|What Is Toastmasters?
Toastmasters International is a proven and enjoyable way to learn, practice and improve public speaking, communication and leadership skills. Founded in 1924 in a YMCA in California, there are approximately 262,000 Toastmasters members in over 113 countries. This non-profit organization has been helping people to listen, think and speak more effectively, through the more than 12,500 Toastmasters clubs around the world.
Where does your club meet?
We meet in Moses Cone Hospital in Room 43. The address is 1125 North Church Street, Greensboro, North Carolina
When do you meet?
We meet every Friday from 7:00 am to 8:00 am. We generally do not meet on Fridays nearest major holidays.
Can I visit as a guest?
Absolutely! We encourage anyone interested in Toastmasters to visit several times to get a feel for our members and our meetings and make sure our club is a good fit for you.
As a guest, will I be made to speak?
We will invite you to tell us your name and how you found out about our club, but you will never be forced to speak. Some guests choose to participate in the part of our meeting when a few people give 1 to 2 minute impromptu responses.
I’m absolutely terrified of speaking in public!
Many of our members are, or were, as terrified as you. The Toastmasters program leads you step-by-step through speaking projects that are designed to build skills, as well as build confidence. In addition, you’ll have the assistance of a mentor, encouraging evaluations, friendly support from other members, and a non-threatening environment. You will be surprised at how quickly you can make progress if you participate regularly.
What happens in a typical meeting?
The Toastmaster for the day will call the meeting to order promptly at 7:00 am. Members present a Word of the Day, then 1 to 3 speeches. We have “Table Topics,” an opportunity to practice unrehearsed speaking. Each speech is evaluated, then the Timer, “Ah Counter” and General Evaluator give their reports. The meeting is adjourned at 8:00 am.
|How often must I give a speech?
That’s up to you. Toastmasters allows you to work at your own pace. Some complete their first 10 speeches in record time, others speak once a month, and some every few months. We recommend one speech every 4-6 weeks, but that depends on your schedule and comfort level.
How will I know what to talk about?
When you join, you will receive a Competent Communicator Manual that instructs and leads you through 10 speeches, each one focused on developing particular skills. Most new members prefer to be assigned an experienced mentor. You can also count on assistance from fellow members, whether you need speech ideas, someone to give you feedback on a practice speech, etc.
What if I’m not ready to give a speech right away?
No problem. Every meeting offers members a variety of speaking roles – Toastmaster (leading the meeting), Evaluator, Timer, Ah-Counter, and “Table Topics” speeches (1-2 minute unrehearsed speeches)
What if I mess up?
We all do! That’s the idea! Toastmasters is your safety net. Very few of us are experienced speakers. Most members joined because they wanted/needed to improve their speaking and/or leadership skills. It is much better to work out the kinks among friends than to “wing it” in a professional presentation. Besides, being a good speaker is never about being perfect. It’s about learning to be yourself and playing to your strengths.
How much does it cost to join?
Fees are due twice a year, in October and April. Your initial dues are pro-rated based on the month you join. A $20 one-time new member fee covers your Competent Communication and Competent Leader manuals, other educational materials, and your membership pin. Dues are a total of $42.00 every 6 months.