Home » Is Toastmasters Worth It? 5 Types of People It Benefits
Feb,2024

Is Toastmasters Worth It? 5 Types of People It Benefits

Being in the world of public speaking—or trying to get there—means you’ve probably come across something called Toastmasters, and are now wondering is Toastmasters worth it?

Toastmasters is a nonprofit that hosts gatherings around the world where people can speak, network, and grow their confidence and even leadership skills. It’s typically a highly recommended step in learning how to better communicate.

But does it work? Is it worth it?

Because you have to pay for Toastmasters, with varying amounts depending on the club you attend, these questions make sense.

Let’s take a look at if Toastmasters will help you based on your goals, and who it’s best for.

What kind of people join Toastmasters?

Toastmasters is usually made up of people who want to improve their communication skills for various purposes. Whether it’s to speak on stage better, give better presentations at work, or to better share their thoughts and ideas in settings that are otherwise intimidating, Toastmasters is a popular method of doing all of that.

You’ll get a wide range of people at different points in their development, including:

  • People who have large amounts of social anxiety
  • People with low confidence levels when speaking
  • Those who want a promotion in their workplaces and therefore are improving already decent communication
  • Those looking to be great on-stage speakers
  • People wanting to grow a career in speaking professionally 

You might find that your local club has many of these types of people, looking for different outcomes.

Does Toastmasters work?

The goal of Toastmasters is to provide a space for people to practice their skills in order to accomplish their goals, no matter what those may be.

So does it work? That depends.

It depends on the club, how often you participate, what your goals are, and if you can network and get the feedback necessary to improve your speaking skills in the first place. Most Toastmasters clubs have meetings where others can give you feedback, but again the quality of this constructive criticism in speaking depends on the other people who attend.

If they’re not professionals or skilled themselves, they may not provide quality feedback. If they are, they still may not be able to communicate (ha, the irony, right?) feedback in a way that helps you pinpoint what to improve and how.

Is Toastmasters worth it? Who it’s for 

Anything can be considered “worth it” depending on your goals. That’s what you’re measuring it against. It’s not going to be worth it if the institution does not supply you with what you need to meet your goals.

That being said, if you’re one of these people, Toastmasters has been proven worthwhile.

1. People with stage fright

If you want to learn how to get over stage fright, there’s no better way than getting up in front of people with the same goal and giving your talk. You can’t often logic your way out of stage fright, even if there are exercises you can use to pinpoint why you have it.

Those only help you work through the mental preparation necessary to actually get on stage.

But you have to practice. And you have to do that in an environment that’s much more low pressure than a professional speech on stage or a presentation at work.

People who attend Toastmasters meetings are there for similar reasons as you, and they’re not there to judge. They can evaluate your talk, if that’s what you want. But if you’re only looking to get on stage and have the experience of talking in front of people, you don’t need to ask for feedback.

So if you struggle with getting on stage and stutter or shake or have a hard time speaking out of fear, Toastmasters is worth it for you.

2. Those with social anxiety

Social anxiety is different from stage fright, though some people have fear of being on stage because of social anxiety.

The anxiety is more centered around how you think people perceive you and the concerns about what could go wrong. Stage fright can have different origins and they should be treated differently.

Someone with social anxiety will have trouble just simply talking to people—sharing their opinions, speaking up in group settings, contributing to meetings. Toastmasters is worth it here because it helps these people by giving them a space to network and chat with others, as well as provide feedback to others, which involves speaking up.

You can even preface your involvement in a Toastmasters group by just telling people, “I have some social anxiety I’m working on,” and they’ll all understand, and be patient with you.

3. People who want to make money speaking

The feedback element of Toastmasters can make it great for people who can speak well, but want to take it to the next level and make some money from speaking. The difference comes from being able to give a talk that provides enough actionable value to be worth being paid for.

Speeches that make money and other forms of public speaking differ greatly. Knowing how to move from general speaker to one who speaks with enough quality to charge for it can take a lot of practice and feedback from others, making Toastmasters worth it for this type of person.

4. People who want to lead better

You can’t be a good leader without being a good communicator, or at least you can’t rise above a certain level without communication skills. Being able to lead groups takes developing others as well as unit cohesion. 

