What is Toastmasters all about?
This page explains what Toastmasters is all about, and how you can benefit from becoming a member.
Toastmasters is a worldwide programme where people – organised in Clubs – improve their leadership skills, communication skills and learn how to speak in public. All this in a safe, supportive environment.
We learn by:
- Practising speaking in front of the group
- Listening to others speak to the group
- Evaluating and listening to evaluations of speeches
- Following the Toastmasters programme of advancing in steps
Improve your self confidence
By practising speaking to a group in an environment where everyone is also learning, you become more comfortable with the task. All Toastmasters know what it’s like to feel butterflies when called upon to speak. Experienced Toastmasters also know that the fear can be overcome just by trying.
- Learn at your own pace
- Other group members share and understand your feelings
- Opportunities to practice every meeting
- Follow a tried-and-tested worldwide programme at your own pace in a safe and supportive environment
- Continuous opportunities to challenge and improve yourself, inside as well as outside your Club
- Nothing is mandatory: learn at your own pace in your own style
Improve your listening skills
We learn about listening as well as about speaking. To fully participate in Toastmasters meetings, you must listen carefully to the other speakers. We develop our skills by listening on different levels. We listen to the content but we also learn to be aware of the impact of the speech organisation and presentation.
Sharpen your thinking
A Toastmasters meeting excites your brain. Participants at meetings who are not giving a formal prepared speech are usually asked to participate in “Table Topics”. This is a 1 minute impromptu speech on a topic selected by the Table Topics Master with the speaker having no time for preparation.
Everyone who speaks at a meeting has their speech evaluated by another Toastmaster. Evaluating challenges you because you need to be very alert as an evaluator. You have to think on your feet in order to mention all the good points of a person’s speech as well as aspects that may need improvement.
Develop your leadership skills
There are many opportunities to be a leader within Toastmasters.
- Club and District Officers are elected annually in May to lead and represent the club and District on different levels
- Members chair meetings and take on other responsibilities
- Toastmasters is an international organisation with leaders from each geographical area represented on the International Board of Directors