To help members become better public speakers and leaders in accordance with the guidelines of Toastmasters International the leading organization worldwide for public speaking and leadership with more than 350,000 members in 16,500 clubs in 143 countries! Membership dues in The Good Morning Gelfand Toastmasters Club, as in all Toastmasters Clubs around the world, are paid biannually (every 6 months). Biannual membership dues are $69 and used to cover Toastmasters International (biannual) membership dues ($45), and the balance is to support the club's activities including venue-related costs, acquisition of club materials and promotional events. Guests can attend several meetings at no charge or until they become club members.
At The Good Morning Gelfand Toastmasters Club we believe in strict adherence to Toastmasters' guidelines and protocol, which has made The Good Morning Gelfand Toastmasters Club one of South Florida's premier and longest-standing Toastmasters clubs! Founded by Bob and Clara Gelfand in 1969, the club still has members from its early days.
The overriding objective of The Good Morning Gelfand Toastmasters Club is to fulfill the Toastmasters Mission to the letter of helping members to develop public speaking and leadership skills. Great public speakers and leaders are not born great public speakers and leaders: they accomplish these skills through consistent training and as with most things...practice, practice practice! To this end, at The The Good Morning Gelfand Toastmasters Club at each meeting members engage in 3 key activities.
1. Table Topics (impromptu speaking) - where members have to think on their feet and speak from 1-2 minutes in response to a question posed to them
2. Prepared Speeches - where members prepare speeches in advance and present them to the other members on subjects of interest and aligned with Toastmasters International's Pathways Program (see below)
3. Evaluations of the Prepared Speeches - for each prepared speech one member is assigned to formally evaluate the speech. Although suggestions for improvement are a natural part of every evaluation, evaluators are instructed at all times to be constructive and supportive, and should encourage the speaker to continue on a path of growth and development.
At The Good Morning Gelfand Toastmasters Club, and again in line with Toastmasters International protocol, members have opportunities to fulfill a variety of roles with the aim of enriching the meeting; these roles which are filled by different members each meeting, include:
Toastmaster Meeting Roles
Toastmaster of the Meeting - The Individual that leads and maintains the flow and rhythm of each meeting
General Evaluator - Introduces the evaluators for each speech and provides a general evaluation of the meeting in particular taking account of Toastmasters' International protocol
Timer - Announces and maintains the timing sequence for the various meeting segments
Grammarian - Highlights the more and less effective use of language during the meeting with a view to improving member language use.
AH Counter - Highlights the use of crutch words (Ah, so, well, etc.) which effective speakers and leaders should avoid
Body Language Monitor - Highlights the use of gestures, movements, eye contact, vocal variety -- all essential elements that contribute to effective public speaking and leadership
Chat Monitor - A new role introduced resulting from the transition to online meetings (all meetings are currently being held online until the COVID situation is under control) monitors the Chat Box used in ZOOM
Although the above meeting roles contribute to member leadership development, each Toastmasters Club Board consists of 7 Club Officers which are elected by the club's membership each 6-month cycle (once a year in biweekly clubs). These include: President, VP Education, VP Membership, VP Public Relations, Secretary, Treasurer and Sargent-at-Arms.
Prospective guests can learn more about each of these roles when they attend their first meeting, however what is important to know is that fulfilling Club Officer roles provides outstanding opportunities for leadership development, experiences that not only help members to become better leaders within Toastmasters but moreover in their professional growth and development! In fact, new members can typically gain access to opportunities in Toastmasters that would otherwise not be available so early on in their professional careers!
Several years ago Toastmasters International introduced its new communication and leadership development program called Pathways. Pathways is essentially a roadmap for ALL Toastmasters' members which offers at present 14 different paths from which members can choose to provide them a clear-cut framework for their communication and leadership development within Toastmasters. One of the aims of the new Pathways program is to align more closely with the type of leadership and communication skills required in a normal work environment. Prospective members will learn more about the Pathways program when they visit The Good Morning Gelfand Toastmasters Club.
In the meantime, for anyone interested in learning more about Toastmasters and its renowned Public Speaking and Leadership programs, please visit http://www.toastmasters.org and click on Pathways