Why Join Toastmasters?
This page explains why you should join Toastmasters, and the benefits.
How can we help you?
There are as many ways to do this as there are people. Some just feel they "need to improve in general", others have specific reasons. Some of these have been:
- I've been promoted at work and now need to give presentations (you can even practice your presentations and get tips on improving effectiveness).
- My best friend has asked me to be Master of Ceremonies at her wedding (we can help with suggestions for organising, up to a mock wedding to your run sheet).
- I've been asked to give a presentation at a conference.
- I'm new to New Zealand and need to develop my language skills (we can't teach English but we can help you build vocabulary skills and confidence in usage).
- My presentation/language skills are good but I think they could be better (we can provide a safe place to "play" with these skills)
All of these take a little time, typically around six months, to develop properly; but the better you can tell us why you are interested, the better we can show how we can help.? To find what you can learn, please read on.
Learn by doing
Toastmasters is a worldwide programme where people improve their leadership skills, communication skills and learn how to speak in public in a safe, supportive club environment.
Toastmasters learn by:
- Practising speaking in front of the group.
- Listening to others speak to the group.
- Evaluating and listening to evaluations of speeches.
- Following the Toastmasters programme of advancing in steps.
Improve your self confidence
By practising speaking to a group in an environment where everyone is also learning, you become more comfortable with the task. All Toastmasters know what it's like to feel butterflies when called upon to speak. Experienced Toastmasters also know that the fear can be overcome just by trying.
- Learn at your own pace.
- Toastmasters share and understand your feelings.
- Opportunities to practise a skill at every meeting.
- Follow a tried-and-tested worldwide programme at your own pace.
- Continuous opportunities to challenge and improve yourself, within as well as outside your Club.
Improve your listening skills
We learn about listening as well as about speaking. To fully participate in Toastmasters meetings, you need to listen carefully to the other speakers. We develop our skills by listening on different levels. We listen to the content but we also learn to be aware of the impact of the speech organisation and presentation has on our audience.
Sharpen your thinking
A Toastmasters meeting excites your brain.
Participants at meetings who are not giving a formal prepared speech are usually asked to participate in "Table Topics".
This is a 2 minute impromptu speech on a topic selected by the Table Topics Master with the speaker having no time for preparation.
Everyone who speaks at a Toastmasters meeting has their speech evaluated by another Toastmaster.
Evaluating challenges you because as an evaluator, you need to be very alert.
You have to think on your feet in order to mention all the good points of a person's speech as well as aspects that may need improvement.
Develop your leadership skills
There are many opportunities to be a leader within Toastmasters.
- Club and District Officers are elected annually in May to lead and represent the Club and District.
- Members chair meetings and take on other leadership responsibilities.
- Toastmasters is an international organisation with leaders from each geographical area represented on the International Board of Directors.
Links to More Resources
Toastmasters International Member Testimonials
Types of Toastmasters Clubs
How Club Meetings Work
Attending a Toastmasters Meeting