Learning to address an audience is tough, but finding venues and opportunities is tougher. Outside of a few credits in college, there aren’t a lot of courses out there. And gathering your friends and family for impromptu speeches gets old after a while.
Speaking in front of audiences can be fun, entertaining, and a way to work on new material. And if you’re trying to turn your standup or public speaking into a career it’s imperative that you get every opportunity you can in front of an audience.
Open microphones are an opportunity, but it’s an audience of people heavily focused on their material. You could be buck naked and juggling flaming bottles of scotch and half of them wouldn’t look up to see if you set your microphone stand on fire.
Toastmasters is a guaranteed, focused, audience. In addition, they give feedback not just on the content, but your presentation and performance.
The only issue is that they have a fairly narrow definition of what is acceptable, and, after viewing some of the national champion speakers, there’s some room of doubt whether they are looking for the right things in speaking.
But it is an opportunity to speak to a group, it is a great program that will help you by providing feedback, and someone in the group is even tasked with counting your verbal pauses (uhms).
Speaking of which…
But it’s an audience of people heavily focused on their material. You could be buck naked and juggling flaming bottles of scotch and half of them wouldn’t look up to see if you set your pecker on fire.
Toastmasters is a guaranteed, focused, audience. But they tend to be about giving speeches on topics. I wonder how they will feel about 5-minute stand up routine stories…
Speaking of which…
A redditor told me I wasn’t funny and that I would fail if I tried to mix stories with jokes, so I guess I have to quit now.