What is Toastmasters? All about Toastmasters and its Program Toastmasters International
Toastmasters International (TI)
Mission, Vision and Values
Mission Toastmasters International is the leading movement devoted to making effective oral communication a worldwide reality.
Through its member clubs, Toastmasters International helps men and women learn the arts of speaking, listening, and thinking – vital skills that promote self-actualization, enhance leadership potential, foster human understanding, and contribute to the betterment of mankind.
It is basic to this mission that Toastmasters International continually expand its worldwide network of member clubs, thereby offering ever-greater numbers of people the opportunity to benefit from its programs.
Vision Toastmasters International empowers people to achieve their full potential and realize their dreams. Through our member clubs, people throughout the world can improve their communication and leadership skills, and find the courage to change.
Values Toastmasters International’s core values are integrity, dedication to excellence, service to the member, and respect for the individual. These are values worthy of a great organization, and we believe we should incorporate them as anchor points in every decision we make. Our core values provide us with a means of not only guiding but also evaluating our operations, our planning, and our vision.
Toastmasters Organization & History
A nonprofit organization headquartered in Mission Viejo, California, helping people become more competent and comfortable in speaking and presenting in front an audience. Most Toastmasters meetings are comprised of approximately 20+ people who meet weekly for an hour or two. Participants practice and learn skills by filling a meeting role, ranging from giving a prepared speech or an impromptu one to serving as timer, evaluator or grammarian. There is no instructor; instead, each speech and meeting are critiqued by a member in a positive manner, focusing on what was done right and what could be improved. Most Toastmasters meetings are comprised of approximately 20 people who meet weekly for an hour or two. Participants practice and learn skills by filling a meeting role, ranging from giving a prepared speech or an impromptu one to serving as timer, evaluator or grammarian.
Toastmasters International was founded in 1924 by Ralph C. Smedly in a "Young Men’s Christian Association" (YMCA) location in Santa Ana, California and today have more than 250,000 members in some 12,500+ clubs in 106 countries. Over the period of 85 years, Toastmasters program has positively impacted over 4 million people and helped them practice and hone their communication and leadership skill sets.
Good communicators tend to be good leaders. Here are some well-known Toastmasters alumni.
Peter Coors of Coors Brewing Company
Debbi Fields, founder of Mrs. Fields Cookies
Tom Peters, management expert and author
Linda Lingle, Governor of Hawaii
About 60% of the members live and work in United Sates; 18% in Asia-Pacific Rim; 12% in Canada; 4% each in Middle East & Africa and Europe; and 2% in Latin America.
Communication and Leadership Development
The educational program is at the heart of every Toastmasters clubs. It provides members with a proven curriculum that develops communication and leadership skills one step at a time, with many opportunities for awards and recognition along the way. The communication and leadership tracks are not mutually exclusive; you may participate in both at the same time, if you wish.
You progress along each track by working through a series of manuals, each of which offers a set of carefully crafted projects to complete.
Each project includes an evaluation guide, which gives club members an easy way to provide immediate feedback as the project is completed.
Once you become a member, you can begin the educational program right away.
Communication & Leadership Tracks Communication Track (Talking on track)
Members who wish to focus on communication skills begin with the Competent Communication manual that’s included in the New Member Kit. Once they have completed this manual, they can progress to the Advanced Communication Series.
Competent Communication Manual The 10 speech projects in this manual will help you develop your speaking skills one step at a time. When you finish all of the projects, you are eligible for Competent Communicator (CC) recognition. Complete the CC application in the manual and ask your vice president education to submit it online to World Headquarters. You'll receive a CC certificate and, if this is your first CC award, two Advanced Communication Series manuals free of charge.
Advanced Communication Series After receiving CC recognition, you can work in the Advanced Communication Series manuals, where you will refine and enhance your speaking skills and become eligible for Advanced Communicator Bronze (ACB), Advanced Communicator Silver (ACS) and Advanced Communicator Gold (ACG) recognition. There are 15 manuals, each containing five speech projects. Many of the manuals are career-oriented. You choose the manuals you want to complete and the skills you want to learn.
Of course, the Toastmasters educational program only makes sense from a club perspective. Speaking and leadership skills cannot be learned in isolation; to get the full benefit of the Toastmasters experience, you have to join a club!
Learn to lead with practical practice
Members working in the leadership track learn and practice leadership skills by serving in club roles.
The Competent Leadership manual is the core of the leadership track. It features 10 projects, which you complete while serving in various club meeting roles. An evaluator will give you feedback on each project, helping you to improve. When you complete the manual, you are eligible for Competent Leader recognition. Complete the CL application in the manual and ask your vice president education to submit it online to World Headquarters. You'll receive a CL certificate and, if you wish, World Headquarters will send your employer a letter about your accomplishment.
Advanced Leader Program After earning the CL award you can further refine and develop your leadership skills by working in the advanced leader program. Members working in this program are eligible for Advanced Leader Bronze (ALB) and Advanced Leader Silver (ALS) recognition.
Educational & Leadership Award System
Toastmasters Program helps people in FIVE major areas:
Improving Public Speaking abilities
Improving Listening Skills
Building of Self Confidence
Polishing Presentation Skills
Provides Leadership opportunities
Source: Toastmasters International
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