With 313,000 members of the 14,000 Toastmasters clubs 126 countries, Toastmasters club is the best kept secret in town.
Speaking to large or small groups, or even one-to-one, may intimidate or frighten you. Yet good communication skills are vital if you want to be successful. Corporate leaders say that the ability to communicate well orally is one of the most important skills their recruiters look for in job candidates. Businesses want people who express themselves clearly and confidently, and are persuasive and comfortable communicating with a wide range of people, from top executives to assembly-line workers.
Most schools and universities don’t offer this type of training. Toastmasters does. In Forward Signs Toastmasters Club – an affiliate of Toastmasters International, you’ll learn how to formulate, express, and sell your ideas and yourself with poise and confidence. You’ll improve your ability to listen and evaluate others’ ideas, and you’ll learn leadership skills along the way.
By joining Forward Signs Toastmasters Club, you’ve embarked on a journey that will greatly improve your life.
The Toastmasters program is not a college, trade school, or other formal course in public speaking. You’ll find no instructors, professors, or classrooms. No one’s work is graded and no tests are administered. Members learn by studying the manuals, practicing, and helping one another. Learning takes place in the club environment. Club meetings are work-shops where you study and practice communication and leadership skills with others who are there for the same reasons you are. You learn by doing and by watching fellow club members.
During club meetings you’ll build “quick thinking” skills as you give one to two minute speeches on general subjects during Table Topics. You’ll introduce speakers, conduct meetings, and perform other roles that will give you plenty of practice in a variety of communication experiences. But your greatest learning will come from preparing and presenting speeches based on the projects you go through.
You’ll learn more than just communication skills in your club. You’ll build leadership skills when you complete the 10 projects in the Competent Leadership manual provided. You can develop additional skills by serving as a club officer, formulating and implementing plans to help the club meet members’ needs. You may also complete the High Performance Leadership program, working on a leadership project related to your personal or professional life. Serving in leadership positions at other levels of the organization also will help improve your leadership skills.
The Rewards Are Many
Not only will you learn speaking and leadership skills, you will be recognized for your efforts. At any club meeting, you may present one speech for award credit. Once you’ve completed all 10 projects, you will receive the Competent Communicator award, a certificate you can display at home or in the office. If you wish, Toastmasters International World Headquarters will also send a letter to your employer about this accomplishment.
But that’s only the beginning. Toastmasters provides two educational tracks: a communication track, in which you develop your speaking skills, and a leadership track, in which you develop leadership skills. When you participate in the communication track, you can be recognized as an Advanced Communicator Bronze, Advanced Communicator Silver, and Advanced Communicator Gold. When you participate in the leadership track, you can be recognized as a Competent Leader, Advanced Leader Bronze, and Advanced Leader Silver. The tracks are not mutually exclusive. You may work in both tracks at the same time, and you are encouraged to do so. The ultimate recognition is the Distinguished Toastmaster award, given to those who have worked in both tracks and have received the Advanced Communicator Gold and Advanced Leader Silver awards.