Membership is open to all so please come and observe us at first hand as a guest as many times as you like before deciding whether to join the club or not.
We try to encourage guests to feel as comfortable as possible at all meetings and emphasise the benefits of toastmasters for situations outside of toastmasters such as improved presentations at work, more confidence and better responses when in meetings and improved speeches when asked to do a speech whether impromptu or prepared such as at weddings and other social events.
What happens at our club meetings
Before the meeting starts
We start promptly at 7:15pm on the second and fourth Thursday of every month between September and May of each year. Before the meeting proper starts, club members chat informally and meet and greet other members, new members and guests.
At the beginning the Sargent at Arms calls the meeting to order. The Club President then addresses the meeting with some topical comments and introduce the Toastmaster for the evening. The Toastmaster will take the gavel from the President and chair the meeting for the remainder of the night, introducing the Timer, Grammarian and the Members who will deliver prepared speeches.
In the early part of the meeting, members (who had previously agreed to be on the programme) will be invited by the Toastmaster to deliver their prepared speech. Speeches are typically of 5-7 minutes duration and a meeting will usually consist of 3-4 prepared speeches. Speeches are typically written to fulfil objectives of a project from the Toastmasters Pathways Learning Experience. Each member decides the subject and content of their speech. These speeches are then evaluated in the Evaluation and Feedback section later in the meeting.
After about 50 minutes those in attendance will go for a 10/15 minute tea/coffee break. After the break, the Toastmaster will call the meeting to order again and introduce the Topics Master.
The Topics Master is delegated to compose a list of topics (before the meeting) and ask members to stand and respond extemporaneously/off-the-cuff to the topic that has been given to them. Guests are never asked to partake in this section and members may opt out until they wish to partake – but it is usually more fun and a great challenge to have a go! The topics section provides a real opportunity for members to learn to ‘think and respond on their feet’. Members will speak, for a minute or so, on a topic. After the topics session has ended, the Toastmaster will introduce the General Evaluator.
Evaluation & Feedback
The General Evaluator (GE) is delegated to evaluate all that has happened throughout the evening and express his/her comments on what has been done well and on what might be improved. The GE invites evaluators to come forward and present a 2-3 minute evaluation of a speech that had been delivered earlier in the night. There will be a separate evaluator for each speech. A typical evaluation will offer constructive evaluation and supportive comments about the speech that a member delivers. After this the GE will evaluate the entire meeting the GE concludes his/her evaluation and hands control of the gavel back to the Toastmaster.
The Toastmaster offers his/her closing comments and passes the gavel back to the President. At 9:15 PM the President closes the meeting. Typically, members go to a nearby hotel/pub for a drink and a chat.