Who are we?
We are the main local chapter of Toastmasters International, the "funnest" and most cost-effective way to learn and practice communication, public speaking, and leadership in Fairfax, Virginia! Started in 1924 in a YMCA in California, Toastmasters now spans the globe, with over 345,000 members in over 15,900 clubs in 142 countries.
Though Toastmasters started in a YMCA, and Fairfax Toastmasters meets in a church, we are not a religious organization -- people of any faith (or none), race, ethnicity, national origin, etc. are welcome. (In fact, if English is not your first language, this is also a great way to practice it!) The only restriction is that you must be at least 18 years old to join.
What's in it for you?
Our training will enhance your communications and leadership skills. That may not sound like much, but think about it -- you use these every day, when you interact with your customers, colleagues, kids, or pretty much anybody! It will enhance your self-confidence, as you learn to think on your feet and not get flustered. These skills can enhance your career and your personal life.
Why join Fairfax Toastmasters?
We offer a friendly, supportive, diverse, laid-back atmosphere. We let you proceed at your own pace, with no grading, and no flunking. We have an active mentoring program to make sure you get the one-on-one attention you need. But most of all our group is fun!
How does it work?
We hold meetings -- but not boring droning meetings like at work! We hold fun, fast-paced, productive meetings! We take turns in different roles such as Speaker, Evaluator, Table Topics Master, or Toastmaster of the Evening. We learn valuable lessons in communication and leadership from the feedback we receive -- including on the feedback we give. We also take officer positions, hold contests, and put on other special events.
Where do we meet?
We usually meet in the chapel of Truro Church, at 10520 Main Street, Fairfax, VA. (Check each meeting to make sure we're not elsewhere.) Free parking is available in the church lot. To find us from the lot, walk towards Main Street and away from Old Town Fairfax. The chapel is the building closest to Main Street.
Sometimes we meet in other places, some also at Truro Church but some not. Check the individual meeting to be sure... and even then, we might get moved without ability to update the web site.
When do we meet?
We meet on the first, third and fifth Thursday of each month from 7:30 to 9:00 PM. We start promptly at 7:30, so please try to arrive at least five minutes early to get settled in.
So what's the catch?
There are two catches.
First, there are dues, currently $112.50 a year (in half-year installments), plus a $20 new-member fee to pay for the books. It's still much cheaper than most college courses, let alone intensive seminars like Dale Carnegie. (And most such places will tell you at the end, to go join Toastmasters so you can practice!)
Second, just like with a gym, simply joining won't do anything for you. You have to actually show up and participate and put in the effort to get much benefit! You get out of it what you put into it. You will be expected to pull your weight, by speaking, taking other meeting roles and officer positions, helping with events and projects, and more.
What are the next steps?
Come to one of our meetings and check us out -- see the "Next Meeting" box on the right side of this page. For more information, call us at (571) 20-TALKS (571-208-2557), or contact our VP of Membership using the info in the "Home" box on the left side. If you're already certain you want to join, you can download and fill in a membership application.