Over 4 million people have become competent speakers and leaders after joining a Toastmasters club in their community.
When you visit a Toastmasters club you’ll watch club members participate in the following:
- Members give speeches
- Members take on meeting roles
- Have a great time learning
Blog post created from YouTube video displayed at the end of this page.
A Toastmasters club does not have a designated teacher, instead much of the learning happens by participating in a variety of tasks. Such as giving a formal speech or fulfilling a particular meeting role.
The purpose of the meeting roles is to help the members improve their speaking and leadership skills, by providing feedback and evaluation. At a Reef City Cairns Toastmasters Club there are 6 different meeting roles filled each meeting:
- Toastmaster of the Day
- Table Topics Master
- General Evaluator
The Toastmaster of the Day is the host of the meeting. Fulfilling this role is great practice for leading meetings. The Toastmaster begins by introducing people who fill other meeting roles for the day. They act as an MC and keep the meeting flowing smoothly and on time.
The Grammarian helps members expand their vocabulary and records the number of filler words used during their speeches. One of the grammarian’s duties is to provide a Word of the Day (WOD) and its definition. If a member uses the Word of the Day or says something well, the grammarian will highlight this during their report at the end of the meeting, as well as reporting on the filler words used.
The Timer records the exact length of each speech. They will also use the timing lights to ensure speakers stay within their allocated time limits.
The General Evaluator takes notes throughout the meeting. The General Evaluator’s role is to report and evaluate on all items in the meeting that have not previously been evaluated. They present a report at the end of the meeting, providing specific feedback on how well the meeting flowed as well as how future meeting could be improved.
Prepared Speeches are given at club meetings. There will be 2 or 3 prepared speakers given in a club meeting. Their speeches are prepared based on a set of guidelines given in the Toastmasters educational manuals. These guidelines will help them reach their speech objectives.
Evaluations are given to all speakers. This is done to provide helpful feedback. The speaker will meet with the evaluator at the beginning of each meeting, to ask the evaluator to pay attention to certain aspects of their speech. Evaluators will present their feedback to all club members and guests. They will cover things such as; did the speaker use their hands to gesture well, did they control their voices throughout their speech, what did they do well and what are some ideas for improvement.
Table Topics is often the most challenging, but also the most fun part of each meeting. During Table Topics a series of questions are asked and members are asked to respond on the spot. This is great training for situations that come up in everyone’s lives where we have to think on the spot. Table Topics are great for practicing and honing the skills for impromptu speaking.
Everyone joins Toastmasters with a personal goal. That may be to become a more competent presenter, or learn how to run a meeting or think faster of your feet. Whatever it is you can achieve your goal by joining a Toastmasters club.
Ready to give Toastmasters a try? Visiting our club as a guest is free! Reef City Cairns Toastmasters meets every Friday 12:30pm to 1:30pm at the Coral Tree Inn on Grafton Street.
Cathy Earle is the Reef City Cairns Toastmasters club President. She has been an active member of Toastmasters since August 2017. During her time at Toastmasters she has achieved her Competent Leadership certification and completed the first level of Pathways Innovative Planning.