meetings

A Primer for Attending Your First Toastmasters Meeting as a Guest

Whether it’s a goal, resolution or something in your life has made it you no longer able to procrastinate it away, you’ve decided to finally attend a Toastmasters meeting. If you keep in mind that the two biggest social fears are public speaking and meeting new people, you can probably see that going to a Toastmasters meeting for the first time is a double challenge. So here’s some of the advice that I give to those who attend my public speaking classes that are interested in Toastmasters. Much of this advice is applicable to attending any club meeting for the first time – I share most of this with those who attend my Networking classes.

How to Dress For a Toastmasters Meeting

I’m always getting asked questions about Toastmasters. Whether it’s someone attending one of my classes or watching me give a speech, when they hear that I help people with their public speaking skills, the topic of Toastmasters often comes up. While I recommend Toastmasters and the most common question I’m asked is which club to join, I was recently asked an interesting question: how should I dress when visiting a club?

Every club is different so it really does depend on the club. Community clubs meeting at night or on the weekends might be casual while corporate clubs might require more formal dress. So here are some tips:

Quick Tip: Did I Miss Anything?

If there was one question that I knew would immediately infuriate many of my teachers and professors, it was this one. There were always people that missed class, would ask this same question (even though the instructor blew up at the last person that carelessly asked it) and get an earful. And rightfully so – it implies that it’s possible that nothing was missed which translates to the class or meeting is a waste of time. Even if that’s the case, it’s still impolite.

Her Fear of Public Speaking Ruined her Career

photo by Kriss SzkurlatowskiA few weeks ago, I was sitting in the waiting area while my car was being serviced when a woman sitting next to me struck up a conversation with me. She had noticed the flyers I had for a free public speaking workshop and told me that she desperately needed to improve her speaking skills because her failure to do so had ruined her career. As I looked at this bright young woman who seemed difficult to dislike, I asked her to tell me more.

Tips for Toastmasters: Five Tips for Successful Meetings:

A Toastmasters meeting is what makes a club thrive. If your meetings are run effectively, your members will be more enthusiastic and guests will be more apt to join. So here are some tips to help make your next Toastmasters meeting a huge success:

1. Start and end on time:

Effective time management shows everyone that you value their time as well as your own. If you always start the meeting ten minutes late, people will start showing up later and later. Likewise, if you end late, people will start getting angry and having negative feelings about the group.

Career Success: 10 Tips for Productive Meetings

TeamMeetings, especially when run ineffectively, can be big time wasters. It seems to be more of a problem for folks in the corporate world than for those with small businesses – the latter group by nature tends to be less inclined to participate in business activities that waste time. However, everyone can fall victim to poorly run meetings and benefit from learning how to make the most of your meeting time.

Making meetings more productive and effective is a lot easier than one might think. Here are some ways to get the most of out of your meetings: