Rostrum or Toastmasters?

I asked CHATGPT about the differences:

Which is a better public speaking association, Toastmasters or Rostrum? What’s the differences?

Toastmasters International and Rostrum are both organizations that aim to help people improve their public speaking skills. The choice between the two would depend on your personal preferences and what you are looking to gain from the experience.

Toastmasters is a worldwide organization with over 400,000 members in over 143 countries. They offer a structured program that includes giving speeches, participating in evaluations, and giving and receiving feedback. Toastmasters also provides resources for improving communication and leadership skills.

Rostrum is a more regional organization with a focus on public speaking and communication skills for members in Australia. They offer a similar program of regular meetings, speeches, and evaluations, but with a slightly different format and approach.

Ultimately, the best choice between the two would depend on what is available in your area, what kind of structure and support you prefer, and what type of community you are looking to be a part of.

What do you mean when you say Rostrum offers a slightly different format and approach?

Rostrum and Toastmasters International both offer opportunities for members to improve their public speaking skills through regular meetings, giving speeches, and receiving feedback. However, the specific format and approach of the meetings and programs offered by Rostrum may differ from those offered by Toastmasters.

For example, the structure of the meetings, the types of speeches and exercises members are expected to give, the method of evaluation and feedback, and the overall culture of the organization may all vary between the two. These differences in format and approach can impact the overall experience of being a member and the skills developed, so it’s important to consider these factors when deciding between the two organizations.

My Opinion / Why Rostrum

I’ve been attending Rostrum for several years now, and I think there is a subtle difference. It seems to me that Rostrum has come from an English cultural background and Toastmasters has come from an American one.

My assessment is that Rostrum is less business centric.  Rostrum is about making people more confident.  Helping them grow.  Creating friendships. We don’t have people counting how many Ah’s and Um’s you did.  We don’t have traffic lights to tell you to stop speaking.  We probably discourage people using the club as a place to network for their business needs.

We like speeches about making the world a better place, or finding out about ourselves or someone we love.  Speeches about helping people, about humour, about honour.  Basically we love great speeches.  If you’ve heard one then you’ll know what I mean.  We have competitions, but we tend to compete as a club, so we are really supportive.  And, it’s not really who won or lost, but the journey to get there and supporting those that didn’t win.  Just doing it is a growth experience.

If you’ve been to Toastmasters I’d love to hear your experiences from you, especially if you’ve been to Rostrum too.  Shoot me and email.