Toastmasters International Frequently Asked Questions


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14. I'm scared to death of speaking! Why should I look into Toastmasters?

Everyone is afraid of speaking. In poll after poll, public speaking comes up as more feared than death. Public speaking is one of our greatest fears. You are no different. Even if you think you're really good at speaking, there will come times when your heart stops and your palms sweat and you freeze before an audience. Toastmasters can help with that.

Remember that Toastmaster members attend meetings because at some point they realized they needed help communicating and speaking before audiences. All members remember how wretched they felt when they gave their first speech. You may be startled to find out how supportive a Toastmasters club can be.

[The author of this FAQ recruited a friend to Toastmasters who was so overwrought and nervous that she sobbed as if her heart was broken after her first speech. Ditto for the second. Some tears after the third. Eventually she realized that we weren't going to eat her alive and she came to enjoy it. By the time she earned her Competent Toastmaster Award, she consistently won "best speaker" votes at meetings.]

If you're aware how nervous you are but aren't convinced that you should do anything about it, stop and think what skill is more important than any other when it comes to getting and keeping a good job.

Think you're already an excellent speaker? People who think they're really good sometimes come into Toastmasters and find out how unstructured and sloppy they really are. Being comfortable doesn't mean that you're actually good. Even if you are good, you can always get better. Toastmasters can give you a lot of skills and keep good speakers improving.

If you still don't know whether you'd like Toastmasters, why not visit a meeting? If you still don't think it's your cup of tea, we'll still be happy you came by.

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