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, we are not a religious organization -- people of any faith (or none), sexual orientation or identity, 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 in particular?
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.
When do we meet?
We meet on the first, third, and fifth (when there is one) 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.
Where do we meet?
Our meetings are currently in three places:
On the first Thursday of each month, we USUALLY meet at the Fairfax County Government Center (12000 Government Center Pkwy, Fairfax, VA 22035), in Room 8. If you don't know where that is, go in the main entrance, at least five minutes early, and we will have someone waiting there, to tell you where the room is.
On the third Thursday of each month, we USUALLY meet on Zoom. Use the "Next Meeting" link in the "Handy Links" box near the upper right corner of this page, to get the link, and see any online meeting on our Meetup account to get the password. (Sorry not to put it all together for you, but we have had disruptive intruders in the past.)
When there is a fifth Thursday, we USUALLY meet in the Work Session Room (111 A-B) of the annex at Fairfax City Hall (10455 Armstrong Street, Fairfax, VA 22030). Park in the lot on the east side, come in the east entrance, pass the doors to the stairs on your left, and go down the next hallway on your left.
(However, our meeting on February 29 will be at the City of Fairfax Regional Library (10360 North St, Fairfax, VA 22030), meeting rooms A and B. As our meeting is after their usual hours, you cannot use the main entrance, so please arrive at least five minutes early, to be let in through the elevator lobby on level G2, which is the UPPER garage level. Otherwise, we will have to disrupt the meeting to send someone down to get you.)
Sometimes we meet in other places. Check the individual meeting to be sure... and even then, we might get moved without ability to update the web site. We will try to leave some kind of note at the old place.
So what's the catch?
There are two catches.
First, once you decide to join, there are dues. (It's free to come check it out as a guest though!) Dues are currently $150 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. View and download our digital guest packet which includes a welcome letter from our club president, a description of each of the meeting roles, a membership application, and details on the semi-annual dues. For more information, call or text 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.