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Three reasons I'm not a Toastmaster
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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!

Published in: Business, Education
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  • As has already been said, your description of Toastmasters is off-base. I also believe it's never in good form to attempt to lift one's profile up at the expense of another profile, whether it's a person or a business. The fact that you attempt to align yourself with Toastmasters in such a manner does little to place your personal brand in a positive light.
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  • The basic Toastmasters manual everyone starts with is about being competent and in control of how you present yourself and a speech; it has some info on doing different meeting roles. I'd say there's great info there for those giving business presentations, especially about time management. More advanced speeches are evaluated on content as well. Some include giving technical and a variety of types of talks. They do focus on not providing excessive info that can drown the audience and are a great place to get feedback to be able to see if the audience understood the message or not. A speaker at Toastmasters has the choice of asking for whatever extra feedback they want, so could hand out or email out a quiz after that listeners would have the option of answering on their own time. It also gives you a variety of viewpoints. The downside is they are not always expert viewpoints, but will show that different people will receive your message. For the money, it's a pretty good deal and can be a good place to start, especially if you like to help others and see their progress. I don't think there can be a substitution for giving live presentations in front of a group. Toastmasters offers a safe and welcoming place to practice, especially for the beginner, as you mention. You also learn about give and take, cooperation, time management, empathetic and inspiring feedback, and can learn about how to lead to help others succeed. A corporate or sponsored club rather than an open club definitely focusses more on business presentation skills. They ask: How well do your employees convey their expertise to potential customers? Can they lead meetings efficiently? Can they offer constructive feedback and diplomatically deal with a wide range of people?
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  • Thanks for the comment, Biddy. Ideally, a presenter creates two sets of slides - one for the live presentation and one for the audience that wasn't there or for an online forum (like Slideshare). This slideshow is the latter. It was never meant to be used for a live presentation (and, therefore, the message is on the slide). But, the concept that an audience can't sit through a large number of slides is assuming that the slides are not visual (and I agree - a talk full of bullet-point, text-filled slides is agony). But, try watching a Seth Godin presentation, for example, and see if the number of slides he uses 'drowns' the audience. They don't because they are visual slides - the audience looks for a few seconds at the slide and then focuses on his talk. This is what live presentation slides are for. When done well, the audience never even notices the number of slides. They just enjoy the talk. If Toastmasters are still talking about the ideal number of slides for a talk, I'm afraid they need to update their thinking. Let's stop talking about counting slides and start talking about engaging the audience - that's what it's all about!
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  • It is important to recognize that slides are a visual aid. And the most important part of this term is "aid". Too many speakers seem to believe that if they show enough slides, their presentation will automatically be successful. In Toastmasters 41 slides, as seen here, would drown the audience.
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  • Jeanne, sorry that I was unclear. You're right - there is an ah-counter role. And when one is assigned the role, one dutifully counts ah's. What I was saying is that I believe the vast majority of Toastmasters would not sit in a presentation where they had not expressly been assigned the role and count ah's. I will admit, we are probably more susceptible than most to noticing them, and I could imagine a rare person actually sitting there and counting if the speaker was a spectacularly bad one. (I recently had a several-levels-up boss whose "ah" rate was at least 30 per minute! No I didn't count, just an estimate based on the fact that a typical sentence contained 3-4 ah's delivered rapid-fire.) But I don't think the average Toastmaster would do that "every time"; at the very least, if I was sitting next to you, I wouldn't! In any case, certainly Toastmasters isn't a panacea for everybody.
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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.cz @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

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