September 16, 2012

Revisit A Toastmasters Club Before Deciding On Joining

by Promod Sharma, CC

Each Toastmaster club varies. That's a reason to visit more than one before you decide which is right for you. A club will also vary from week to week. That's a reason to return before deciding.

The First Time Ever
When you visit your first-ever Toastmasters club, you probably don't know what to expect. Maybe you think members just do speeches or that there's a classroom structure with an instructor and assignments. You may see a segment that you like/dislike. For example, debates sometimes takes place. You might find them enjoyable or pointless. Ditto for Table Topics.

You may also be surprised at how structured the meetings are. You may think that members perform the same role each time.

The Next Time
The next time you visit, your experience will differ.

You'll now understand the basic sequence of the meeting: introductions, Table Topics, business session, debate/lesson/viewpoint, break, speeches with evaluations, evaluation of the overall meeting and wrap=up with visitor comments.

The meeting itself will differ because members have changing roles. The Chair selects the theme and sets the tone. If the theme is terrorism because the meeting is on 9/11, expect a different experience than with a lighter, nostalgic theme like Fall or Back To School.

Maybe Table Topics was easy last time and is tougher this time. Different members attend, depending on their schedules. That also affects the experience. You wouldn't know if you didn't return.

Same Or Different
Your time is limited. Do you get more benefit from visiting more clubs or getting more familiar with one? I planned to visit several clubs but really liked Goodyear Toastmasters and didn't try any other clubs.

Come On Back Y'all
Do come back to a club before you decide on joining. Since there's no charge, you can return as often as you like. That's fair.

Promod Sharma visited Goodyear Toastmasters several times but no other clubs. Since we're all in marketing, he publishes a free monthly newsletter called Marketing Reflections.

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