How Toastmasters Works
At Toastmasters, members learn by speaking to groups and working with others in a supportive environment. A typical Toastmasters club is made up of 20 to 30 people who meet once a week for two hours. Each meeting gives everyone an opportunity to practice:
- Conducting meetings. Meetings helps members learn basic meeting procedures.
- Giving impromptu speeches. Members present one-minute impromptu speeches on assigned topics.
- Presenting prepared speeches. Three members present speeches based on projects from the Toastmasters International Communication and Leadership Program manuals. Projects cover such topics as speech organization, voice, language, gestures, and persuasion.
- Offering constructive evaluation. Every prepared speaker is assigned an evaluator who points out speech strengths and offers suggestions for improvement.
Members Learn Communication Skills
Members learn communication skills by working in the Competent Communication manual, a series of 10 self-paced speaking assignments designed to instill a basic foundation in public speaking. Participants learn skills related to use of humor, gestures, eye contact, speech organization and overall delivery. When finished with this manual, members can choose from 15 advanced manuals to learn skills related to specific interests.
Members Learn Leadership Skills
Leadership cannot be learned in a day. It takes practice. In Toastmasters members build leadership skills by organizing and conducting meetings and motivating others to help them. Club leadership roles and a leadership development program also offer opportunities to learn and practice. Just as Toastmasters members learn to speak simply by speaking, they learn leadership by leading.
The Tools You Use
Upon joining a Toastmasters club, each new member receives a variety of manuals and resources on speaking. Members also have access to other books on speaking and leading. They also receive the award-winning The Toastmaster, a monthly magazine that offers the latest insights on speaking and leadership techniques.
For More Information
For more information on the Toastmasters International program, visit www.toastmasters.org.