Any experience with Toastmasters (public speaking)?

Hi, has anyone of you ever attended a Toastmasters seminar? From what I have read I could imagine it’s an interesting organization. As a matter of fact, the concept reminds me of our forum only that the Toastmasters meet in person rather than online.

Also, I wonder where the name Toastmasters stems from. Any ideas?


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Hi Torsten!

You?re always astonnishing me by coming across with such word-creations like [color=red]Toastmasters. :shock: I wonder what toastmasters could be. Does it mean people who are proficient with heating white bread or are toastmasters very proficient people in using solar radiation? :wink:

I?m sure you could give an explanation, couldn?t you?


Hi Michael :lol:

That is a funny name, isn’t it.
But, let me ask you: Do you know any other meanings for the word “toast” ? :wink:

Hi Torsten
Sorry, I’ve never attended a Toastmasters seminar, so I can’t give you any input in that regard.


Hi Amy!

Might be I know another meaning not for toast but for toaster. In some German dialekt there is a word for an electrical sun-bath. “[color=red]Asi-Toaster” :lol:

Hope you can imagine what I mean :wink:


Hi Michael

What a fresh little devil you are… :lol:

Regarding “toast”:
Here are some additional definitions:
—> The act of raising a glass and drinking in honor of or to the health of a person or thing.

—> A proposal to drink to someone or something or a speech given before the taking of such a drink.

—> The one honored by a toast.

—> A person receiving much attention or acclaim: the toast of Broadway.

I believe “toastmaster” was actually a word in general use (in the US) at the time the Toastmasters organization was founded. But I think nowadays people only think of the organization when they hear “toastmaster”.


I forgot to mention that there is another (slang) definition for the word “toast”. If I say “He’s toast.” that means “He’s doomed.” :lol:

Hi Amy!

Do you know what a vacuum is? I have it in my brains but I can?t define it! :? :lol:

Of course, your two first definitions are well known, I think and it?s good to know the following.

I hope noone will toast me because my somtetimes appearing vacuum! :wink:


Hi Jamie and Michael,

Thanks for sharing your toastmaster ideas. The interesting thing is that the Toastmaster organization was founded at the YMCA California. Now, a lot of people (at least in Germany) know the abbreviation YMCA, probably because of that Village People song.

I’ve checked the Toastmaster website and found a number of clubs in Germany that provide their seminars in English. At any rate, I think that there a lot of organizations that originated in the US and spread throughout the world – be it commercial coorporations, religious organizations or clubs like the toastmaters. Come to think of it, the average German could certainly list 5 to 10 such organizations or companies…[YSaerTTEW443543]

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Hi Torsten! Hi J?Amy! :wink:

Obviously beside of my English skills I ?m used to improve my Google skills!

Torsten, do you really think that such a meeting can help you to share your stuff to your students? I mean, as I often have been visiting further instruction courses I have some proficience as student. In this sense I?m used to say that the teaching the stuff depends more on the capabilities of the Moderator than on the Moderator?s forced lessons. It often were obvious that the Educator had been taught with his speech and gestures too, but when you asked them intrinsic questions concerning his/her theme, he/she failed with the answer because they missed specialized knowledges. :shock: So they often weren?t able to fillful their explanations with life. In this sense I?m mostly sceptical if anybody shows too much proficience with his gestures and speech. For me that is a problem with concepts like Toastmasters. They often seem trying to hide a lack of expert knowledge with a high range of moderator proficiency.

Sorry, if I come across negatively once again, but what is the matter that grandfathers often are able to tell more interesting than fathers? Proficience?

Liked to read some other opinions!


Michael, how important do you think are language skills in general? And what exactly are language skills? Let’s say there is a highly qualified specialist, an expert in a particular field. Does this person interact with other people? And if so, how does she communicate with others?
Think about. How often do you make decisions and how often do you try to influence the decisions of others?

Also, do you think the Toastmaster concept is about lecturing? Are there any ‘teachers’ and ‘students’ like in a state school classroom? Who attends this type of seminar and why?[YSaerTTEW443543]

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Hi Michael,
You’re right, there are things you know by yourself, and can’t be taught. But all the times I’ve appeared at any kind of courses, even if I knew some things better than the teacher, I always learnt something. I mean whatever you talk about with people, in certain subject all of you hear something new.
If you hear only one new idea of your interest, it’s worth it.
You’re right, it’s still nothing, if you’re not the kind of guy that meant to be a toastmaster.
By the way. in Hungary we also call that speach a toast, but the first thing that crossed my mind was a breadtoasting expert, who knows the best way to make bread as toasted as it deserves to be.

Thanks to this thread I’ve also learnt something about the Spanish word for ‘toast’ (in the sense of wishing someone success when taking a drink). The noun used here is ‘brindis’, which never struck me as odd sounding, until now. In fact, it comes from the German ‘ich bring dir’s’ (I bring it to you). The verb is ‘brindar’. Toasting is also given German names in Italian (‘brindare’) and in French (‘trinquer’— to drink to someone’s health, also from the German ‘trinken’).

Did you know that:

Funny old world, isn’t it?

Torsten, my sister-in-law was in Toastmasters for a while. The word “toast” in the name has nothing to do with heating bread. It’s about when you raise your glasses and make a proclamation or wish someone good health. (Which Central Europeans to WAY too much! I don’t think I should have to clink glasses and make some dedication EVERY TIME I consume alcohol within 6 feet of another person! It’s annoying!)

From what I understand, my sister-in-law felt her public speaking benefitted quite a bit from those Toastmasters seminars.

By the way, many Germans call soft American white bread “toast”, but Americans don’t call it toast until it’s been toasted.

