Feb 06

Is Lots of Stage Time Really the Key to Being a Great Speaker? part 2

So as a sort of follow on from my last post I managed to get myself along to a different Toastmasters club tonight. London transport being what it is I probably would not have made it home if I’d have gone earlier in the week. But I found myself at Canary Wharf Communicators. It’s been on my to visit list for a while as it’s geographically quite close for me.

Not only that but the Vice President of Education , Rory Marriott, made a comment on this blog earlier in the week, so I thought it’d be nice to put a face to the post. It’s always good to be able to know the content of a Toastmasters evening, but have it conducted in slightly different ways in each club. So there’s a sense of familiarity and newness all at the same time.

As soon as I mentioned that I was an experienced Toastmasters I was immediately thrown in the deep end and asked to be a Table Topics Evaluator. Of course, I was more than happy to oblige. I was, however, unaware that I could have been evaluated myself tonight. I was under the impression (from what I’ve been told in the past) that in order to deliver a speech at a Toastmasters club, you have to be a member of that particular club.

his, as it turns out, is not strictly true. Which suddenly opens up a whole world of possibilities. That said, if you’re struggling to get a role at your club and someone from another club waltzes in and gets a speaking role without being a member, you’d be duly miffed.

So in order for it to fully work there would have to be some reciprocation. If you were able to get a speaking role at a different club, in my case if I spoke at Canary Wharf, then my home club, Grosvenor Square would have to offer a Toastmaster from Canary Wharf a role at it’s club. Fair’s fair.

Another interesting thing that Rory and I spoke about in the final part of the evening – the bar afterwards – was that it’s possible to become a mystery speaker at a club during the Evaluations Contests. This is something I’d hadn’t thought ab out befor either. By doing this you get to work on a speech and have 5 people giving you evaluations.

So if it’s a speech that you want to develop further, say it’s from the competent communicator manual, and you’d like to re-visit the subject for an Advanced Manual, then you would know that sort of things that worked in the speech as well as knowing what areas you need to work on as a speaker.

Rory actually wrote an article on that subject which got reprinted over at The London Speaker blog. This is certainly a valuable thing to bear in mind as it’s useful to help you develop your speeches. Not only that but of course it’s of great bebenfit to the club that you go and help out.

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  1. Craig

    If you are concerned about “stealing” a speaking slot for a club, how about finding the weaker clubs that are looking for speakers. You benefit by getting a speaking slot, and they benefit by having a fuller programme.


  2. Jason Peck

    Hi Craig

    Thanks for dropping by. You’re absolutely right that has been one of my concerns. I completely agree with what you said. It’s certainly something that I’m going to look into. By going to a weaker, or newer, club I could potentially avoid upsetting members as it wouldn’t be seen as “stealing” a speaking slot.

    Thanks for the insight.

  3. Paul

    Just thought I should add a comment. I’ve been reading a lot of your blog for much of the afternoon. Having joined Toastmasters only a month ago after 2 visits, I’ve just given my IceBreaker and have entered myself for my clubs Humour Contest (in less than 2 weeks and not having seen one and not really having any humour credentials).

    What I meant to say was: enjoying your committed approach to speaking, stepping it up all the time it seems. Also enjoying your straightforward clear blog-style. Thanks!

  4. Jason Peck

    Hey Paul,

    Thanks for dropping by. It’s fantastic that you’ve entered into your club’s humorous speech contest. Whether you win or lose doesn’t really matter. What matters, especially at this stage in your Toastmasters career, is that entering a contest this early will give you a huge spike in your personal development. I think that’s the most important thing.

    Thanks for the nice comments on my blog also, I do try to step it up all the time.


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