How It Works

The Toastmasters program exposes each participant to a wide range of communication and leadership experiences in a supportive learning environment.

Each new member receives a New Member Kit which includes the Competent Communication and Competent Leadership manuals, general orientation materials, and helpful booklets on evaluation, using gestures and vocal variety.

If you want to focus on improving your speaking skills, you’ll want to work in the Competent Communication manual. If you prefer to develop your leadership skills first, you may work in the Competent Leadership manual. Or you may work in both manuals at the same time. The choice is yours.

Each of the projects in the Competent Communication and Competent Leadership manuals focuses on developing a specific speaking or leadership skill.

After completing each project in the manuals, you’ll receive a constructive evaluation that will recognize your strengths and offer suggestions for improvement.

You’ll have the opportunity to participate in the advanced communication and advanced leadership programs, where you can further refine your communication and leadership skills. The advanced communication program features 15 manuals on such topics as public relations, management and technical presentations. The advanced leadership program gives you the opportunity to serve in leadership positions at the club and district levels, where you learn how to motivate and lead others to achieve goals.

Meeting Structure

A Toastmasters Meeting depends on members taking particular roles (in bold below). Members get an opportunity to volunteer for the various jobs involved in running the meeting which gives experience for the conduct of meetings in other situations.

Sergeant At Arms: Rotates for each meeting. Welcomes members visitors and guests at the entrance. Collects fee.

President: Presides over the meeting, opens the meeting. Welcomes members, visitors and guests and hands over to the Toastmaster. Closes the meeting.

Toastmaster: Rotates for each meeting. Explains roles of various participants, conducts the meeting by introducing speakers, topics, speech objectives and time allowed for each speech.

Timekeeper: Rotates for each meeting. Keeps a track of the time elapsed for topics and speeches with colour coded cards to indicate progress

Topics Master: Rotates at each meeting. Selects approximately fifteen un-announced topics, invites a member (who has the option to “pass”) to address a topic for two minutes. Other members may “add-on” for a maximum of one minute. The purpose of this section is to be able to make an unprepared speech or contribution.

Speeches Section: Usually four prepared speeches of varying topics, levels and objectives with times ranging from five to ten minutes.

Tea break

Speech Evaluators: Rotates for each meeting and speech. Speeches are evaluated in a supportive manner within the context of Toastmaster guidelines by other members of the group.

Meeting Evaluator: Rotates for each meeting. Comments on the overall conduct of the meeting including punctuality, room layout and comfort, speech evaluations, etc

Ah Counter: Counts the number of times that all participants use “Ah”, “Umm”, “You know” and other “gap fillers”.

Westport, Mayo, Ireland | Registered Club 5684