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May 03, 2012


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Laura Rodriguez

Hi Tina,

Most interesting! I have never heard of Toastmasters recommending medication of any kind! They do however, emphasize speaking as much as possible without notes. I think the artful use of bullet points on notecards though is quite acceptable. I have attended a lunch club that is down the street from my office building - so it fits into my schedule nicely. I joined Toastmasters because I figured my career necessitated speaking with confidence. I don't get to speak often in my day job - but my top goal is to shift over into a full-time inspirational speaking/writing career - as soon as I can! I have completed the Advanced Toastmaster Gold and Competent Leader and have no interest in going beyond that. I stay active to practice speaking. Just as one has to consistently do yoga to stay in shape, one has to keep practicing speaking to maintain the skills.


Another thing we have in common! I had been a member of Toastmasters for about seven years. I did not need those skills for my job, nor for any of my avocations (gave up the idea of step aerobics teacher training when my feet went bad at age 43), and RARELY used them for family functions.

I was not good at speechifying without the use of notes, and practically all the Toastmasters groups I had the fortune of being a member of, strongly discouraged the use of notes. Despite that, I'd advanced to what had then been known as an Advanced Toastmaster Bronze.

I'd needed a stationary but extremely physical means of calming the heebie jeebies from an hour before to as soon as moments before giving a Toastmasters speech. Did Western (athletic) stretches, mostly, in those Toastmasters years, 10 minute yoga sessions some days, at most. So, many minutes of onsite isometric contractions, one muscle at a time; even to the point of breaking a sweat, is what had done it for me.

Anything beats the use of Inderal (a blood-pressure medication that, used off-label, is supposed to make stage fright a nonentity), which, ironically, is touted as a nostrum in Toastmasters circles.

I use pranayama for physical ailments. I'd never gotten much family support for my membership in Toastmasters, my commute precludes my rejoining them; I've been long away from them ...

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