Friday, June 24, 2011

Toastmasters Friday: Is YouTube a Good Idea?

Over the last few years, more and more Toastmasters Clubs and Members have been uploading speeches to the web. Sometimes its to promote the club, sometimes the speaker. Good speeches, so-so speeches, champion-level speeches - they are all there.

I've heard rumblings that Toastmasters Int'l isn't all that thrilled about it, in part because it gives a very disjointed view of the organization and its mission. Not to mention that it doesn't conform to branding, and in the worst cases, potentially illegally puts people online that don't want to be.

On the plus side, it's still publicity, and as a mosaic, shows people at all ends of the Toastmasters spectrum. TI isn't anti-YouTube, by the way - you can actually watch the last business meeting online, if you're so inclined.

Below are some examples of Toastmasters speeches online.

What do you think? Should Toastmasters do this? Or should we leave it up to TI to create slick marketing videos? Should individuals have the right to post their Toastmasters speeches?

Part of me wonders if they realize how many views they are getting, and how they'd feel (except for my pal John Zimmer) knowing I can just grab their videos and put 'em here on my blog.

Regardless - kudos for people taking initiative, using video to critique themselves, and promoting the cause. Seeing is believing, right?


  1. I;m doing my part with an xtranormal movie - but I'll rebrand this in August ...

  2. As a long time Toastmaster, I have mixed feelings about this. I'm also heavily involved in social media for one of my other interests outside of TM. (I am the Social media coordinator for a non profit). I believe a club ought to have a social media plan in place and present a positive image to the world, be on their website or with other online media efforts including videos.

    That said, I also believe in freedom of speech. If the speaker gives permission and/or uploads their own speech...well, I feel it is their right to do so.

  3. The genie has been freed from the bottle long ago.

    YouTube, Vimeo, and I'm sure a number of other such do-it-yourself distribution channels have empowered anyone brave enough to share their speeches on-line.

    What TI WHQ's staff could do that would tighten up the brand discipline might be to feature a Toastmasters Channel where the BEST ON THE WEB videos might be featured.

    If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. There's also something to be said to the brave soul who seeks feedback from the citizens of cyberspace. Feedback is a beautiful thing if the member continues to improve.

  4. Rich:

    I think YouTube is potentially a great idea because it can show “before and after” comparisons illustrating how a speaker developed. The classic is Darren LaCroix’s Anyone Can Do This: Watch a little, and then fast-forward to his first comedy club appearance (at 8:25).



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