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by Darren Held

I went to a Toastmasters meeting yesterday. I guess that’s not overly exciting, or the logical topic for a humorous blog, but it does relate to improv so I’m gonna go with it.

Toastmasters, for those of you laboring under the misguided notion that it has something to do with preparing gourmet toast, is an organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills to ordinary people. If you happen to be extraordinary, they’ll teach you as well. Lots of Toastmasters have taken our improv classes to help with extemporaneous speaking and just getting more comfortable with different folks. If you’re a Toastmaster and would like to get looser and think more quickly, Held2gether improv classes can help. Darren also does presentations at Toastmasters meetings around Long Beach and the O.C.

I’m actually not nervous speaking (or doing improv) in front of groups of people, but I am shy and prone to tongue-tiedness in one-on-one situations. So I figured I’d give Toastmasters a try. Among other functionaries at the meeting, there was a nice man who kept track of the number of times speakers said “uh” or “um” as well as their grammatical errors. The group was very pleasant and didn’t make fun of the fact that I said “um” twice and repeated the word “and” once. I, um, think I’ll go back next week and… and give it, um, another try. It, uh, couldn’t hurt, right? Right?

Darren Held
About Darren Held
Darren is the CEO and Creative Director of Held2gether, Improv for LIfe. He has been teaching and performing improv for 15 years, and has performed with H2g, the Groundlings, UCB and Second City. He loves Moto, red wine, and Madonna.

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