How Does It Work?
A Toastmasters meeting is a learn-by-doing workshop in which participants hone their speaking and leadership skills in a no-pressure atmosphere. A typical group has 20 to 40 members who meet weekly, biweekly or monthly. A typical meeting lasts 60–90 minutes.There is no instructor in a Toastmasters meeting. Instead, members evaluate one another’s presentations. This feedback process is a key part of the program’s success.
Meeting participants also give impromptu talks on assigned topics, conduct meetings and develop skills related to timekeeping, grammar and parliamentary procedure.
Members learn communication skills by working in the Competent Communication manual, a series of 10 self-paced speaking assignments designed to instill a basic foundation in public speaking. After every speech, there will be an evaluation which will help the speakers build on their strengths and take actions on their areas for improvement.
Members also learn leadership skills by taking on various meeting roles and working in the Competent Leadership manual. In our learn-by-doing approach, we don’t lecture members about leadership skills; we give them responsibilities and mentoring to help. Then we ask them to lead.
A speech by a Toastmaster Rajesh Narayanan and his evaluation by DTM Nina John is given below.