Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is it all about?
Can you always say what you really mean? Are you confident about speaking in public? Do you wish you could say a few
well chosen words on special occasions?
If you find that you are apprehensive about speaking before an audience take consolation. You are in good company.
In various surveys, almost half the people questioned listed speaking in public as their number one fear, outranking even fear of death by a two to one margin.
Q. What can Toastmasters offer?
Toastmasters is devoted to showing its members how to express their thoughts, ideas and opinions (not to mention development of leadership potential) through an enjoyable, yet professional education program. The best way to learn is
by doing and that is how Toastmasters works. You'll start speaking and just get better and better.
Q. Is Toastmasters a social or drinking organization in some regard?
The name "Toastmasters" is a holdover from the founding of the
organization, when one of the main types of public speaking a
member of society would engage in was after-dinner speaking,
Q. But I've never spoken in a group before, will I really be able to?
You certainly will. Your experience with Toastmasters will help you overcome the initial nervousness everyone experiences when speaking before and audience. At first, the program won't completely eliminate those butterflies in the stomach but will keep them flying in formation. Your first speech will be an "Ice Breaker". A chance to introduce yourself to your fellow Toastmaster members. From then on you work at a pace that suits you. You will be introduced to techniques on how to identify and state your purpose and how to properly construct a speech. You'll gain valuable experience in the use of vocal variety, persuasion and you will learn how to make what you say crystal clear to your listener's. As you progress, you will learn to develop your vocabulary to make your presentations more interesting.
Q. How will I know how I am doing?
To assist the member, the Toastmasters program includes effective evaluation. This evaluation of each member's speaking effort is performed by fellow Toastmasters in a constructive and helpful fashion, utilizing a prepared evaluation procedure that is an integral part of the Toastmasters program. Involvement in evaluation also develops the skills required for thinking on your feet. Each meeting has a Topics Session which gives members the opportunity to express their views on various issues, some of them serious, others humorous. As you increase your communication skills you will become more keenly aware of the qualities of an effective speaker and improve your thinking and listening skills by serving as an evaluator of other presentations.
Q. How can I use those speaking skills?
Your improved speaking skills will give you the confidence to communicate better at business meetings, community organizations, job interviews and, of course, in conversations with friends.