With more than 364,000 members in more than 16,200 clubs in 145 countries, Toastmasters International is helping more people than ever to become more confident speakers and leaders. When you join a Toastmasters Club, you are on your way to improving your self-confidence, your leadership acumen, your speaking effectiveness, and equally important your listening skills.
Toastmasters can help you grow in your career. Do you have doubts? Toastmasters has helped other successful people from entertainers to politicians to business leaders to people just like you. Better communication is almost always what elevates an average employee to an influential key contributor. Do you ever compare yourself to others and ask what they have that you don’t? It’s usually that they are a better communicator giving them the confidence to network and build relationships more effectively.
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 about an hour. Each meeting gives everyone an opportunity to practice:
Meetings usually begin with a short business session which helps members learn basic meeting procedures.
Members present one-to two-minute impromptu speeches on assigned topics.
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.
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. Members also have access to other books as well as audio and video cassettes on speaking and leading. They 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.