10 users commented on " What I Hate About Toastmasters "

"What I Hate About Toastmasters" was posted by and received 10 users commented
Xamuel said,         
September 26 2010

What I found was that after a certain skill level, TM wasn’t really helping me go further, just because it plain wasn’t regular enough: a speech every other week just isn’t enough, after the initial learning curve, to do anything except take up lots of time. Sometime maybe I’ll start doing TM again, but if so, I’d rather do a “blitz”, drive between multiple clubs and do speech after speech so that the experience can actually build on itself instead of just maintain itself.

TJ Walker said,         
September 26 2010

I think you gave a well-balanced and fair review of Toastmasters. Given their extremely low fees, it’s still a great way for many people to get more speaking experience–as long as they side-step the problems you outlined.

Ravi Moosad said,         
October 11 2010

I can’t agree with you more. I am facing similar issues in my club where I am the president currently. I am trying to change things but its difficult without a complete team of dedicated officers. But then, I am taking it as a challenge.

Simon said,         
November 12 2010

Hmmmmm…… Disclaimer first, so no one can accuse me of bias! :) I train people in making presentations for a living, so Toastmasters doing this for free undermines my market! :)

That said, I’m utterly ambivalent about TM. There’s a lot of positive stuff but there are times when, frankly, the advice given at some of the TMs I’ve guested at has been simply wrong (let along not best practice!). On one occasion it was physically dangerous!

The strength of TM is that you get peer *reviewed*. The downside is that you’re only *peer* reviewed. Sometimes one needs the input of experts, and that’s very much a problem at TM.

Kevin Kane said,         
December 31 2010

If you haven’t been paid to make a speech, then you’re a not a speaker — you’re a trainee.

And there’s nothing wrong with that.

My favorite tips for Toastmasters:

Toastmasters Tips Roundup | Overnight Sensation - Public Speaking, Communication and Personal Development said,         
July 30 2011

[…] What I Hate About Toastmasters sounds more negative than it really is. I actually talk about some of the things to look out for in this article. […]

The Problem with Toastmasters | Overnight Sensation - Public Speaking, Communication and Personal Development said,         
January 9 2012

[…] wishy washy on the subject because my four plus years in Toastmasters were mainly positive. Yes, there were those not so good moments, but in general I enjoyed being part of an amazing club and making some excellent […]

Roshan said,         
September 8 2012

Nice balanced article.

One other thing that I’ve noticed of late is the overly dramatic speeches that are winning the speech contests. Best speaker is the one who had exaggerated body language and expression; almost like a one person play. I find such speeches distracting and I believe it takes away from the message of the speech. But, these are winning top awards and the effect is trickling down to districts/Divisions and Areas!

Simon Raybould said,         
January 2 2013

Hi Roshan – I’m not sure I agree with your analogy… at a good play you don’t notice the acting, because it’s so well done.

If you notice the acting in a speech, it’s not done well enough! :)

Michelle said,         
May 31 2013

I have no issue with the actual educational materials if used as they were created to be used, and you can indeed learn substantial skills. Though you need to find those within Toastmasters who are the real gems with the experience to mentor you. They do exist, but you need to be extremely discriminating. Not all ‘experienced’ toastmasters are created equal. Nor are all clubs.

It was never meant to replace real world speaking but an additional resource.

For me the cliques that form are destructive, and have shaken my confidence completely. Apparently I put on enough exterior that other toastmasters do not notice the damage that it has done. But when I attend non-toastmaster workshops, a lot of time is spent rebuilding what has been lost due to this. It is not merely a club thing, but district wide. If you are not in the clique, suddenly your speaking and leadership opportunities are narrowed. Politics rules the day. It’s all very subtle. People who are in the clique get encouraged in both areas. If you aren’t, then you will be lucky to find any real encouragement. And that is really hard to deal with. I’ve changed clubs several times, and no matter how politics free it seems to be upon joining, eventually it will surface. I have found mentors and supporters here and there, and this keeps me doing what I need to learn the things I want to do. But the hurt is deep. The self-esteem and achievement of the clique is bought at the expense of those outside it.


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