Typical Meeting Overview

You may wonder what a typical Toastmasters meeting is like — will I be pressured? Will I have to get up and speak? How does a meeting work?

You will never be pressured to do anything. This is a supportive, relaxed environment where you move at your own pace. Some people speak at their second or third meeting – others wait for months. However, the sooner you begin, you sooner you will benefit.

A Toastmasters meeting is a learn-by-doing environment where participants hone their speaking and leadership skills in a supportive atmosphere. Members take on a variety of roles which range from giving a speech to evaluating others. A typical club has 20 to 30 members meeting every week or every two weeks with meetings lasting one to two hours. All Toastmasters meetings are comprised of speakers at different speaking levels with the common desire to improve as a speaker and communicator.

Our club currently averages 15 – 20 people per meeting. Meetings consist of three main segments all of which serve a particular purpose – including prepared speeches, an impromptu speaking session called Table Topics and evaluations.

The prepared speaking segment consists of four speakers who each deliver a prepared five to seven minute speech. To build a well rounded skill set, members use Toastmasters materials which suggest topics and types of speeches to present. Each focuses on the development of a specific skill such as storytelling, vocal variety, gestures or effective use of visual aids. Each subsequent speech builds on what you learned from prior speeches.

The second segment is Table Topics. This gives members the opportunity to practice and develop impromptu speaking skills. Members are given a topic to speak about and then take one to two minutes to deliver a mini speech. Although some members view this as the most challenging section, many realize that it also offers the greatest rewards for growth and critical thinking. As a guest, you will not be asked to participate but you can volunteer.

The last segment is the evaluation portion of the meeting. All speakers are given feedback on what went well and offered constructive feedback on areas for development. The feedback process is a key part of growing as a speaker and is fundamental to the program’s success. The bedrock of Toastmasters is a fun, supportive environment that allows people to grow and succeed as speakers and leaders.

We actively welcome new members and invite you to observe a meeting.