Photo from mgarcade.com
I’ve been an active member of Toastmasters for several years now and up to this day I still get amazed at how so few people know about Toastmasters. It really is true, Toastmasters is the best-kept secret.
Toastmasters has been a huge part of my growth as an individual and that’s why I feel the need to share it with others. I mean, it makes no sense to keep this amazing secret all to myself! That, and I’m also an Ambassador of Toastmasters. ^_^
Photo from Central Park Toastmasters
What Is Toastmasters?
Toastmasters International or TI is an international organization that helps develop your communication and leadership skills. It was founded by Dr. Ralph Smedley, in the 1920’s in a basement in California, to help young men develop their speaking skills. Now it has 313,000 members, 14,650 clubs, in 126 countries. The aim of TI is to create leaders by providing a healthy atmosphere for growth and improvement.
Toastmasters International Mission
“We empower individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders.”
My mom invited me to join Toastmasters right after I graduated college. After I attended the first meeting, I was hooked! (Thank you mom!) I thought; this is what I need! I’ve been an active member every since.
Photo from Essential TMC
What do we do during a Toastmasters meeting?
Whenever I invite guests to our meetings, they always ask me, “What do you do during club meetings?”
In Toastmasters, the learning process is two-fold:
- We learn by doing
- We learn by getting evaluated
TM is one of the most organized groups there is. We follow a program for every meeting. It looks something like this:
- Call to Order – usually done by the club president or highest-ranking officer
- Pledge of Allegiance
- Welcoming of members and guests
- Introduction of the Toastmaster of the Day aka emcee
- Word Mastering portion
- Purpose: Enhance your vocabulary.
- The Word Master gives 3 new words, defines them and then gives a sample sentence. He/she then encourages the audience to use these new words in a sentence as well. Number of words given can vary in other clubs. Some clubs just have a word of the day.
- Table topics
- Purpose: Helps you think and speak on your feet.
- This is also known as the impromptu speaking portion. The Table Topics Master gives a quote or question and the speaker has 1-2 minutes to elaborate on it. There are many ways to do table topics. For instance, some TT masters use photos instead of quotes/questions.
- Prepared Speeches – this is where club members deliver prepared speeches based on their current manual.
- Evaluation Portion – this is where everyone gets evaluated – from the Toastmaster of the day to the all the speakers.
- Timers report – all speeches are timed. The timers job is to report who went under time or over time
- Ah-counters report – yes,we count our ah’s and um’s and other “filler words”
Every Toastmasters journey begins with speech number 1. Your growth will depend on your level of participation. But you wont be growing alone. The rest of your Toastmasters family will be there to guide and support you every step of the way. If you attend meetings regularly, deliver speeches, and take your evaluations to heart, then I guarantee that you will really grow as a speaker and leader. Toastmasters is one of the best avenues for growth. Many professional speakers started their careers with Toastmasters. It’s like a fun version of school ^__^
Not all good communicators are leaders. But all leaders should be good communicators.
Investing in your education is the best investment you can make. Invest in yourself, join Toastmasters!
Live a Truly Wealthy life!
If you want to join a Toastmasters club in Cagayan de Oro, or anywhere in the Philippines, contact me here