Frequently Asked Questions about Toastmasters

“Frequently Asked Questions about Toastmasters”

The following are some of the FAQ about Toastmasters:

What is Toastmasters?

Toastmasters is an international, non-profit making organization formed to help people improve their communication and leadership skills.

Why do people join Toastmasters?

The most common reason given for joining Toastmasters is to conquer shyness, stage fright or fear of public speaking.

How much is the cost to join Toastmasters?

Very affordable – the cost for joining a Toastmasters club for 1 year is less than a 1-hour spa treatment in Singapore.

What kind of training do I receive in Toastmasters?

Toastmasters progress at their own pace through a professionally prepared program with a lot of hands-on experience. Educational manuals are designed to offer a step-by-step approach to speech organization and presentation.

How does Toastmasters help in my career advancement?

Research shows that people who can express themselves effectively advance further and faster in their career than those who have difficulty speaking. Toastmasters provides the tools you can use to improve your performance in a variety of situations.

What does Toastmasters membership offer?

* Unlimited opportunities for personal growth and career advancement based on improved abilities and broadened experience.

* Experience in leadership development through specific trainings and involvement in club administration and management.

* Build-up of self confidence and self esteem through ability to conquer the fear of public speaking.

* Opportunity to develop a better understanding of human relations.

* Automatic subscription to “Toastmasters”, the monthly magazine with wealth of knowledge about public speaking, to be sent to each paying member free of charge.

What activities are included in a Toastmasters meeting?

A typical Toastmasters meeting includes the following segments:

Prepared speeches: Speakers will present their prepared speeches in accordance with the educational manuals designed by Toastmasters International. Usually time allowed for the speeches are of 5 to 7 minutes.

Evaluation: Feedback will be given on the prepared speeches presented by the speakers to highlight to them their strengths and areas for improvement.

Table Topics: This is the time to practise impromptu speaking, i.e. thinking on your feet without preparation.

Ah Counter’s Report: Toastmasters is not just about speaking. It is also about listening. An “Ah Counter” is appointed at every meeting to pick up pause fillers such as “um”, “er”, “you know”, etc. uttered by the participants during the meeting.

Language Evaluation: The “Language Evaluator” or “Grammarian” listens carefully and highlights to the audience the strengths and areas for improvement of the language used by the speech presenters.

What speech projects are there for me to work on?

In the Basic Competent Communication Manual, there are ten speech projects:

Project 1 – The Ice Breaker (4 – 6 minutes)
To begin speaking before an audience.
To discover speaking skills you already have and skills that need some attention.

Project 2 – Organize Your Speech (5 – 7 minutes)
Select an appropriate outline which allows listeners to easily follow and understand your speech.
Make your message clear, with supporting material directly contributing to that message.
Use appropriate transitions when moving from one idea to another.
Create a strong opening and conclusion.

Project 3 – Get To The Point (5 – 7 minutes)
Select a speech topic and determine its general and specific purposes.
Organize a speech in a manner that best achieves those purposes.
Ensure the beginning, body and conclusion reinforce the purposes.
Project sincerely and conviction and control any nervousness you may feel.
Strive not to use notes.

Project 4 – How To Say It (5 – 7 minutes)
Select the right words and sentence structure to communicate your ideas clearly, accurately and vividly.
Use rhetorical devices to enhance and emphasize ideas. Eliminate jargon and unnecessary words.
Eliminate jargon and unnecessary words. Use correct grammar

Project 5 – Your Body Speaks (5 – 7 minutes)
Use stance, movement, gestures, facial expressions and eye contact to express your message and achieve your speech’s s purpose.
Make your body language smooth and natural.

Project 6 – Vocal Variety (5 – 7 minutes)
Use voice volume, pitch, rate, and quality to reflect and add meaning and interest to your message.
Use pauses to enhance your message.
Use vocal variety smoothly and naturally.

Project 7 – Research Your Topic (5 – 7 minutes)
Collect information about your topic from numerous sources.
Carefully support your points and opinions with specific facts, examples, and illustrations gathered through research.

Project 8 – Get Comfortable With Visual Aids (5 – 7 minutes)
Select visual aids that are appropriate for your message and the audience.
Use visual aids correctly with ease and confidence.

Project 9 – Persuade With Power (5 – 7 minutes)
Persuade listener to adopt your viewpoint or ideas or take some action.
Appeal to the audience’s interest.
Use logic and emotional to support your position.
Avoid using notes.

Project 10 – Inspire Your Audience (8 – 10 minutes)
– To inspire the audience by appealing to noble motives and challenging the audience to achieve a higher level of beliefs or achievement.
– Appeal to the audience’s s needs and emotions, using stories, anecdotes and quotes to add drama.
– Avoid using notes.

 

“If you wish to grow and achieve…to feel confident in public communication or leadership roles…to interact with other individuals who have the same objectives – Toastmasters is your answer.”… Fran Watson

(Fran Watson is a Career Counsellor and a Toastmaster. )

 If you are living in Singapore, you are welcome to visit our Kowloon-Singapore Toastmasters Club (KSTMC).

Yetti
Club President 2007-2008
Kowloon-Singapore Toastmasters Club

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