Hopefully this page will answer any questions you may have but if not, please don't hesitate to Contact Us
Is there a fee to join Toastmasters?
Yes. There is a nominal one off fee of £15 to join. Toastmaster dues are then paid either every 6 months (£60) or every 12 months (£102). For more info on joining Toastmasters International, please go to our 'How much does it cost ' page.
How long are your meetings?
Our meetings begin promptly at 7pm and end by 9.30pm. We have a break after the first segment of our meeting. During this time, members and guests can socialize, enjoy refreshments, and get things set up for the next portion of the meeting.
What do I get for my membership?
After joining Toastmasters you will receive in the mail a new member kit. This will contain all the materials needed to start the program. In addition, you will receive the Toastmaster magazine. This publication contains many interesting and useful articles which will help you in your speaking and in learning more about the Toastmasters Organization.
How are your meetings divided?
The first part of our meeting begins with a welcome and short introductions. This is followed by an impromptu speaking session called Table Topics (Guests do not have to take part in this!) After the break, we have the Prepared Speeches which includes 2-4 prepared and timed speeches. Next, there is an Evaluation Section. Finally, we conclude with a short Business Session and Closing Remarks.
How long does it take to complete the Toastmasters program?
There is no set time limit for this. The Toastmasters Organization encourages its members to set personal goals and to work at their own pace. Some individuals advance rapidly through the program while others prefer to progress more slowly. Other factors individual to each club also weigh into how quickly a person can complete the necessary requirements.
How many people usually attend a meeting at Southside Speakers?
On an average meeting night we generally have anywhere between 12 and 20 members. Southside Speakers currently has a total of 24 members. We also usually have anywhere from 1-5 guests per meeting.
Can Toastmasters really help me become more effective and valuable at my job?
Active participation in Toastmasters can provide you with the confidence and skill needed to tackle many communication challenges on the job. Several of our members have reported that Toastmasters has helped them advance in their careers and make favorable impressions in job interviews. Toastmasters International is a well-known, respected organization. Active membership in Toastmasters is a valuable asset.
What are some of the factors individual to each club that determine how quickly a member can work through the Toastmasters Program?
One such factor is club size. Since speaking opportunities need to be distributed fairly to all members, very large clubs would logically offer fewer chances to speak. Within smaller or medium-sized clubs such as Southside Speakers, however, speaking opportunities would likely be greater. Another factor affecting completion time is the frequency of club meetings. Like most of the clubs, Southside Speakers meets twice a month.
But if you already know the essentials of speaking, why is it necessary to keep practicing?
Just as our bodies get out of shape when we fail to exercise, our speaking skills suffer when we fail to practice them. The effective evaluations you will receive in Southside Speakers will help you to keep these skills in shape.
Since speaking opportunities can be limited by club size, is it possible to speak outside of a Toastmasters club and still get credit toward Toastmaster awards?
Yes, credit can be given for up to two speeches per manual given outside a Toastmasters club providing 1) the Vice President of Education agrees in advance, 2) a Toastmasters evaluator is present and provides both a written and an oral project evaluation, and 3) you meet all project objectives.
Why is the Toastmasters Communication Program also called a leadership program?
Along with helping you to achieve better communication skills, the Toastmasters organization encourages its members to share what they have learned. Sometimes this is through a one to one, mentoring relationship. Other times it is by preparing members to eventually assume leadership positions in their club, in the District and in the Toastmasters Organization.
What is meant by active membership?
Active membership means attending meetings faithfully and participating regularly in the meetings. It is more difficult to gain benefits from Toastmasters if you attend meetings infrequently since Toastmasters is an interactive program. One of the main advantages Toastmasters has over other speech programs is that it provides an opportunity for members to regularly practice and continue refining speaking skills.
What is the age group/occupation/interests of members belonging to Southside Speakers?
Southside Speakers is composed of members with a wide variety of occupations, backgrounds and interests. Toastmasters is open to anyone 18 years of age or older. The age of our current membership ranges from people in their early 20s right up to people of retirmemnt age plus! We believe this diversity gives us insight into many different perspectives about life. Since we also have some members who are long time members in the Toastmasters Organization, we can learn much from their experience.
I wouldn't know the first thing about running a meeting, completing speaking assignments, or especially evaluating someone! Where do I learn how to do this?
When you join Toastmasters, you will receive a Communications and Leadership Manual (sometimes referred to as the Basic Manual). This book contains assignments for ten prepared speeches and other very useful information about Toastmasters and the various assignments you will be asked to perform.
Do I have to join before attending a meeting?
No, you may attend as a guest and observe our meetings before deciding to join.
Are guests to your Toastmaster meetings expected to participate in the meeting or to speak in front of the group?
No. As our guest, you will be introduced to the group at the beginning of the meeting. At the conclusion of each meeting, we provide an opportunity for members and guests to informally comment on the meeting quality if they choose to do so.
Must I call and make arrangements before attending as a guest?
No, surprise guests are always welcome anytime at our meetings. However, calling ahead gives you an opportunity to speak personally with one of our members and to ask questions about Toastmasters or our club.
When I join, will there be someone I can contact with questions?
Yes, when you join our club you will be assigned a mentor to guide, answer your questions, and encourage you. This person will be an experienced member who has volunteered for the job. Southside Speakers has a wealth of experienced members available who are interested in helping you to be successful.
Beyond giving prepared speeches, how can participation in Toastmasters help me to become a better communicator?
In Toastmasters members are given the opportunity to get involved in meetings through carrying out various assignments. Members take turns with the different tasks involved in running a meeting. In addition, during the Table Topics session, members practice the art of giving impromptu talks.
How can learning how to run a meeting make me a better communicator?
Many of us have occasions beyond Toastmasters where we may be asked to assume leadership roles in organizing a school committee, a community group, or perhaps a project on the job. Knowing how to run meetings and make effective presentations can mean the difference between success and failure at these endeavors.
How long do most people belong to a Toastmasters club?
It really depends upon what a person wishes to gain from Toastmasters. Since maintaining proficiency in speaking is dependent upon practice, it would be reasonable to expect that the longer a member stays in Toastmasters, the more he or she could gain.