Please don't judge Toastmasters by a visit to a single club or what someone else tells you.
Each club is different. Before joining, do try more than one (unless you love the first one). Clubs meet at different times of day (morning, noon or evening) and different days of the week. Some are open to the community and others are restricted to employees of a single company. Some clubs don't run all year (e.g., university clubs).
Most important, each club has a different feeling. You may be surprised at the variations. Some feel stuffy, formal and nitpicky. Others feel warm, forgiving and welcoming.
Your choices depend on where you live or work. A big city like Toronto offers many options, especially if you're willing to commute.
FindingTo find a club, go to Meetup (http://toastmasters.meetup.com) or the official Toastmasters website (http://reports.toastmasters.org/findaclub). A normal web search may help too.
Goodyear Toastmasters meets weekly all year long (except around Christmas and New Years). You don't take the summer off. In some ways, the summer is the best time to attend. The atmosphere is more relaxed and there's even more flexibility in the scheduling.
Meetings take place on Thursday evenings at 6:45 PM for two hours. Thursday is the ideal day of week because you're closer to the weekend. Meetings take place after dinner, which reduces time pressure. Meetings run for two hours, which eliminates the rush to zip through. There's also considerable flexibility. If a member wants practice a real-life presentation or answer mock interview questions, there's often time because 20 minutes is set aside for a Lesson, Viewpoint or Debate.
The club is also open to the community, which fosters diversity. Even if you normally speak to a niche audience, practicing among "regular" people is an excellent way to build skills.
Your ChoicesYou may think the ideal club meets at lunchtime where you work. By visiting other clubs you may find a better fit.
- Three steps to get the most out of Toastmasters
- Get feedback from the right group
- Turbocharge your club with social media
- Lessons from one year in Toastmasters
- A Toastmasters Journey --- Yours!
- image courtesy of S
Promod Sharma joined Goodyear Toastmasters without visiting any other clubs (promodsharma.com).