Joined, or thought of joining Toastmasters? your thoughts and goals... - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-21-2020, 02:28 PM Thread Starter
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Joined, or thought of joining Toastmasters? your thoughts and goals...


Hi all,

Being curious as to the more regularly-suggested social anxiety therapy methods, I hope that some of you wouldn't mind sharing thoughts on Toastmasters.

Thus, I'd very much appreciate insights from...

- For aspiring Toastmasters attendees... What's compelling you to want to join? Are there specific benefits/ outcomes you'd be hoping to achieve, particularly in how it would impact your day-to-day lives, or long-term development?

- For those who've attended Toastmasters sessions... same questions as above (albeit in past tense). Also, how much did this ultimately help, and in what way?[/list]


Thanks in advance to anyone who responds

(Just fyi - I'm asking these out of curiosity of traditional SA therapy in general, and personally have no desire to join Toastmasters.)

.

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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-23-2020, 09:28 PM
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I have never been to toastmasters but I am considering it.

When I was in school I would have panic attacks if I had to speak in class. I would start shaking and turning red and would not be able to talk. Not fun at all.

I was considering toastmasters to beat this fear of public speaking. Get some support from other people and hopefully use it as "exposure therapy" to help me conquer this. If I conquered it I think it would open up more job opportunites for me that I cant do now. Like sales jobs or ones where i would have to speak a lot to other people. Also I could make more friends if I was better socially.

Just have to work up the courage to do it. Toastmasters looks like most of there classes are virtual right now do to Covid so I dont think that would help me as much. I think it would need to be in front of a large group of people in person.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-24-2020, 02:18 AM
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Years ago I went as a guest to two meetings as a decide-if-I-want-to-join thing.

I was considering it because I had an upcoming meeting at work where I'd be expected to present on a topic. Although I had survived giving presentations at school I had one major crutch - I had to have my speech written word for word on palm cards, else I believed that the whole thing was doomed to failure and I wouldn't be able to come up with a single thing to say. Even dot points weren't good enough. It had to be the whole thing written out. Obviously that was going to look ridiculous in a work setting. So I thought I should try Toastmasters to remove my need for the crutch.

I attended the two Toastmasters meetings but didn't end up joining. They broke the meeting up with dinner in the middle, which meant small talk, which was more than I was willing to handle at the time. Plus with catching public transport I'd get home after I'd normally go to bed so it seemed like too much of a time and emotional investment.
For the work presentation, I memorised what I wanted to say and got it to a point where I could almost do it word-for-word. That continues to be my strategy to avoid the "doomed to failure" vibes.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-26-2020, 02:05 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisinmd View Post
I have never been to toastmasters but I am considering it.

When I was in school I would have panic attacks if I had to speak in class. I would start shaking and turning red and would not be able to talk. Not fun at all.

I was considering toastmasters to beat this fear of public speaking. Get some support from other people and hopefully use it as "exposure therapy" to help me conquer this. If I conquered it I think it would open up more job opportunites for me that I cant do now. Like sales jobs or ones where i would have to speak a lot to other people. Also I could make more friends if I was better socially.

Just have to work up the courage to do it. Toastmasters looks like most of there classes are virtual right now do to Covid so I dont think that would help me as much. I think it would need to be in front of a large group of people in person.
Thanks Chris,

I really admire how you've noted a "weakness" and are directly looking to challenge it head on. Your choosing of Toastmasters certainly makes sense and, in addition to giving direct benefits, would motivate you in wondering what other challenges you can conquer.

I do hold some opinions in how effective Toastmasters may be towards sales jobs and conversations. More importantly, regarding your last paragraph I would not only have had a different view in regards to its "lack of" benefit to you, but I'm also hopeful you won't risk overlooking a gateway opportunity into your Toastmaster ambitions.

Feel free to ask me to elaborate (either here or via PM). But otherwise - you seem driven and so I'm confident you'll overcome these presentation challenges, one way or another.

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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-26-2020, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSky View Post
Years ago I went as a guest to two meetings as a decide-if-I-want-to-join thing.