That’s right. Interestingly enough, you can find ‘American Toast’ in any German supermarket but you won’t find any ‘Germany Toast’ or ‘British Toast’.[YSaerTTEW443543]

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Czechs have always drunk more beer. This is because their beer is heaven. They also have two interesting proverbs: (1) Beer is Czech bread. (2) Hunger is only thirst in disguise.

You are right here too, Jamie. A friend of mine who studied Czech and has been living and working in Prague since the early 90ies, used to say that the Czechs are the ‘Swiss of the Slavs’. By that he meant that the Czechs were closer to West European traditions and culture than the other Slavic countries. When it comes to drinking and brewing beer, I think the Czechs are in one group together with the Dutch, Danish and the Germans.
On the other hand, the British have a long history of brewing beer too and consequently they also consume a lot of that beverage.

Interestingly enough, if you google the phrase German beer guide you will find a comprehensive website run by Brits, not Germans…[YSaerTTEW443543]

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Hi you all!

I?m really amused about what happened here in the recent replies. :lol: Please let me add one experience I have with Polish way of drinking Vodka. It is right that the Polish people like drinking Vodka but they don?t drink beer beside it. For more they have always some mineral water or limonade for the thirst. And what really was wonderful is that that Polish people which I joined to always drunk Vodka during the supper. By the way the supper lasted two or more hours, so that you can imagine our state of mind finally. For meal it mostly gave fresh vegetables and the next day I never felt sick! I always think back to this times with happiness. 8)

I?m a bit sad to come back to the topic theme :wink: but for me language skills are most important. As you probably experienced I like playing with words sometimes. In this sense I might have chosen the wrong profession.

Torsten, you might be right if you refer to highly qualified specialists and that it is important for them to interact with other people. But let?s have a look to the people to whom they must interact. If they speak about their particular field to other specialists they have their own language so that I think it isn?t necessary to teach them. What about the other people? I think speaking with their families and relatives they are also capable. So what are the people a specialist has to speak to? In my opinion they are mostly financial deciders who uses convincing arguments to support projects. This people are specialists at their own field and unfortunately do they have the most power to decide whether a project will start or not. For example, if a machine manufacturer try to sale a machine the customer?s last argument for the decision is the price and their is an adding argument I won?t discuss here.

Googling the toastmaster?s website I got a bit the impression that, finally, if the members applaud an speech they don?t applaud the content of the speech but the way the speech was done! And also meeting a person who is highly improved in lecturing I often become careful because it is often to obvious that such a person is trying to search his advantage only.

Spencer, you are right to say that most of further instructions have some points of view which are new or, at least, giving additional information for everybody. So I didn?t wan?t to give a bad sight of it. Only, if there is a moderator who beats about the bush before he comes to the point -that is what I often have experienced- I felt asleep and missed the interesting point. :?

So what are your opinions?

Hi Michael, the following is an excerpt from the Wikipedia definition of public speaking:

The fear of public speaking is called glossophobia. It is believed to be the single most common phobia - even above death - affecting as much as 75% of all people.

What do you make of this? Do you think it is true that so many people suffer from glossophobia? Have you ever experienced such a situation? You say that most people have can easily communicate with their friends and family. Is this really so? How many people can give a good toas for example?[YSaerTTEW443543]

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I quite enjoy public speaking or at least I used to when I was in full-time employment. You have extraordinary power in a way because everyone is supposed to be listening to you. If you say this to yourself, it can give you some courage. But there are moments of sheer panic sometimes. One of my scariest moments was when as deputy Principal at the college where I worked, it fell to me to give a small speech at the annual concert mainly to welcome the guest presenter who was a longtime friend of the college and also an international percussionist. I went on and on about the man and the main reason was that I had forgotten his name or at least I just couldn’t recall it. It came to the final bit where I had to say something like: And now it gives me great pleasure to welcome our celebrated guest … and somebody up there must have been kind to me because the name came to me at the last moment.


Everybody thinks that the beer somewhere else is better than the beer where they live. At one time, Coor’s beer, from Colorado, was not available east of the Mississippi, and Stroh’s beer, from Detroit, was not available in the west. Detroiters craved Coor’s as if it were a connoisseur item, and if they knew anyone who was driving across the country, they almost obligated them to bring back a case or two of Coor’s. When the Detroiters got to Colorado, they were surprised to find that the people there were dying to get their hands on some Stroh’s and thought it was much better than Coor’s.

In reality, both beers taste exactly the same, and nobody who didn’t see the label could ever tell the difference.

Hi Torsten, I mustn?t think about whether glossophobia exist, I know that it is true and myself have experienced exitement before speaking in front of a bunch of persons. It is an aweful feeling I know. That is what people are afraid of, isn?t it that? Particularly, if you are at a celebration or anything else, where many people are who you don?t know and suddenly you received the request to bring out a toast. I mean the latest situation I never experienced because I?m no popular person. On the other hand I?ve been used to speak in front of people for some times and I always felt fear first and I experienced that the unpleasant feeling will disappear if such a speech will achieve the listeners. Also I experienced that a speech depends on the attention of the listeners. Of course, to bring out a toast you have to watch some rules concerning the way of toasting, as there are for example to variegate the voice, not stand still and not looking over the listeners to an fixed point and so on. But though for me the best preparation is always to be familar with the theme or to speak about anything that doesn?t depend on the celebration or event but what you do know and bring at last a link to the current theme. That is what proficient Toastmasters do, I think! And you are right if you say that this needs some proficiency!

By the way, what about the 25% who don?t fear the glossophobia? Who are that people? Almost all teacher or politicians? :wink: