People put off professional development for many reasons. If you have avoided joining  Onehunga Toastmasters for any of the following reasons, please reconsider. Onehunga Toastmasters may not be what you think!

Myth 1:

I don’t need Toastmasters because I have been giving presentations for years.

Reality 1:

…and you are probably using the same techniques you started with years ago. For experienced speakers, Toastmasters is a way to expand and modernise your presentation style. You will get honest feedback about your style and good suggestions for alternative techniques.

Myth 2:

I don’t need Toastmasters because I don’t give speeches.

Reality 2:

What about when your boss asks for a status report on your project? What about when you talk to someone on the phone to ask a question or give information? What about when you present an idea at a staff meeting? The more you consider your business and personal conversations as “presentations”, the more care you will give that conversation and the more professional it will be. Toastmasters will help you develop that professional edge.

Myth 3:

I’m not smart enough. I’ll be embarrassed. I can’t think of anything to talk about.

Reality 3:

Everyone is smart enough. Everyone has things that interest them and which they can share. You won’t be any more embarrassed than you are about other things when with friends. Have you got a hobby? What is your job like? Do you have kids, a spouse, other family? Have you ever fixed something? Where did you go on your last vacation? You have a lot to say!

Myth 4:

The other members are already good speakers. I’d be nervous.

Reality 4:

While the current Onehunga Toastmasters membership does have good speakers, everyone starts at the same place. Even the most experienced speakers are nervous. Toastmasters won’t be able to eliminate that. What we can do, however, is help you discover a way to use that adrenaline to your advantage. Many of the senior members continue to attend and give presentations because even though they have improved their speaking skills, there is always something new to learn from each other.

Myth 5:

You have to attend every meeting every other week.

Reality 5:

You can attend as many meetings as you want. There is no minimum requirement. As a courtesy to the other members and to get as much good from the organization as possible, you should participate in meetings regularly either as a speaker or in one of the other functions, but you choose how often you can attend. Just being there as an audience for the other speakers is vital!

Myth 6:

Each speech is criticised.

Reality 6:

Toastmasters is adamantly against criticism. Our keyword is “evaluation” and we concentrate on helping each person understand what they are doing RIGHT and suggest alternatives for future presentations. This is not to make you change but to help you build your speaking toolkit. The more tools you are experienced with, the more options you have in various communication situations.

Myth 7:

Toastmasters is very time-consuming.

Reality 7:

The amount of time you give to Toastmasters depends on you and your needs. Giving presentations does require preparation, and you can use topics associated with work or home to minimise content preparation. You can also space your presentations to meet your schedule – learn at your own pace! Other program functions such as evaluator and timer require almost no preparation. Table topics and the role of Toastmaster require some very limited preparation, or none at all, if you think fast on your feet! You attend as many meetings as you can. There are no “musts.”

Myth 8:

I want to, but I don’t have the time.

Reality 8:

If you want to and need to, you can find the time. All members are busy people with limited time. Finding time is a matter of need and commitment.


If you still have questions about Onehunga Toastmasters, please check our contact us page and drop us a line. We will gladly answer all queries.

A special “Thanks!” to UT Toastmasters for permission to adapt and publish these myths and realities. These myths are copyrighted material by UT Toastmasters and may not be re-used without their specific consent. Please contact them via e-mail for permission, or visit their website.

Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 by UT Toastmasters.