What is Toastmasters?
Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. Headquartered in Englewood, Colo., the organization's membership exceeds 357,000 in more than 16,600 clubs in 143 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators, and leaders.
Who can benefit from Toastmasters?
Anyone who wants to build confidence at public speaking:
- Wedding toasts
- Business presentations
- Job interviews
- Internet videos
- Sales seminars
- Educational workshops
Even for non public speaking, TM helps build better communication skills.
Typical meetings consist of:
- One to two prepared speeches. These speeches last between 5-12 minutes. Speeches are either prepared using guidelines provided by Toastmasters or can be free form.
- Round robin of "off the cuff" questions with 1-2 minutes to respond. This promotes self confidence as well as "thinking on one's feet"
- Speech evaluations: 1-2 club members preassigned to do so will give a 2-3 minute evaluation of each prepared speech. This provides valuable feedback to the speakers as well as practice for the evaluators on how to give useful, constructive criticism.
- Speech reports: One such report is on the use of filler words (ah, um, uh, sooo, etc). Another member will (nicely) highlight grammar errors, while yet another will report on actual time used vs time allotted per speech.
Should anyone 18 years of age or older wish to join Toastmasters as a member there is a nominal (prorated) annual fee charged by Toastmasters and a much smaller one by our club to cover the cost of materials and events - Toastmasters is a 503c nonprofit. Membership is completely optional and in no way a requirement to participate in our meetings.