The environment in a Toastmasters club is friendly and supportive. Everyone at a Toastmasters meeting feels welcome and valued – from complete beginners to advanced speakers. In a club meeting, you practice giving prepared speeches as well as brief impromptu presentations, known as Table Topics. There is no rush and no pressure: the Toastmasters program allows you to progress at your own pace.
Constructive evaluation is central to the Toastmasters philosophy. Each time you give a prepared speech, an evaluator will point out strengths as well as suggest improvements. Receiving – and giving – such feedback is a great learning experience. In Toastmasters, encouragement and improvement go hand-in-hand.
Typical Meeting Format
A typical Toastmasters meeting contains six parts. In the first segment the Sergeant at Arms calls the meeting to order and club business is conducted. The Toastmaster of the Day is introduced and is the person responsible for ensuring a well run meeting. The Toastmaster of the Day acts as a genial host to smooth the transition between program participants and segments.
In the second segment, the Toastmaster of the Day introduces the appointment holders for the meeting. Members of our club take turns filling the various evaluation team positions during the meeting. the positions include a timer, a filler word counter, vote counter, table topics master, project evaluator, language evaluator and when applicable general evaluator. All activities in a Toastmaster meeting are timed and individuals must complete their assignment within defined boundaries.
The third segment of our program consists of formal speeches. Most speakers give a prepared speech from a basic or advanced Communication manual provided by Toastmasters International. Each assignment in the manuals is focused on a specific communication skill that allows members to advance in ability and confidence as they progress through the manuals. Each speech has a specific set of objectives and time limit based on guidelines set forth in the manuals.
Following a refreshment break, the fourth segment of the program is the evaluation segment. This is especially important because outside of Toastmasters it is rare to receive immediate, constructive feedback that we can learn from. Each speaker is assigned an evaluator who comments on how well the speaker met the objectives of the assignment and makes suggestions on how the speaker might improve their communication skills. In addition to the formal evaluations each member of our club, and our guests, are also encouraged to provide written feedback to the speaker, giving their individual assessment of the speaker’s performance.
The fifth segment of the program is known as Table Topics where we learn the techniques of impromptu speaking. Table Topics develops our ability to think on our feet, organize our thoughts and express ourselves in a clear and concise manner. Considering that more than 90 percent of the time we spend communicating each day is in informal discussions, it is easy to see why being effective in impromptu speaking is important.
The sixth and final segment of our meeting consists of language evaluation (as time permits) and recognition awards for best performance.
At the end of the meeting we will invite our guests to give us their impressions and comments on our meeting.
Especially important is the fact that Toa Payoh Central CC Toastmasters Club allows the participants to practice communication and leadership skills in an enjoyable, supportive and non-threatening atmosphere. So, we invite you to sit back, relax, watch and listen to a Toastmasters program in action.