PMI Toastmaster #6 short relation

I have first heard about toastmaster around half year ago. A friend of mine Karolina Madej-Dempniak suggested it as excellent opportunity to develop my speaking skills further. As a beginner presenter I found the idea worth further investigating, but while I was in Ireland, I couldn’t find a group near me to try.

So when Paulina Gawlicka said she is helping with the organisation on PMI Toastmaster, I decided to see what it is about.

The event was happening in one of the Intive building in Wrocław. Which was nostalgic for me because that was building I was working in when Intive was still called SMT

The First thing that impressed me was agenda. Planned to a minute. I haven’t seen so detailed agenda in my life. Of course, as every plan, it didn’t survive a crash with reality.
But it was close.

On Left Paulina Gawlicka – Toast Master of the Evening

So what are Toastmasters? In short is a meeting of people that want to improve they speaking/presentation skills. Each group is organized around a theme in case of PMI it is widely understood „project”.

So how the meeting went?

I would split it into three main parts:
Introduction and two main speeches.

Their presenters had time to prepare and rehearse them beforehand. What I found interesting was that they had some challenges to do in their presentation. Since both are just starting, it was the simple task. For Example, Rafał had to keep better eye contact with the audience. It is a really interesting idea to push and develop your skill.


I was Pretenging to be chif of firefighter and give motivational speach

Next part was so called: Hot Question. People selected from audience dealing with some short challenge (including me).


Feedback from Judges.

What impressed me the most is 'Judges’ scored all the people.
Toastmaster of the evening, organisers, hot questions and of course main speakers.

There were three judges each scored different trait.
One was concentrating on general look and feel. Next one was counting to long pauses and mannerism like overusing „um, yyy etc.”
The last one was keeping time.

And that is amazing I’ve got more feedback on my short 1-minute show then on most conferences,

Of course, That doesn’t mean I liked it all.
It was stiff. I think mostly because it is young meetup and organisers are still learning. They were collecting feedback and already considering how to improve next meetup.

I didn’t like the way how most people that already had experience with Toastmasters were speaking and gesticulating it was… unnatural and felt fake. Like someone read the book and used only its pieces of advice killing his/her personality in the process. But I will admit I may have been oversensitive on this point cause Claudio Perrone point out this to me about Toastmasters when we met in November.

So what do I think? It is an interesting and useful idea. With lots of value. I am not sure if it is for me, but I am willing to give it a try.

You can learn more about PMI Toastmasters here: link.

Huge thank you to Paulina for inviting me!

And what do you think?
Did you attend any Toastmasters meeting? Do you think such ideas useful?

Ten post ma 4 komentarzy

  1. Robert Day

    Toastmasters are an international organisation; here in the UK, I remember my father taking part in some Toastmasters events back in the 1970s.

    As I see it, one problem with Toastmasters is that they regard public speaking as the only thing they are interested in. We would say that the speaking is „an end in itself”. But when we present at a conference or a meetup, we already have an objective in our speaking, and that is to communicate about our testing and to share experiences.

    Learning how to speak in public is a great skill; I learnt a lot when I was a trade union delegate and spoke at union conferences. Those conferences had a set format for speaking and you learned to put over your message according to that format. But you always had an objective beyond just speaking.

    1. Maciej Wyrodek

      That is great summary!

      Thank you for that. I agree entairly Toastmasters maybe good place to improve your presentation skill. But it requires a lot of effort. So unless you see a use for this skill Toastmasters maybe waste of time.

  2. Kamila Mrozek

    I do not like the pretending part. I’ve noticed that I have at least 4 styles of speaking:
    1. Making a demo of something,
    2. Telling a story from my life,
    3. Making entertaining speach,
    4. Pretending.

    The thing is that in each style I behave and speak differently. No matter of language, size of audiance, who would listen or how well prepared I would be. I do not like pretending and I do not belive that a feedback from this kind of speach would tell me anything. Expecialy that in the first 3 cases I usualy have the luxury of preparation and rehersal. How do You feel about it?

    1. Maciej Wyrodek


      I am not sure if I get what you mean by pretending.
      For me, it means to play as someone else. For example as chief of Firefighters giving motivational speech 😛
      I have a background in RPG as GM I had to pretend to be thousand different characters. Simple farmers, Vile Villians and Noble Heros. And I think those stories those experiences help me to be quick on my feet in speaking. Something goes not where I wanted I had to be able to adapt to the situation.

      I like wearing different faces.
      Pretending gives you the opportunity to improvise and as I said in post Plan exist until it meets reality it cannot accommodate everything you have to adapt. And Pretending helps with this part.
      Plus it a cheap way to try something new, new style, new idea.

      Feedback about the content of such presentation is probably worthless but its style? I think it useful cause it could lead to new tools to add to your scene persona.

Dodaj komentarz