What we're about
What does one gain by becoming a member?
- Improve Communication skills
- Improve Leadership skills
- Improve Organizational skills
- Gain confidence
In short, you become
- A Better Thinker
- A Better Speaker
- A Better Listener
Who can be a member?
Anyone over 18 years of age! Typically there are clubs formed at communities, colleges, alumni associations, trade bodies, companies etc.
What does a club member do?
Attend the club meetings, & Follow the guided programme of Toastmasters International in Communication & Leadership. (This has evolved over 90 years of experience.)In addition, experienced members help other club members become better speakers (Mentor them) & help the club in its functioning.
How receptive is the club to new members?
Most people are genuinely terrified of speaking in public or are quite conscious about what the audience might think or say. Toastmasters meetings are totally un-biased and non-judgmental. A visitor will be welcomed enthusiastically into the club and immediately be considered a member of the group.
Typical Meetings of Toastmasters Clubs
How is a typical meeting conducted?
In each meeting, there are 3 sections -
One section deals with Impromptu Speaking, second deals with prepared speeches, which are
later evaluated, which is the third section.
What happens in the Impromptu Speaking Section?
One member gives away the topics, or ‘tables’ them one by one, the others can speak on it by either volunteering or once they are nominated.
The time allotted is between 1 & 2 minutes
What happens in the Prepared Speech Section?
The members follow a graded programme, as per the manual -- that they receive, once they become members.
They deliver speeches on any topic of their choice, but using the suggested format & trying to meet the objectives of that particular speech
Later, senior members evaluate these speeches, giving them constructive feedback.
This is the best part of the programme- Positive, encouraging feedback with suggestions for improvement!
In addition to providing the speaker with feedback the evaluator learns important skills in quickly preparing a presentation and listening skills. One thing to note is that the evaluators evaluate the speech and not the speaker. This is a subtle but important difference.
The distinctive feature of Toastmasters is this continual evaluation. Each activity at a club is evaluated: speeches are evaluated both orally at the meeting as well as by writing in the manual. There is language evaluation nearer the end of the meeting. Even the evaluators are themselves evaluated at the end of the meeting by a General Evaluator.