Visitor Handbook

 

  • Toastmasters History
  • Mission, Vision and Values
  • Sample Agenda
  • Meeting Roles and Responsibilities Descriptions
  • Officer Roles
  • Membership Information
  • Your Toastmasters Membership Provides These Benefits
  • Toastmaster’s Promise

Toastmasters History

 

The Toastmasters organization began in 1924 by Dr. Ralph C. Smedley in Santa Ana, California.  Dr. Smedley wanted to create an organization “to afford practice and training in the art of public speaking and in presiding over meetings, and to promote sociability and good fellowship among its members.”

When Toastmasters started, it was only open to men.  It wasn’t until 1973 that women were allowed to join.  Since the organization’s inception, more than three million men and women have benefited from the communication and leadership programs.

Today, there are more than 200,000 members around the world and they welcome you to the world’s largest organization devoted to communication excellence.  We’re glad you have joined us.

Your Toastmasters club offers you the opportunity to learn effective communication through practical experience in an atmosphere of fellowship and understanding.  By actively participating in your club, you’ll build confidence in yourself and develop your ability to organize your thoughts and present them logically.

Your club also offers you the opportunity to develop your leadership abilities.  Through service in various club offices you can learn and practice sound management techniques.

Your club also provides years of enjoyment.  You’ll have fun as you learn new skills in a social atmosphere.  You’ll meet new people and form friendship that will last a lifetime.

Reach out for success with Toastmasters!

 

Mission, Vision and Values

Mission

Toastmasters International is the leading movement devoted to making effective oral communication a worldwide reality.

Through its member clubs, Toastmasters International helps men and women learn the arts of speaking, listening and thinking – vital skills that promote self-actualization, enhance leadership, foster human understanding and contribute to the betterment of mankind.

It is basic to this mission that Toastmasters International continually expand its worldwide network of clubs, thereby offering ever greater numbers of people the opportunity to benefit from its programs.

Vision

Toastmaster International empowers people to achieve their full potential and realize their dreams.  Through our member clubs, people throughout the world can improve their communication and leadership skills, and find the courage to change.

Values

Toastmasters International’s core values are integrity, dedication to excellence, service to the member and respect for the individual.  These are values worthy of a great organization, and we believe we should incorporate them as anchor points in every decision we make.  Our core values provide us with a means of not only guiding but also evaluating our operations, our planning and our vision for the future.

Mission of a Club

The mission of a Toastmasters Club is to provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every member has the opportunity to develop communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster self-confidence and personal growth.

 Sample Agenda

Below is a sample agenda of what you will expect to see at a typical Visionary Toronto Toastmaster club meeting.

visionary toastmasters Club Toronto - agenda

Mission of a Club

The mission of a Toastmasters club: We provide a supportive and positive learning experience in which members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth.

Open the meeting ………………..…………………………………………… Toastmaster

Introductory comments ………………….…………………………………… Toastmaster

Thought of the Day

Word of the Day …………………………………………..………………….. Grammarian

Table Topics ………………………………….…………………..…. Table Topics Master

Speaker (s)

Debate (Optional) …………………………………………………………. Debate Master

Meeting Evaluation

  • Speech Evaluation(s) ……………………………………………..…… Evaluator(s)
  • Grammarian Report ………………………………………………..….. Grammarian
  • Timer Report ………………………………………………………………Timer
  • Overall Evaluation ……………………………………………..…. General Evaluator
  • Table Topics Vote Result …………………..…… Table Topics Master

Closing comments and Adjourn ………………………………..……… Toastmaster

 

Meeting Roles and Responsibilities Descriptions

 

In Toastmasters, you learn by participating.  During the club meetings you will participate in many roles, and each one is a learning experience.  Following are the roles you will find at a typical Toastmasters meeting.

 

Toastmaster:  The duty of the Toastmaster is to act as a genial host and conduct the entire program, including introducing participants.  If the Toastmaster does not perform the duties well, an entire meeting can end in failure.  For obvious reasons this task is not usually assigned to a member until he or she is quite familiar with the club and its procedures.  Program participants should be introduced in a way that excites the audience and motivates them to listen.  The Toastmaster creates an atmosphere of interest and receptivity.

 

Table Topics Master.  The Toastmaster program has a tradition – every member speaks at a meeting.  The table topics session is that portion of the meeting which ensures this tradition.  The purpose of this period is to have members “think on their feet” and speak for a minute or so.  The topics master prepares and issues the topics; originality is desirable as much as possible.  Each speaker may be given an individual subject or a choice of subjects may be presented from which the members draw at random

 

General Evaluator.  The General Evaluator is just what the name implies – an evaluator of anything and everything that takes place throughout the meeting.  The general evaluator is responsible for the evaluation team, which consists of the timer, grammarian, and ah-counter.  The usually procedure is to have one evaluator for each major speaker.  Each evaluation should be brief and complete.

 

Timer.  The Toastmaster of the meeting will call upon the timer to explain the timing rules.  One of the lessons to be practiced in speech training is that of expressing a thought within a specific time.  The timer is the member responsible for keeping track of time.  Each segment of the meeting is timed.  The timer should explain their duties and report to the club clearly and precisely.  This exercise is an excellent opportunity in practicing communicating instructions – something that we do every day.

