Q. What is Toastmasters about?
A.Toastmasters is a personal development voluntary organisation. Through a network of clubs we help people learn the skills of speaking in front of an audience and gain confidence to speak in public. Toastmasters do this by providing a variety of speaking activities including prepared & “off the cuff” speeches. Toastmasters also offer opportunities to develop leadership skills.
Q. How long do meetings go for?
A. At Sunway Toastmasters Club, meetings officially start from 7.30pm-10pm. However, members and guests are encouraged to come earlier at 6.45pm if they can, for dinner and networking.
Q. Would it better to do a public speaking course first?
A. There is no need to do a course first unless you feel the learned skill sets will benefit you quickly and personally. The success of the Toastmasters program then depends on regular contact with like minded individuals. If you are not interested in club membership then a public speaking course will benefit you.
Q. How much does it cost?
A. There is a once only joining fee of RM120 (inclusive of club badge) plus semi-annual fees of RM250 – this is for the Toastmasters International subscription. For Sunway Toastmasters Club, we have a door fee of RM10 for members and roleplayers and RM15 for guests – this is used to cover the cost of food and venue.
Q. What are the benefits of becoming a member?
A. Toastmasters works on the premise of more experienced members helping out newer members in their journey to speech improvement through evaluation and feedback. Each Sunway Toastmasters Club member will be assigned a mentor who will personally guide his or her mentee to improvement. Members will progress in their journey through the Pathways learning programme (to find out more about Pathways, click here) or through the Traditional Education Programme. These programmes are specially crafted by Toastmasters International to help the members develop and improve their skills in leadership and communication. Members progress in Toastmasters by giving more speeches in accordance with the programme and progressing after successfully completing each speech level. Toastmaster clubs also offer leadership opportunities. There are elected club officer roles as well as a defined leadership track that reflects your professional and personal life.
Q. What do I get when I join?
A. Every new member receives a package which includes a professionally published Communication and Leadership manual, additional educational brochures, membership and access to all Toastmaster functions, promotion, support systems and a monthly “Toastmaster” magazine.
Q. What is the difference between a short public speaking course and joining a club?
A.Toastmasters conduct a number of short public speaking courses. We run “Speechcraft” courses for adults and “Youth Leadership” courses for school age youth. Each is about 6 weeks in duration usually over 21 contact hours. Courses offer an opportunity to learn about impromptu speaking (without preparation time) and preparing a speech. Participants can expect to deliver prepared speeches during the course. Courses are usually limited to 10 participants.
Q. Can I go along and see a meeting?
A. Yes, you can attend meetings as a guest. Clubs look forward to guests visiting and will receive you warmly. There is no compulsion to participate in any of the planned activities if you do not want to. A member of the club will be assigned to personally look after you. You can attend several clubs if you like!
Q. Do you have to make your mind up at the first meeting?
A. No, you can go along to as many meetings as you like before deciding. Clubs may ask you if you would like to join each time you attend, but you can take your own time before deciding. You can attend more than one club if you want to. The sooner you join, the sooner you begin to gain the benefits of Toastmasters membership!
Q. Can I attend more than one club?
A. Whilst you are visiting and deciding whether Toastmasters is for you, you can attend as many clubs as you like. When you join, membership is for that club. However, should you need to change location your membership can be simply transferred to another club. All clubs are always happy to have you as a visiting guest or a visiting member.
Q. What age groups attend meetings?
A. This really depends on the club you join. You can join Toastmasters from the age of 18. Clubs usually have a mix of experienced members and ages. You can attend a few clubs to see which best suits you.
Q. How many people attend meetings?
A. Numbers vary from club to club and at different meetings. A dynamic meeting can have as few as 5-10 members, however 15-25 members usually create a great meeting environment.
Q. Are all the people good speakers?
A. No, not at all – in every club you will find some beginners, some very experienced people, and those in the middle. As people join and progress a good range of experience is usually present in all clubs. No matter how long you stay in Toastmasters you are always learning. Toastmasters learn from both experienced and new members.
Q. Do you provide individual tuition?
A. An experienced member will be appointed as a mentor. If you particularly wanted a personalised programme of tuition then you may need to speak to the Club President or contact the Public Speaking Course co-ordinator in your state.