Alternatives to Toastmasters?
April 4, 2006 5:41 PM   Subscribe

Are there any alternatives to Toastmasters for public speaking practice clubs? I've been to a few local meetings to see what they're like and the style is just too regimented for me.
posted by yoga to Society & Culture (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
perhaps there's a Dale Carnegie franchise near you?
posted by seawallrunner at 6:23 PM on April 4, 2006

Have a skill? Teach a class for a community school.
I overcame my fear of public speaking by teaching. You don't have to do it as a career, but getting in front of a class will give you practice with both scripted speech and extemporaneous speaking.

Not exactly a club, but it works.
posted by Seamus at 7:12 PM on April 4, 2006

How about taking a speach or an acting class at a community college? I know lots of places offer them.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 9:00 PM on April 4, 2006

I suggest you look for a different Toastmaster's meeting.

The one I went to was, by chance, fun and entertaining. I can imagine it being completely the opposite, however - hung up on formal rules of order, for instance.

Great program - made a HUGE difference in my public speaking ability. Toastmasters has a impromptu speaking element that some other programs may not have, and that was as important, if not more than the formal speeches.
posted by Brando_T. at 3:38 AM on April 5, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks all. I should clarify that I'm not afraid to speak to groups. I want to get better at keeping my mental organization while in front of them. Maybe public speaking training is a sidetrack? Any other suggestions welcome.
posted by yoga at 7:31 AM on April 5, 2006

Best answer: I've got a great suggestion, I think.

Join Toastmasters and get their training manuals. Read them and do the exercises, in front of a mirror if need be, and either videotaped or recorded. That way, you can concentrate on those types of speeches that interest you most. (Toastmasters has conveniently structured different types of public speaking and there's nothing wrong with their schema, IMO. It's very useful.)

I have been to two Toastmasters groups and started one at a local law school, so my familiarity with their program is modest, but I do heartily endorse working on this capability. It not only distinguishes you in group settings, it fosters the kind of planning and analysis that are required to cogently present your positions.

If you are already fearless in front of groups, you have a head start. Most people fear public speaking more than death, quite literally.

There is a limit to what you can accomplish alone, of course, but self study is always an alternative for any subject.

I have a bunch of stories about people who self studied and accomplished much, but my two favorites are Sophie Germain and Srinivasa Ramunidjan, both mathemeticians. You may be their equivalent in the public speaking, who knows!

Good luck.
posted by FauxScot at 11:56 AM on April 5, 2006

« Older Damn you elusive Fairy RPG   |   baby dummy question Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.