Interviewing for jobs? Giving a business presentation? Talking to your kids? Need conﬁdence? You can become a confident, competent communicator and leader and Toastmasters can help you!
Toastmasters members willingly lend support, share resources, and provide constructive feedback to help you move from where you are now to where you want to be personally and professionally as a leader and communicator. Toastmasters International is a worldwide non-profit educational organization that helps its individuals to hone their public speaking and leadership skills by learning-by-doing in a supportive, no pressure atmosphere. There are more than 313,000 Toastmasters members in more than 14,650 clubs in 126 countries. • Positive environment • Self-paced educational program • Educational resources/activities • Cost effective and great value • Network with diverse and proactive people • Guests are always welcome!!
The 246 clubs in the Chicagoland area provide meeting options for both people interested in joining Toastmasters as well as current Toastmasters wanting to visit various clubs. You can learn more about the Toastmasters experience and education programs by going to: www.Toastmasters.org You can find a club that is convenient for you by going to: Find a Club.
Please also visit the DIstrict 30 Meetup Group Calendar to see listings of club meetings in Chicago and surrounding Suburbs.
What to expect at a Toastmasters meeting:
The Club President welcomes everyone, shares announcements, and introduces the day's Toastmaster (master of ceremonies) who hosts the meeting, introduces speakers and practices the art of meeting facilitation.
Table Topics: This is one of the most enjoyable parts of the Toastmasters meeting! Table Topics might include light-hearted humor, or some serious thoughts, but it is always interesting and enlightening. The Table Topics Master poses a question or topic and selected members are asked to do an one-minute impromptu speech. We also invite and welcome guests to participate in Table Topics, but guests are not obliged to do so. The point of the exercise is to practice thinking on your feet and speaking on a topic without preparation. It's not only a great exercise; it's also a lot of fun and invigorating!
The Speeches: Usually there are two to three speakers scheduled for each meeting. Speakers craft their speeches based on projects from Toastmasters' Communication Manuals and strive to demonstrate specific objectives like organizing a speech, using vocal variety, working with visual aids, using body language, and much more. The speeches are typically 5-10 minutes long. The Toastmaster introduces each speaker.
The Evaluations: Each member that does a prepared speech, will receive an oral and written evaluation which provides constructive and helpful feedback regarding areas for improvement and positive aspects of the speech.
There are also other roles (general evaluator, grammarian, timekeeper) that help the meeting to run efficiently and effectively.
Toastmasters are an enthusiastic group. We express our enthusiasm with frequent applause. But sometimes this applause can be off-putting for first-time guests.
Applause is an important part of being a Toastmaster. It demonstrates:
Appreciation. Toastmasters appreciate all contributions by its members and show it by giving each speaker a round of applause.
Encouragement. Applause is also intended to energize speakers. It provides a spark so that they can move forward in their quest for self-improvement.
Recognition. Some speakers feel a little anxiety right before they approach the lectern to speak. Applause gives them recognition for their achievement, which can ease their tension before a word is even spoken.
If you have any questions or would like additional information, please send an email via the Meetup messaging system and someone will get back with you as soon as possible.