Disclaimer – I am not currently a Tosstmasters member. This will most likely change before the end of this year. Many of these observations are from an outsider observing a major event for a specific group with its own lingo and speak.
So, how did I end up attending a conference? The Girlfriend is an officer in the district, and since we only see each other on the weekends at the moment, she asked if I’d be interested. Plus, I can always use advice on polishing my “stage” persona and writing.
Toastmasters, just like any organization, has its own lingo. Since this was a big conference for the organization, it’s to be expected that they would use their acronyms and phrases fast and furious. Sometimes I could pick up through context. Others I just needed to ask The Girlfriend.
The workshops were hit and miss (mostly miss), but I did pick up some ideas for improvement on my speaking. Most of my public speaking is providing training or performance reporting, so it was nice seeing other types of speeches.
The contests were entertaining, although one part was more entertaining for me than the conference. Toastmaster protocol is when a constestant is introduced it is “Contestant, Speech Title, pause, Speech Title, Contestant.” And every time they did that, I flashed back to Hot Fuzz and the clerk at the grocery store.
Overall, I enjoyed myself and will probably enjoy it more next year when I attend as a Toastmaster and not just as a guest.