 

Grammarian.  Being grammarian is truly an exercise in expanding your listening skills.  They have two basic responsibilities:  First, to introduce new words to members; and second, to comment on the use of English during the course of the meeting.

AH Counter.  The purpose of the ah counter is to note words and sounds used as a “crutch” or “pause filler” by anyone who speaks during the meeting.  Words may be inappropriate interjections such as “and, well, but, so, you know, etc.” Sounds may be “ah, um, er.” They should also note when a speaker repeats a word or phrase such as “I,  I” or “This means, this means.”

 

Speaker.  A major portion of each meeting is centered around three or more speakers.  Their speeches are prepared based on manual project objectives and should last from five to seven minutes for projects in the basic Communication and Leadership Program manual and either or more minutes, depending on the assignment, for projects in the Advanced Communication and Leadership Program manuals.  Preparation is essential to success when you are the speaker.

 

Evaluator.  After every prepared speech, the speaker receives an evaluation.  In addition to an oral evaluation, they will also give the speaker a written evaluation using the guide in the manual.  The purpose of the evaluation is to help the speaker become less self-conscious and a better speaker by providing positive, constructive feedback in an encouraging manner.

 

Officer Roles

 

Below is a listing of the club officer’s meeting roles.

President:  Provides the leadership and guidance a club needs to be successful.  The president leads the business portion of each club meeting.  Schedules regular executive committee meetings and sponsors the Distinguished Club Plan.

 

VP Education:  Has overall responsibility for club meetings.  Plans all regular and special club meetings and other special events.  Tracks member’s progress and maintains schedule.  Signs and approves achievement applications.

 

VP Membership:  Responsible for bringing new members into the club and ensuring that the club always has a minimum of 20 members.  Maintains membership list.

 

VP Public Relations:  Responsible for persuading guests to join the club and also for attracting guests to meetings through publicity and public relations.

 

Treasurer:  Keeps clear and accurate financial records of club business and sees the club remains financially stable.

 

Secretary:  Responsible for keeping clear and accurate records of meetings and business, including membership records and correspondence.

 

Sergeant at Arms:  Responsible for maintaining materials and equipment between meetings, arranging the room and equipment for the meeting and welcoming all guests and members.

 

Membership Information

 

Visionary Toastmasters Club Toronto membership is open to individuals interested in advancing their speaking and listening skills.  Our current membership consists of 20 individuals from students to professionals.

Membership to Toastmasters International allows you the opportunity to begin practicing your speaking skills – prepared speeches and impromptu – and fine tune your skills as you advance through the manuals while receiving support of other members and constructive comments to assist you in your speaking goals.  Membership also includes participation in contests, if you are interested, and District 60 events (membership rally, success/leadership day, semi-annual conferences, officer training, etc.).

A membership with Toastmasters is one of the least costly speaking programs available to you while permitting you to control your advancement depending on your personal time commitments.  Initial membership would cost $140.00 for the first 6 months and $85.00 thereafter for the renewal fees for a 6 month period.  The renewal dates for the membership fees are April 1st and October 1st.

Your Toastmasters Membership Provides These Benefits

 

  • A unique means of learning and improving your communicative abilities within an atmosphere of fellowship and fun with your fellow Toastmasters club members;
  • Unlimited opportunities for personal and occupational advancement based on improved abilities and expanded experience;
  • Experience in leadership development through training and club involvement;
  • Professionally prepared educational materials and resources on speaking, listening, discussion, parliamentary procedure, audio-visual techniques and conference and meeting procedures.
  • The Toastmaster magazine. Every month “The Toastmaster” provides new insights on communication techniques, ideas and opinions;
  • Continuing practice and exposure to sound communication techniques;
  • Increased confidence, ability to organize logical thought and present it self-assuredly, and a better  understanding of human relations; and
  • Affiliation with an internationally renowned educational organization.

We ask you to share and increase the benefits you gain through
Toastmasters by:

  • Assisting fellow members in developing their communication and leadership abilities as you develop your own;
  • Helping your club maintain the Toastmasters standard of excellence in programming and administration;
  • Providing leadership in the club at every opportunity;
  • Utilizing your Toastmaster experience to take an involved role in community affairs.
  • Sharing your Toastmasters experience by telling others about the program and inviting them to join; and
  • Making Toastmasters an enjoyable and worthwhile experience for yourself and others by projecting the Toastmasters image in everyday business, social and community situations.

 Toastmaster’s Promise

 

  • As a member of Toastmasters International and my Club, I Promise………

==>To provide fellow members with helpful, constructive evaluations.
==>To help the club maintain the positive, friendly environment necessary for all members to learn and grow.
==>To treat my fellow club members and our guests with respect and courtesy.
==>To encourage other guests to attend club meetings so they can see the benefits Toastmasters membership offers.
==>To adhere to the guidelines and rules for all Toastmasters educational and recognition programs.
==>To maintain honest and highly ethical standards during the conduct of all Toastmaster activities.