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hi there my name is Chris Mortensen and



I want to share with you what I believe



Toastmasters is all about see a lot of



people don't really understand what it



is or what it does or why they should



get involved so let me clarify a few of



those things in this short training



program here are the specific things I'm



going to cover many people have heard of



Toastmasters but very few who have never



been to a meeting really know who we are



and what we do I will try to fix that by



telling you what Toastmasters is then



I'll tell you how Toastmasters can help



you just like it's helping almost



300,000 people worldwide today and



before I'm done I'm gonna give you steps



that you can take in the next few



minutes if you think you'd like to get



involved so here we go when I first



heard the term Toastmasters what did I



think of the same thing you and most



everyone else does in case you're



wondering no it doesn't have anything to



do with Browns dried bread and please



don't bother we've heard all the jokes



before but it does have something to do



with this you see in the old days the



toast was a common formal tribute done



in the form of a speech usually preceded



by the drinking of a special beverage



apparently back then when this was



painted the drinking age was a little



lower than it is today



the toast is still practiced nowadays in



formal occasions typically at events



such as wedding receptions when the best



man embarrasses his old friend in front



of his new wife's family and then



everyone drinks back in 1924 a young man



named Ralph C Smedley had just started



working at the California YMCA in Santa



Ana and he thought it would be a good



idea to have people practice public



speaking so in the YMCA's basement



Smedley held the first meeting of what



would eventually become Toastmasters



International giving young men



desperately needed training in the art



of public speaking and in the presiding



over meetings by the way dr. Smedley



named his group the Toastmasters club



because he thought it suggested a



pleasant social atmosphere word spread



quickly and Toastmasters clubs began



popping up all over the nation and then



internationally starting in Canada in



1990 the Toastmasters International



world headquarters relocated to Rancho



Santa Margarita California about 20



miles south of Santa Ana where it all



began



today Toastmasters International is a



non-profit educational organization that



operates clubs worldwide for the purpose



of helping members improve their



communication public speaking and



leadership skills at least that's what



it says on their website pretty



impressive but you're probably thinking



well how is that gonna help me let's



take a look recently I did a poll of



Toastmasters and asked what they got out



of being members they told me all sorts



of things but some of the most common



were it improved their public speaking



skills many people would tell you it



works better than most workshops or



classes out there because it isn't



something that ends in a few hours or



even a few months it goes on and on as



long as you want it to its greatest



strength is in helping its new members



learn the basics of public speaking but



it can help almost anyone it improves



leadership skills this isn't often



forgotten area but Toastmasters has a



very specific program designed to make



you a better leader by developing very



specific skills and giving you



real-world experience developing those



skills improving one's ability to



communicate and to lead boosts



self-confidence and leads to personal



growth practice breeds success and



success builds confidence Toastmasters



works on your ability to give a prepared



speech but it also helps you with more



unplanned communications both of these



areas are critical in business and in



society as a leader and a good



communicator



you must be a good listener through many



planned activities Toastmasters works on



its members listening skills much to the



delight of frustrated spouses everywhere



and becoming involved in an organization



that improves other people's lives gives



many of its members a sense of purpose



and fulfillment in their own lives



leading mentoring and helping others



improve can be one of the greatest



rewards in life to understand how this



all works let's take a quick look at a



typical meeting



you arrive at the meeting place and



you're about to walk in so what should



you expect each club has a different



feel based on its members some are very



structured formal and disciplined while



others are more like an open mic night



at the improv but the majority of clubs



will do most things the same here are



some of the things that you can expect



when you visit a typical Club first



you'll be welcomed at the door club



meetings are very friendly and safe



places where everyone is there to try to



better themselves visitors should be



greeted and encouraged to sign a guest



book or a roster the meetings will start



on time



probably some clubs are very good at



this and others aren't each club kicks



off its meeting with its own style and a



Toastmaster of the day will emcee the



meeting he or she should explain what's



going on what's going to happen and



we'll run most of the meeting there are



almost always a number of prepared



speeches usually about five to seven



minutes each they'll be given by the



