Usually the word “Toastmasters” sparks fear and resistance in my groups and workshops: “Why would I want to go there? They are professional speakers, it’s much too intimidating, I’m not ready to give a speech!”
I have to admit, my first Toastmasters (TM) club (about 12 years ago), was overwhelming. I felt like no one understood the amount of fear I had. I tried to tell them, and I was told, “Oh it’s just butterflies, everyone gets them”. I persevered there, only doing short impromptu speaking, nearly having a panic attack each time and only able to stay up there for 30-60 seconds.
Two years later, I attended the Getting Over Stage Fright workshop, which changed everything. I immediately found a new TM club. Were they professional speakers? The club leaders were, but they shared how they had each come in years prior with shaky voices and hands, knees knocking, and severe anxiety.
I finally felt understood with less pressure upon me and I thrived there for years.
Everyone has to start somewhere.
Ready to take action?
Here’s an example of a plan (hierarchy):
- Look online for a forum or a private Facebook group with people who share the same fear. See that you are not alone.
- Find a local group in your area (search on Meetup.com) that may require you to speak in front of a small group or introduce yourself.
- Visit your local Toastmasters club just to check it out. You don’t have to speak or join. Simply go and observe to determine if the club is a good fit for you. If not, and it seems like people don’t understand the fear of speaking, there may be other clubs nearby to check out.
- The next step at Toastmasters are brief impromptu speaking exercises called “Table Topics”. Membership is usually not required to participate in Table Topics.
- Sign up officially to become a member. The rates are very reasonable and a 6-month commitment at most clubs.
- Start with the smaller roles and work your way up to giving speeches. You are able to move at your own pace and nothing is forced upon you.
Sign up for smaller roles (30-60 seconds, such as a Word Master or Timer) to start. If you know that fellow members are counting on you, you are much more likely to attend consistently.
When you are ready to do a presentation, most clubs offer a mentor.
Looking for other resources local to you aside from Toastmasters? I offer plenty! My Customized Resources service is to meet your needs in your own community. Check it out here!
Does it still seem like too much for you? Come to the Getting Over Stage Fright workshop first. Hundreds of previous participants find it to be a segue to joining Toastmasters.
Want to hear from them?
Email me to request a list of references. You’ll receive their email addresses and they will share their experience with you.
Please register now for March 14th and 15th in Southbury, CT!
Questions: Schedule a quick call here using an easy online form to choose a convenient time.
I’m encouraging you to come and see for yourself how your future life decisions will come from a mindset of choice instead of avoidance.
Easy to get to from NYC.
Seats fill up quickly due to the limited number of attendees.
Take a peek at the Getting Over Stage Fright workshop books’ Chapter Topics to get an idea of what will be taught at the workshop.
There is no risk to sign up. Get a full money-back guarantee if you’re not fully satisfied with your experience by the end of the first day. That’s how amazing this workshop is!
You won’t be forced or pressured to do anything, though you’ll be fully supported and encouraged to give it your best.