Part 2: How To Join a Toastmasters Club
Last week, I posted a video on the numerous skills we can learn as members of Toastmasters apart from public speaking.
The next video in the series explains how the clubs work and how to find one for yourself.
Toastmasters International has clubs across the world and you are likely to have one near you. In fact, if you visit their website, the home page guides you through the steps – although I have further broken in down for you in the video.
There are mainly 2 kinds of Toastmasters clubs.
1. Community clubs: These are open to anyone and this is the kind you should be looking up for.
2. Corporate clubs: These are for employees of the corporate – which outsiders can go to as guests
So what exactly happens at a club meeting?
Every Toastmasters meeting is divided into 3 parts:
1. Prepared speeches: Members of the club deliver the speeches they have prepared as part of their projects towards certifications.
2. The table topics round: This is the round that gets you to think on your feet – and guests are free to participate too. The table topics master has topics and you can choose one and speak on it for 2 minutes. There is a timer in every meeting who helps every one coming to stage stick to their allotted time.
3. The evaluation round: Every prepared speech is assigned an evaluator and each one presents their analysis in this round. The speakers of the day get a balanced feedback about what they did well and what can be improved.
If you watch the first part in the series, a lot of terms here will become clear.
How to choose a club?
You can google “clubs + your area” to find what’s near you. You can also go to the Toastmasters International website to look up clubs in your city.
Attend a few meetings as a guest, try out a few clubs before you make the final decision. Look for the size of the club, the vibe, the demographic – although all the clubs have an atmosphere of encouragement and support.
Choose the one that works the best. You can always move clubs later if you change your mind.
Once you are a member, make the most of your membership.
In the next part, I am going to talk about things you can do as a Toastmasters member to get the most out of it.
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