The Club Experience
Have you ever wondered what happens at a Toastmasters club?
Watch this video to find out, and share it with any of your friends, family or colleagues interested in improving their speaking and leadership skills.
Toastmasters is a learn-by-doing platform and its activities happen through a network of clubs around the world. These clubs hold regular weekly of fortnightly meeting. These meetings usually last between 1-3 hours.
A normal Toastmasters meeting has two parts, the educational session and the business session. The education session is usually further comprised to three segments:
During this segment of the meeting, participants wear their creative hats and practice thinking on their toes. Meeting participants are given a speech topic and they deliver 1-2 minute impromptu speeches.
In this segment, assigned members practice their public speaking skills by delivering a prepared speech in line with the objectives of the project they are delivering. Based on the learning path the member is following, every project is unique and has its specific objective. In each path the first prepared speech is an IceBreaker which requires the member to face the fear of public speaking, overcome it and deliver a 4-6 minute self-introduction to the club members. As the member progresses in his/her path, the difficulty level and the learning objectives increase. In a club meeting there is a combination of prepared speeches from bigger level speeches to expert level projects with equal amount of learning for the speaker as well as their listeners.
During this segment, members practice their listening and feedback skills. Everything happening in a Toastmasters meeting is evaluated in a positive and constructive manner. These evaluations are delivered in a structure manner and even the evaluators themselves receive their evaluation. Evaluators point out the positive aspects of the speech and some possible areas for improvement.
Roles in a Meeting
Club members take up roles in a Toastmasters meeting to enable smooth flow:
- Toastmaster of the meeting prepares and conducts the meeting as host. Toastmasters of the meeting learns time management, planning and implementation, facilitation skills and team building skills.
- Table Topics Master leads the table topics session. Table Topics Master learns time management, planning and implementation and facilitation skills
- General Evaluator leads the evaluation session. General evaluator learns critical thinking, giving feedback, motivating others and team building skills.
- Timer supports the meeting by keeping a time check on the meeting activities. Timer themselves learn how to keep focus of the stopwatch and not to get distracted by the very interesting speeches.
- Ah Counter notes any word or sound used as a crutch, so speakers can become aware of and correct them. Ah Counter learns listening and leadership skills
During this portion, the club’s business is handled. At the same time, the club practices effective meeting management skills, so that business can be handled quickly and efficiently.
Ready to visit your first Toastmasters Meeting?
If you would like to learn more about Toastmasters meetings, arrange to visit a club. Usually there are no fees for visitors, and most clubs welcome guests to visit as many times as they like before deciding to become a member.