The Pleasure Principle
Toastmasters and Speaking Circles®Two complementary but very different approaches to public speaking
by Carla Kimball, Certified Speaking Circles Facilitator
©2004 - 2007, Carla Kimball
My approach to public speaking blends together a comprehensive set of stress management tools with a specific public speaking methodology, developed by Lee Glickstein of Speaking Circles International, called Speaking Circles®. I've had a number of people attend my Speaking Circles who are also members of Toastmasters International (an international program of public speaking clubs). Because people often ask me what are the differences between the two, I decided to do a systematic analysis and comparison of the two these very different approaches to public speaking.
With this in mind, I consulted with a number of people who have experienced both modalities. I want to especially thank a colleague of mine, Carolyn Kingston, who has attended a number of Speaking Circles and holds the office of Sergeant at Arms with the Lexington Toastmasters Club. Carolyn is co-founder and co-director of Vocal Arts Collaborative, a non-profit organization dedicated to the exploration and development of the human voice as a means of expression and as a tool for building community. Her input and perspective on Toastmasters were invaluable in my preparation of this comparison.
What stands out most from my conversations is that, while Toastmaster and Speaking Circles are both highly disciplined with very specific formats and structures, what happens within each is very different. In Toastmasters, the purpose is to develop competence and professionalism. In Speaking Circles, we develop “public speaking from the inside out.” The primary purpose in Speaking Circles is to help people develop a sense of confidence, ease and presence; and a natural outcome of this is that we become more authentic and competent speakers. Below are some specific examples of how these two very distinct approaches accomplish their purpose.
Polish and Unpolishing
Preparation: Being vs. Doing
Giving and Receiving
Flexibility and Balance
In Speaking Circles...
To learn more about Toastmasters you can visit their website at http://www.toastmasters.org.
RiverWays Enterprises offers a number of different public speaking programs that incorporate Speaking Circles as the an essential tool for becoming a more relaxed, confident and authentic speaker. Visit www.riverways.com to learn more about our programs and services.
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Carla Kimball, M.A., M.B.A. is a public speaking executive coach, workshop facilitator and president of RiverWays Enterprises. Over the past 18 years she has presented and coached on a diverse set of business, stress management and communication topics to thousands of business and service professionals. Client companies include leading financial management, health care, and accounting firms.
Carla offers a selection of regular public speaking and presentation skills programs and coaching services for individuals as well as for corporate groups. Carla works from inside-out and helps people become more confident speakers while establishing a strong relationship with their audience.
Carla is a prolific writer on public speaking topics and currently offers a 26 week subscription to The ABCs of Presence in Public Speaking Toolkit, a newsletter which presents one article a week organized alphabetically with a unique perspective on public speaking issues.
Carla is based in Cambridge, MA. For more information about her work, see www.riverways.com.