You may have head that I've been sounding out people in the Minneapolis area lately on the idea of starting a group to help people learn the art of technical speaking. The idea is to build on the educational program of Toastmasters to give members the opportunity to practice and improve their skills. if you live in the Minnesota area and you want to get more into send me an email or join the group I setup on facebook...I'm inviting interested parties to come see how an existing club works by being my guest next week on Thursday morning at 7:30 am in Bloomington at a club that I first visited in 1991.
The way Toastmasters clubs work is they typically meet one morning (or afternoon) a week with 15-20 members in attendance. The meetings include 3 main portions, including a business meeting, an impromptu speaking portion and a prepared presentation portion. There are a number of roles that are assigned on a rotating basis which includes the following:
· Toastmaster - Runs the meeting, makes introductions and ensures that we start and end on time
· Court Jester – Starts the meeting off with a little bit of humor
· Grammarian – Picks the word of the day and evaluates the meeting for use of grammar…also picks the Word Picture winner for the week
· Topicmaster – Runs the impromptu speaking part of the meeting, asking questions of random members of the audience that they get 2 minutes to answer…I’ve seen some very creative ideas for themes on this
· Presenter (x3) – Delivers a prepared presentation usually 5-7 minutes in length…
· Evaluator (x3) – Assigned to evaluate each speaker…2-3 minute evaluation on how the presenter can improve their presentation skills
· General Evaluator – Runs the evaluation portion of the meeting including the vote for best speaker, best evaluator…provides a general evaluation of the meeting as well
Each member of the club gets a manual with the first 10 speeches which when complete give them credit for certification as a Competent Toastmaster (CTM). There are advanced certifications as well and about 20-30 manuals available to choose from which detail goals for advanced presentations.
My goal with this club is to provide an environment for people to learn and improve their speaking/presenting skills. Drop me a line if you're interested here or would like more info on how you can create one in your city. I'd love to help get you started