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 every fortnight for about two hours. Each meeting gives everyone an opportunity to practice:
- Conducting meetings - Meetings usually begin with a short business session which helps members learn basic meeting procedures.
- Giving impromptu speeches - Members present one-to two-minute impromptu speeches on assigned topics.
- Presenting prepared speeches - Three or more 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.
The Tools You Use
Upon joining a Toastmasters club, each new member receives a variety of manuals and resources on speaking. An example manual is the Competent Communication Manual and contains the first 10 speeches that your will completed as a Toastmaster. You also receive the award-winning The Toastmaster, a monthly magazine that offers the latest insights on speaking and leadership techniques.
Toastmasters and Leadership
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.
About Toastmasters International
Toastmasters International is a non-profit organization governed by a Board of Directors elected by the membership. The first Toastmasters club was established on October 22, 1924, in Santa Ana, California, by Dr. Ralph C. Smedley, who conceived and developed the idea of helping others to speak more effectively. More clubs were formed, and Toastmasters International was incorporated under California law on December 19, 1932.