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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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  • 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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  • Thanks for the comment, Gary. This has been a lively discussion for about four years now and I think that different opinions are always a good thing. There's one point I need to back up regarding your 'um' counter comment. If you look at the TM official website, there is a meeting role called an 'Ah Counter'. I suppose that's why the TMs that I've met have emphasized this aspect of speaking so much. So, no, it's not just my particular experience.
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  • I agree with your #3, at least in some cases. That's why it's good that there are some TM clubs that cater more to newer speakers. The best TM clubs are easier on new speakers (so as not to scare them) and hard on experienced ones (so as to help them grow). On the other hand, I cannot agree with much of the rest. Your statement about speeches vs presentations, for example: I see you're not a fan of Patricia Fripp, but even a brief listen to Fripp, Darren Lacroix, or Craig Valentine would quickly dispel any ideas that "speeches are the same for any audience." All of them - all of which who recommend TM - would tell you that is not true, that they always adapt a speech to the audience. I think you are making a false dichotomy of speeches vs presentations. I cannot see any professional speaker making that kind of distinction. Finally, I also have to question your comment about every TM counting ah's. You must have had a very small sample, or maybe in your country people do it differently; but in my experience with TM, I have NEVER heard anybody do that. We are listening for content. It is true that in the artificial environment of the TM meeting we do not critique content; but, given most of the people don't know enough to critique it, would you expect any different? So we naturally focus on presentation skills instead of the content IN THE TM MEETING EVALUATION ENVIRONMENT. But any TM, indeed the organization itself, is clear that what matters most is content, not theatrics. Finally, I am not saying you should be a TM - you are clearly beyond the demographic TM most helps. But I fear a highly watched slideshare like this would give a lot of people very wrong ideas about an organization that could help them. (You're not responsible for how people use your materials, of course.)
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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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  • 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