members on a wide variety of topics one



of the really interesting things about



being a Toastmaster is hearing all the



different interests skills experiences



and stories of the other Club members



then there's usually a section of



impromptu speeches called Table Topics



this is where members and sometimes



guests are given a question or a topic



to speak on for one to two minutes this



is one way that Toastmasters works on



speaking and thinking on their feet each



prepared speech is given an evaluation



because feedback from others is a



critical ingredient to improving your



speaking ability to guide the feedback



process Toastmasters International has a



series of manuals including the



competent communicator manual it walks



you through your first 10 speeches



focusing on different areas for each



speech after that there are a wide



variety of advanced manuals at the end



of the meeting there will be several



reports on different areas to include



things like how long each speech took



how well grammar was used during the



meeting and how many verbal pauses each



person speaking made things like Oz and



ohms and herbs this helps people become



more aware of some of the unconscious



distractions they may be introducing the



meeting should end on time again



should some clubs are really good at



this most meetings end pretty much on



time as a guest or visitor don't be



surprised if at the beginning of the



meeting you are asked to stand and



introduce yourself or maybe have someone



introduce you



during the Table Topics as I said



sometimes guests are invited to



participate if you're comfortable with



the idea go for it but if you feel a



little tentative



really don't want to you are absolutely



allowed to decline the invitation and



many clubs have a policy of asking



guests and visitors to share their



feelings about how the meeting went and



the club in general and maybe some other



information again you may decline if you



don't feel comfortable now that you know



what to expect from a club meeting it's



time for you to check some club's out



the first thing you will do is figure



out where those clubs are in your area



you'll find this on WWF Masters org I'll



show you in just a minute how to find



all the information you'll need you will



want to go and physically visit clubs



and check them out remember you have no



obligation to join them just because



you're visiting if you live in an area



with several clubs I recommend you visit



at least two or three maybe a half dozen



or more because each Club will have its



own personality and you want to find the



one that fits you once you've figured



out which ones you want to visit make



sure you let those clubs know that



you're coming through email or phone



call or better yet both this way they



can give you all the important



information you'll need and you can get



all your questions answered so let's



take a close look at that Toastmasters



website national homepage to find a club



near you just click the red box that



says find in the top left corner there



that will take you to this page your



best bet is now just to put in your zip



code I'm going to put in eight zero nine



zero three which is in the middle of



Colorado Springs so several clubs come



up because it's a big city here's a map



that you can look at or you can just



look at the information here and let's



see what information we have it's the



name of the club a bunch of information



like when it's established here's where



it meets these the address and



everything here's a phone number for



somebody in the club might want to write



that down this club meets on Friday



at noon different clubs meet at



different times and some clubs don't



meet every week here's one that only



meets the second and fourth Tuesday of



the month make sure you pay attention to



those little details this club is open



to all which is what you want there are



a few clubs out there that are just for



members of a particular organization and



they will say membership eligibility



criteria required contact club you



probably don't want to visit a club that



you can't join so look for clubs that



say open to all this just means it's



zero miles from that zip code which it's



in which just makes sense here you click



to email the club this will send an



email to somebody in the club now



sometimes this isn't up to date so make



sure you call as well and this is a link



to the club website where you can find a



little bit more information out about



the club but the best way to find out



about the club is to go visit so find



some clubs near you and contact them let



them know you're coming now you know a



little bit more about Toastmasters that



we're about making speeches not browning



bread slices you know that the



organization can help you be a better



and more confident public speaker as



well as a leader good listener and much



more and if you're interested in



checking us out all you need to do is go



to WWF as stirrers org where you can



find a few clubs in your area and go



check them out let them know you're



coming and my final advice to you is



that when you go bring a friend with you



it's always a little more fun and less



scary and you may be doing them a huge



favor by introducing them to a great



organization that can make a positive



difference in both of your lives if you



have any questions feel free to contact



me at the email below I hope to see you



at a Toastmasters event soon