At our meetings you will see members practising their speaking and listening skills, delivering short speeches (5-7 minutes typically) from the Toastmasters International education programme. Each speech is evaluated by another member who provides useful and supportive feedback with commendations and one or two recommendations to help the speaker improve. We also have an impromptu speaking session (called Table Topics) where members (and guests if they want to participate) try to speak for 1-2 minutes on a subject given to them on the spot. It’s great fun and yields some very interesting stories, both real and invented.
Members also take on other roles during the meeting; for instance, to keep time, facilitate the agenda, pick up use of good vocabulary and track the use of filler words. Their feedback is another opportunity for speakers to develop and learn.
Everything is conducted in good humour and in a friendly manner as learning and practising needs to be fun!
“Toastmasters provides a supportive and positive environment where members have the opportunity to develop their communication and leadership skills” says Sam Warner of Ludlow Speakers. “I joined because I was really waffly, over-dramatic and my presentations were far too long; now I have structure, I get to the point and leave my audience with a call to action. I am asked to speak at all sorts of events on many different subjects and my training makes it a delight rather than a chore. It’s opened up so many more opportunities for me and my business.”