What is Toastmasters?
« 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 approximately an hour… »
Toastmasters is a platform to enhance one’s leadership and communication skills, where you can improve your public speaking and grow yourself to become a better communicator and leader.
The objective is to learn, improve and be better in public speaking. Members are even incorporated to evaluate and get evaluated.
There are various benefits that a Toastmaster can enjoy both inside and outside of the meeting.
How joining a Toastmasters club can be beneficial?
“Joining Toastmasters allows people to build the skills they need to become more confident public speakers and stronger leaders in every area of their lives.”
- Toastmasters’ formal CEO, Daniel Rex
Joining a Toastmasters club help individuals to acuminate their leadership and communication skills.
Leadership skills can’t be attained in a day, it has to be practiced on a daily basis, In Toastmasters, members learn to lead by organizing and conducting meetings and completing the leadership manual, where the projects addresses skills like listening, planning, motivation and team building.
They improve speaking skills by speaking and leadership skills by doing!
Communication plays a key role in every company’s success, it’s crucial how the employees communicate and work together. In your professional career you might want to give a better sales presentation or to manage your team better or to provide constructive feedback to your colleagues or subordinates.
Therefore, being a part of Toastmasters will be pivotal well because you will learn to speak in public, practice presentation and to lead.
What takes place in Toastmasters?
Toastmasters follows an agenda, where the meeting is categorized into different section; Impromptu speech, Prepared Speeches and Evaluation. The goal is to involve everyone in the room to speak.
Meetings consists of different roles. Each member can take a role and participate. The idea is to allow everyone to get involved and speak.
Prepared speech: The prepared speeches are based on different projects that a member has undertaken (also known as pathways).
Table Topic: The table topic is improvised; members have to speak for 1–2 minutes on a random topic given by the table topic masters.
Evaluation: Each speaker is assigned with an Evaluator, so that they receive constructive feedback on their speech which will help them to become a better speaker.
How to be a Toastmaster?
There are more than 16000 Toastmasters clubs. It exists in almost every country. Go to https://www.toastmasters.org/find-a-club and try to locate a nearest club in your city.
Every club have different criteria to recruit a member.
My tips: Visit 2–3 clubs as a guest to get familiar and try to get into the club that you like.
Generally, a guest who wants to become a member has to give an impromptu speech, then the members cast a vote.
If the majority vote count is positive, the guest can become a member.
Toastmasters helps individuals to hone their soft skills which is crucial in your day to day and professional life. It’s not only about public speaking, the learning process is infinite.
It’s never too late to start!
So, why are you waiting?
Go join one of the club in your city!
Toastmasters has a lot of things
Both during and outside of meetings.
One can benefit even more by becoming the part of the excom. There you learn about how to run a club, you will have role, and you will learn to work in a team. It’s team work and you need to learn and contribute and collaborate with your colleagues. Each excom has different role, one and another will enhance their skills in public relations, communications and interpersonal skills.
Once in an excom, you have the opportunity to attend different trainings. Officers training where you will meet different members from different clubs, this will allow you to network evenmore. Similar, another interesting things are contests, you have different contests like, club, division, area. If you can win in all those you can be a world champion.
I joined one of the Toastmasters club in Paris. I was completely new in Toastmasters and had no prior experience. But I knew about public speaking. I was always interested in public speaking.
But after 3 months I became a VPM. Being a VPM helped me a lot, it contributed me to become a different person.
The meeting starts with the Sergeant at Arms, who opens up the meeting, followed by the President of the club and the Toastmaster of the evening who is responsible for the overall functioning of the meeting.
Likewise, one my favorite part is the ‘Table topic’ where the Table Topic master invites random members or guests (if they are interested), to participate in the impromptu speaking, they are given random topic and have to speak on the spot without any preparation.
Prepared speech: The speeches are prepared and delivered, likewise the prepared speeches are evaluated and are given feedbacks by the evaluators.
There are other minor roles as well, like time keeper, harkmasters, grammarian etc.
Every toastmasters club has an executive committee (excom) which consists of President, Vice President Education, Vice President Membership, Vice President Public Relation, Treasurer and Sergeant at Arms.
If you’re in excom, your learning experience will be even bigger.
Because it allows one to experience or to learn to manage an organization in a small scale.
It helps to work in a team, delegate a task, or deadlines. It even helps in networking, cold calling.
You can learn management in Toastmaster, you can learn team building, enhance communication skills; You can improve your soft skills, interpersonal skills;
It’s a right place if you’re looking to sharpen your confidence and
It helps because many of us fear public speaking.
I was interested in public speaking since a long time, but I came to know about Toastmasters only in 2015 but didn’t join until 2018.
Since, then it has made a drastic change in me, in terms of confidence, leadership and communication skills.
In Toastmasters you socialise, learn, and improve yourself. It’s a perfect place to be if you want to ameliorate yourself.