Toastmasters is here to help you become the calm, confidence and in-control person you want to be. Whether you wish to deliver a wedding speech, coach a sports team, communicate with colleagues or meet new people, Toastmasters can help.Become a member and join a community of people building confidence through delivering speeches, giving and receiving feedback, and taking leadership roles.
Toastmasters has been around for over 90 years and in New Zealand for almost 60! It's non-profit which means, when you visit a club, you won't meet anyone looking to gain money, just people like you trying to encourage you to stretch your comfort zone. After all, they learn from you as much as you learn from them.
The concept is simple, we run meetings weekly, fortnightly or monthly - depending on the club - which consist of prepared speeches, evaluations (feedback) and impromptu speaking called Table Topics. Everyone gets to speak each week but if you aren't ready or you are attending as a guest, there's no requirement to speak - we're glad to hear from you when you're ready.
People from all walks of life join and for all different reasons. Some join to improve how they conduct themselves in job interviews, others want to learn to manage their nerves, some are developing leadership skills, others for the social aspect of regularly meeting people and listening to their stories. Everyone is welcome and it's a self-paced programme so there's never any pressure especially when life gets in the way of your best-laid plans.
Do I have to be a good speaker? No! People join at all ability levels but most join because they want to be better, calmer, clearer communicators and develop confidence in front of people or under pressure.
Whether you are competitive or not, everyone starts with the Icebreaker - a 4-6 minute speech for the club to get to know you better and you to find out what your strengths are and how you can improve. This is part of the Pathways Learning Experience, an online programme where members get to choose one of eleven paths that align with their interests. Examples of the paths are Presentation Mastery, Innovative Planning, and Motivational Strategies. Each path has five levels, which you work through at your own pace.
Each club meeting sees members rostered on to present speeches and evaluations but also to perform supporting roles. One member takes on the role of MC (Toastmaster-of-the-Day), which is great practice for leading meetings at work. The more you speak and the more roles you learn the more you become an all-round speaker through learning-by-doing.
If you are competitive, each year there are four types of contests from Club level up. These are evaluation (giving feedback), impromptu (random topics), humorous (5-7 minutes prepared speech to entertain) and International (5-7 minutes prepared speech to inspire or motivate).