    It's the TMs that can't handle an open discussion that have a problem with this forum.
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  • A lot of your statements about Toastmasters are false beliefs, probably because you are not a Toastmaster and know very little about the true nature of the organization.
    And this is exactly the reason why this discussion has been going on for three years: your self-promotion in this presentation is not very convincing, especially for people who benefited from Toastmasters in many ways, including the ones you claim Toastmasters do not provide.
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  • @Marie Hawkins Thanks, Marie, for sharing your experience with TM. I'm glad it's been so positive and helpful for you.
    I appreciate your advice at the end of your post, but let's look at what this slideshow has done - there have been over 30,000 views and an on-going discussion about TM since 2011. I think that starting a dialogue about this topic is the most valuable result. Thanks for being a part of it!
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  • I was in Toastmasters for a number of years and my job performance and presentations improved tremendously working at a major business industry and later, as an educator presenting material in a classroom. In fact, I became an award-winning teacher and I never came across as some robot type presenter that some organization programmed into me. When I started TM, I could barely say two words to an audience. TM clubs are often formed within an organization for specific groups (that's why you can have several in one city or location), so that you can practice presentation skills that are specific for your work (or personal) environment and/or audience. You are also encouraged to try innovative and new approaches in the different roles in TM. For example, I ran a meeting based around a Mardi Gras theme as it was in the same week. It added fun and variety to the meeting. This doesn't mean that I do a Mardi Gras theme for every presentation, but, due to the positive response to my approach, I did learn to put fun and variety into my presentations outside of the TM meeting. This helped me to build the confidence to develop my own presentation where I don't need an outsider to develop exciting presentations for me--this keeps my presentations original to me. So, though I like that you are trying to give the world some variety in your own well-crafted presentation skills, I would like to make a friendly suggestion that you may find helpful or not. Instead of putting down a well-supported member organization, that is known to get results in helping others to feel confident in their own presentation skills, present your product without it and feel confident with that. I'm sure that by doing so you'll find some people willing to spend the fees you will be charging them to get the instantaneous results you are claiming, rather than the long term, ongoing and continued growth that TM promotes with just a small yearly membership fee.
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  • I appreciate your comments, Mr. Brooks, but I'm afraid I can't agree with you on Patricia Fripp. I find it very difficult to listen to her speak because she doesn't give the impression that she's being real. Her body language and voice are very practiced, fine-tuned and artificial - that might be great for the stage, but not for delivering professional presentations.

    I want to listen to real people talking about something they believe in (in my slideshow, I give the example of Ken Robinson). Yes, a speaker needs to structure, prepare and practice their presentation, but that doesn't mean that they need to put on a 'presentation persona' and 'act' like a presenter. To me, presenting like Patricia Fripp is something that TM promotes and not something I can agree with.

    And, a reminder to everyone. This slideshow is my opinion on TM, explaining why I'm not a TM and giving some reasons that might resonate with others. I'm not attacking this organization or the people who believe in it. I'm glad the conversation has lasted three years!
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  • 1. REASONS I’M NOT A TOASTMASTERJeanne Trojan @jmtcz
  • 2. I’m a presentationtrainer and coach.
  • 3. I help my clients create and deliver outstanding business presentations.
  • 4. So, I’m often asked…
  • 5. Why aren’t you aToastmaster?
  • 6. BecauseToastmasters isn’t about businesspresentations.
  • 7. There are threereasons I believe this.
  • 8. Toastmasters is about makingspeeches NOT presentations.
  • 9. What’s the difference?
  • 10. A speech is aform of one-waycommunication.
  • 11. The speaker is sharing theirknowledge with the audience.
  • 12. It really doesn’t matter who the audience is.
  • 13. You can give the same speech to a variety of audiences and you don’t have to change a thing.
  • 14. Businesspresentationsare preparedfor a specific audience.
  • 15. The content isbased on the needs and expectations of each audience.
  • 16. Speeches focus on theperformance of the speaker.
  • 17. Presentations focus oncommunicating a message & getting results.
  • 18. Toastmasters places too little emphasis on the content of a speech.
  • 19. Stance Eye contact Hands Gestures DictionVoice speed/volume Opening/Closing StructureToastmaster evaluation topics
  • 20. What about the message?
  • 21. Every time I sit next to a Toastmaster at apresentation, theysay the same thing.
  • 22. ‘Did you know that the speaker said ‘um’ 37 times?!’
  • 23. Umm… No, I didn’t notice because I was focusing on the speaker’s message.
  • 24. Watch Sir Ken Robinson on Ted. He says‘um’ a lot and doesn’t have perfect body language, but his message is incredible!
  • 25. I happen tolike watching real peoplespeaking and acting naturally.
  • 26. Toastmasters are too nice.
  • 27. ‘… there should be no use of the “C” word – Toastmaster evaluators do not criticize – ever!’They are not allowed to criticize.
  • 28. I don’t think this is helpful when you need realfeedback to improve quickly.
  • 29. An honest evaluation is not always easy to hear, but in business presentation feedback, flattery is not the goal.
  • 30. Your organization’s image and success might dependon that presentation.
  • 31. There are a lot of ways to improve your presentation skills. Coaching Feedback
  • 32. AlthoughToastmasters is a greatorganization fora lot of reasons.
  • 33. Improving businesspresentation skills is NOT one of them.
  • 34. Start improving yourpresentations today and…
  • 35. be outstanding!
  • 36. Disclaimer: This slideshow is not meant as a criticism of Toastmasters as an organization. I think it is a great way for people to lose their fear of public speaking, to join a community oflike-minded individuals or even to improve their English speaking skills.
  • 37. Jeanne Trojan @jmtcz
  • 38. Photo Credits 1. Flickr Y3llow Craig A Rodway2. Flickr Regulatory Policy Reform Crossroads Conference OECD 3. Flickr Iron sharpens iron Jeremy Wilburn 4. Flickr TM Humorous & TT Dublin 2010 0106 5. Flickr 1 Duncan 6. Flickr IMG 2377 Shihian 7. Flickr Red Dot Randy Gardiner Export Conference 8. Flickr After the show Andrejii Stashko 9. Flickr empty seats dasmart 10 & 11. Flickr Keynote audience Alex Dunne 12. Toastmaster website 13. Flickr DIBI drbparsons 14. Flickr two iammikeb 15. Flickr presenter Gina Nevin jimk 9999 16. Flickr Trophies and flag Bill Wards Brickpile 17. Flickr IGNITE Phoenix 5 sheiladeeisme 18. Flickr Taking notes at GAAC summit 2009 somma 1977 19. Flickr keynote audience Alex Dunne 20. Ken Robinson Washington Speakers Bureau 21. Flickr Dave McClure Scott Beale Laughing Squid 22. Flickr Number 3 Leo Reynolds 23. Flickr Meridian Speakers Contest Julie70 24. Toastmasters magazine 25. Flickr Streeter Seidell comedian Zach Klein 26. Flickr Blake Mycoskie aewang 27. Flickr Trophies Bill Wards Brickpile 28. Toastmasters 29. Flickr Blogworld 2010 thekenyeung