I was considering it because I had an upcoming meeting at work where I'd be expected to present on a topic. Although I had survived giving presentations at school I had one major crutch - I had to have my speech written word for word on palm cards, else I believed that the whole thing was doomed to failure and I wouldn't be able to come up with a single thing to say. Even dot points weren't good enough. It had to be the whole thing written out. Obviously that was going to look ridiculous in a work setting. So I thought I should try Toastmasters to remove my need for the crutch.

I attended the two Toastmasters meetings but didn't end up joining. They broke the meeting up with dinner in the middle, which meant small talk, which was more than I was willing to handle at the time. Plus with catching public transport I'd get home after I'd normally go to bed so it seemed like too much of a time and emotional investment.
For the work presentation, I memorised what I wanted to say and got it to a point where I could almost do it word-for-word. That continues to be my strategy to avoid the "doomed to failure" vibes.
Thanks Supersky

With you having very specific motivation and goals, which I feel do align with what Toastmasters would offer, so it sounds like it was a wise intention.

Though the Toastmasters endeavours didn't quite last long, congratulations on not giving up on resolving your problem. Memorising presentations word-for-word is actually quite a handy skill that anyone would aspire to have (this happens to be one of my biggest weaknesses, ironically as I used to have a hobby of writing and memorising rap lyrics way back in the day). Thus, I hope your solution to avoiding "dooms to failure" in turn opens up doors for you career-wise.

Looks like you went to Toastmasters specifically to help with reducing anxiety and speech blanks, would you now say Toastmasters is completely without use to you (now you've found a solution to those initial problems)? Or might there still be some potential benefit?

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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-27-2020, 04:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macky View Post
Thanks Supersky

With you having very specific motivation and goals, which I feel do align with what Toastmasters would offer, so it sounds like it was a wise intention.

Though the Toastmasters endeavours didn't quite last long, congratulations on not giving up on resolving your problem. Memorising presentations word-for-word is actually quite a handy skill that anyone would aspire to have (this happens to be one of my biggest weaknesses, ironically as I used to have a hobby of writing and memorising rap lyrics way back in the day). Thus, I hope your solution to avoiding "dooms to failure" in turn opens up doors for you career-wise.

Looks like you went to Toastmasters specifically to help with reducing anxiety and speech blanks, would you now say Toastmasters is completely without use to you (now you've found a solution to those initial problems)? Or might there still be some potential benefit?
Thanks. I think there still could be some benefit for me although I don't plan on doing it any time soon. I still have fairly significant anxiety around public speaking which causes a lot of procrastination for preparing - with more exposure hopefully I'd eventually just get stuck into preparing sooner rather than stressing out. Also if I don't have sufficient time to memorise something, I tend to stop trying and get very self-critical - practice making impromptu speeches might help me realise that my brain can still form sentences even if it's not the perfect thing to say. This would probably also help me with answering questions.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 10-30-2020, 02:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperSky View Post
Thanks. I think there still could be some benefit for me although I don't plan on doing it any time soon. I still have fairly significant anxiety around public speaking which causes a lot of procrastination for preparing - with more exposure hopefully I'd eventually just get stuck into preparing sooner rather than stressing out. Also if I don't have sufficient time to memorise something, I tend to stop trying and get very self-critical - practice making impromptu speeches might help me realise that my brain can still form sentences even if it's not the perfect thing to say. This would probably also help me with answering questions.
Gotcha - it makes sense seeing additional benefits you can work on, even if the primary reason for joining Toastmasters has been resolved to a large extent. Normally when speaking, I'm the first to bring attention to not being a fluent speaker and having word-blanks (as an ice-breaker usually), as well as asking questions during the meetings - giving people an idea of how I generally speak. Ironically, knowing this does relax me a little bit when giving out presentations. The less-is-more approach to such presentations also allows leeway to pause for thought, and also prepare less verbal content. Feel free to adapt this to your liking.

Well thank you for your insights, Supersky - you seem to have the self-awareness needed to improve upon your skills, and so keep up the good work!

.
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