A TYPICAL TOASTMASTERS MEETING
WHAT HAPPENS AT A MEETING?
Toastmasters empowers individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders.
This is accomplished by members working through dynamic projects that provide real-world, transferable skills in a self-paced program with a supportive, experienced group of people to assist. There is no instructor – it is peer to peer lead. This mutual support will help you become more effective in several skills, including formal public presentations, individual communications, impromptu speaking situations, managing and participating in meetings, and leading and managing people.
These skills are developed through club meetings, providing opportunities to practice various techniques in a variety of situations. A normal Toastmasters meeting contains a number of sections: prepared speeches, impromptu speeches, and evaluations.
Assigned members practice their public speaking skills by giving a prepared presentation (typically 5-7 minutes in length) from one of the 11 paths in the Pathways training system. Each path has a specific objective in an area that helps members practice different speaking techniques and skills. The objectives are designed as guidelines to help you think about the various qualities that comprise a good speech. Some members may be just starting out, while others may be more advanced. Everyone is at a different level and with Toastmasters your goal is to improve your communication. You do that at the pace you are most comfortable.
TABLE TOPICS (IMPROMPTU SPEECHES)
Club members (and sometimes guests) practice impromptu speaking by responding to Table Topics questions prepared by the Table Topics Master. An impromptu speech should be 1 – 2 minutes in length and consist of an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. This exercise teaches you to think on your feet, in a constructive fashion.
EVALUATIONS / FEEDBACK
Members practice their listening and evaluation skills. Assigned members evaluate the prepared speeches and the meeting as a whole. These evaluations provide feedback on how the evaluators saw the presenters, point out the positive aspects of the speech and give some possible areas for improvement. Good evaluations allow people to grow as communicators and leaders.