Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Where does your club meet?
Our club gathers at 6:45am (EST) on Zoom at this link (our meeting starts at 7am):
Meeting ID: 878 3083 0037 Passcode: 705843
Our club was founded in Greensboro, NC and most of our members live in the triad area, but that is not a requirement for membership.
When do you meet?
We open our Zoom meeting room every Friday at 6:45 am to settle in and socialize, and our meeting runs 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 a few times to get a feel for our members and our meetings and make sure our club is a good fit for you.
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.
Why do you have a public speaking club during a pandemic?
Now, more than ever, we need to be effectively communicating and providing leadership through the use of any safe means possible. Businesses, organizations, friends, and families are reaching out to each other using technology, and our meetings seek to make the best use of these new blossoming technologies as effective tools for all of our members.
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 new membership and other online educational resources. Dues are a total of $42.00 every 6 months.
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 mentors, 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 Club President will call the meeting to order promptly at 7:00 am. The meeting is then run by the member assigned to be “Toastmaster”. Two assigned members will present their own uniquely prepared speech. We then have “Table Topics,” an opportunity to practice unrehearsed speaking. Each speech is evaluated by an assigned member, then the Timer, “Ah/Um 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 Pathways educational program 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.
What is the Toastmaster Pathways educational program?
Pathways is designed to help you build the skills you need to communicate and lead. It is comprised of 11 paths that teach more than 300 unique competencies. As you progress through Pathways, you will:
-Practice and improve your communication and leadership skills.
-Give speeches in your club based on assignments in Pathways.
-Challenge yourself to build and refine certain competencies and skills.
-Complete a range of projects that include persuasive speaking, motivating others, creating a podcast and leading a group in a difficult situation.
You will develop real-world, transferable skills in many different areas through Pathways—communication, leadership, management, strategic planning, service to others, public speaking and more.
How will I know what to talk about?
When you join, you will receive a log-in to your educational portal in the Toastmaster Pathways educational system that instructs and leads through assignments, each one focused on developing particular skills. Some new members ask 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 building new strengths.
Still have questions?
Feel free to contact us, or come to a meeting and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.