I blew up a Toastmasters group last night

Damn fine all around. Damn fine pun, damn fine speech.

Do post a followup, after you ask Dave what was said after you left.

Thanks. In all fairness though, i did edit out my ‘and’s’ and ‘uh’s’, so it is, I’m sure, a better speech written than given.

Matthew, is that you?

You!.. Out. :unamused:


Do you want North Korea? Because this is how you get North Korea.

But without as cool of lube machines.

I love the OP and his speech!

When it was my time, I didn’t have the courage. Someone in my old Toastmasters group gave a highly partisan political speech, and I was the one who was supposed to deliver the critique. All I said was, “By the rules of Toastmasters, I’m not allowed to give a critique of that speech.” Sat down. Icy silence…but one or two very covert thumbs-up.

Go sit in the car.

The OP’s speech certainly deserves a round of applause. Since he probably didn’t get one in real time, I applaud him here. And when they make a movie of his life, I will certainly applaud that scene.

The last time I was tabletopics master, one of my questions was “Who should play you in the movie of your life?”
The answer was much less…explosive.

Good for you. Has your friend, Dave, said anything since? (Is Dave trying to get a DTM so he’s stuck with these people for a year?)

Boy, did I expect something different from this thread. I figured it would be a typical assholish “I’m too cool for those squares at Toastmasters” brags. Guess not.

Awesome story, JohnT! I loved it.

To which “rules of Toastmasters” were you referring? The rules of Toastmasters International or the rules of the specific club to which you belonged? And even if your specific club did not allow political speeches, I’m not sure why you wouldn’t be “allowed” to evaluate it.

There is a common misconception that “politics, religion, and sex” are not allowed to be discussed at Toastmasters meetings. This is NOT true. In fact, Toastmasters International explicitly states that “Toastmasters International does not prohibit any speech topic, content, or language.” *

Each club, however, may institute their own rules about acceptable content.

I am currently the president of a club that is 60 years old, 60 members strong, and has maintained President’s Distinguished status for about 20 years or so. (If you’re not in TM, you won’t get the significance of the above, but what it means is that we’re an exceptionally successful club.)

While it is not explicitly part of our club constitution, we generally leave sex, politics, and the promotion of particular religions out of our meetings. A couple of months ago, however, people started to get more political. I released the following statement:

Many of you may have noticed that more and more politically-related content has made its way into our meetings lately. This is understandable, given our troubled times. [Our Club], however, has long observed the custom of leaving politics out of our meetings. This custom has served us well, and we ask that the club go back to observing our tradition of “no politics at meetings.”

This inevitably raises the question of what counts as “political” content. I don’t think we can really draw a bright line between what is and what isn’t “political,” so I will simply ask you to err on the side of caution.

If you have any concerns about meeting content or are not sure whether your planned content is appropriate according to the customs of the club, please contact me or [VP] directly.

But that’s our club. Dave and Matthew are perfectly within the rules of Toastmasters International if they want to have a club that focuses on pro-Trump politics.

However, they did violate the rules rather egregiously by having people do random speeches that are not part of the Toastmasters education program and other stuff as well. Don’t they have someone from District overseeing them as a new club?

Well, they won’t be around long. Toastmasters is about developing speaking, communication, and leadership skills. It’s about helping others learn and grow in a supportive environment. It is most definitely not supposed to be about baiting and gotchas. Jeepers.

Well, who did they pick?

The best TT question (and answer) we’ve had recently was “If you woke up in the morning and found yourself transformed into a hamburger, what would you do?”

Flip out.

I showed this thread to my gf (DTM, district parliamentarian) and while she agreed with the rebuttal, she thinks the club is off to a very shaky start. If he can find enough like minded right wingers, they might have a nice little fish bowl of self congratulations.
Table Topics in particular can be hard to write if you are trying to not be too personal or aggressive.

Did I mention she got her DTM while working full time and going to grad school? She’s an unstoppable force of nature.

I’d be in a rare situation, for sure. I’d be steamed. Someone would be due for a grilling as to how I got that way, and I’d have a serious beef with whoever done it.

He said hamburger, not ninja. And killing people is right out.

I know next to nothing about Toastmasters, but when I read the OP this morning, that was the major thing that struck me as “off” in Matthew’s speech. But I held my tongue, because that was an impression I formed about TM many decades ago, and I thought maybe I had been hasty and un-nuanced back then.

Thanks for confirming my impression.

But isn’t that what hamburgers DO?

How Matthew was characterized was a display of ageism and is stereotyping akin to racism, sexism, etc. It is not benign, it is devaluing, destructive and oppressive. Most of you need to stop congratulating yourself on your political,’wokeness’ long enough to educate yourself enough to become as righteous and ‘woke’ as you think you are.

Ageism , also spelled agism, is stereotyping and/or discrimination against individuals or groups on the basis of their age. This may be casual or systematic. The term was coined in 1969 by Robert Neil Butler to describe discrimination against seniors, and patterned on sexism and racism.


Wikipedia › wiki › Ageism


That said, Matthew was a flaming asshole, promulgates dangerous and pernicious beliefs and I’m glad you put him in his place. That he is an inveterate asshole doesn’t arise out of his age but your assumption that it does or that all old white people think as he does because of their age, is regrettable. There is considerable hope for your redemption; his, not so much.

Don’t get me going about the ableism implicit in the snide comments about his walker and oxygen use. I’m tired and the hour is late.

I was told that the rules forbade explicity partisan political speeches. If that ain’t so, it’s actually a shame, because such speech is hurtful and divisive, as the OP amply demonstrated.