Both of these skills require you to be able to clearly and confidently communicate what it is you see in others. You’ll have to talk in front of groups as a leader. You’ll have to avoid confusion and speak individually with people in a rather intimate way in order to help them grow.

Toastmasters is worth it for driven people who want to be better leaders because of the exposure to both speaking on stage and providing direct feedback to others who want to get better.

5. People who want to help all of the above

You might already be a great speaker. You might already be paid to speak. Is Toastmasters worth it for you then?

It can be. If your goal is to help others develop their skills to your level, then Toastmasters can be a really rewarding avenue to continue to keep your skills sharp, while also teaching others a craft you’ve had success with.

Perhaps you even want to train people to speak better and become a speaking coach. This is a great avenue to test your methods and teaching style and see how others respond to it.

Who Toastmasters Is Not For

Obviously, Toastmasters isn’t for everyone. While you still might get something from the meetings and networking, here’s who won’t find Toastmasters worth it.

1. People who want to become advanced speakers

There’s only so much feedback and training you can get from people who aren’t professional speakers themselves, and don’t have experience coaching it. Not everyone can accurately watch you speak and provide the kind of constructive criticism that will take you from average speaker to advanced, strong stage presence paired with a quality speech.

For that, you need a bit more help from professionals.

Having someone who can not only hold you accountable, but who can give you actionable steps to improve given your specific topic, as well as point out your strength to harness and develop is invaluable.

2. People who want to get a TEDx Talk

An organization like TEDx has very specific requirements and an application process that can be difficult without the proper preparation, skills, and material.

If you have a goal to land a TEDx talk specifically, you can certainly rehearse at these meetings, but in this case, Toastmasters wouldn’t be worth it alone. You’d need a specialized coach who can walk you through the process and provide insider knowledge about the process of getting your application accepted. We can help you with that.

3. People who aren’t serious about improving

Sure, Toastmasters is worth it to test the waters and see if speaking is something you’d like to do, but it’s not really for those who don’t care very much. If you’re not serious about improving your craft, you won’t show up enough to contribute to the feedback portion enough to get better.

You’d be doing yourself and others a disservice by being noncommittal. Plus, why pay for something you’re not serious about continuing?

What Real People Have to Say About Is Toastmasters Worth it?

Of course, our evaluation is just that, ours. If you really want to know is Toastmasters worth it, you’ll have to get feedback from real people.

We recommend searching for your specific area, to understand the quality of the groups near you, but here are some impressions of Toastmasters from real people.

1. “Yes 100% worth joining”

This user on Reddit explain the benefits they experienced when someone asked if Toastmasters was worth it:

“yes 100% worth joining, I have buoy relationships and my personal self-confidence. you can join a club and end your membership when you need/want to 2) there is a survey to help you determine the best path. I suggest presentation mastery to anyone starting their toastmasters journey. 3) most clubs meet one a month or every other week for 1-2 hours. If you are on officer, that requires most time commitment. 4) I am a member of two USA based clubs”

toastmasters comment1

2. “Not all clubs have everyone at the meeting fills (sic) out those slips.” 

According to someone who has been to Toastmasters meetings, it’s not all that common for full feedback forms to be given out and received regularly. While some clubs have this advantage, not all do.

But it sounds like something you could suggest your club implement if you think the focus on verbal feedback presentation is keeping you from hearing what will truly help you.

toastmasters comment2

3. “You get what you put in.”

One person spoke up about the personal accountability involved in determining if Toastmasters is worth it, explaining that if you put in the effort, you’ll see the results. They also point out that, you should attend a few different club meetings because, “they tend to have their own personalities; find one you’re happy & comfortable with. It will have an enormous effect on your experience. (Some people are members of 2 or more clubs.)”

toastmasters comment3

Summary

So is Toastmasters worth it?  Yes, if you’re the right fit for it and want to gain confidence on stage. But probably not if you’re already a decent speaker and you want to take it to professional levels and even go beyond the average by giving a TEDx talk or pursuing more specialized goals.

Free Public Speaker Training, hosted by TEDx speaker Taylor Conroy, click here to save your free spot

Author

Bella Rose Pope
I'm a multi-creative in pursuit of doing exactly whatever I want in life. Former speaker of book things, fiction author in progress, life figure-outer in progress, societal rule breaker extraordinaire. Smells like: homemade bread, book paper, potted plants, & potential.

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