Do you fancy clear rules and structures. Or maybe, on the contrary, you would like to personally create your development plan. The Toastmasters educational program gives you these two options.
At Toastmasters International we know that people who join us are very diverse. For that reason, our educational program is based on two pillars:
- Framework – you receive a ready-made program which guides you through the world of public speaking. Step by step you practice and develop your skills.
- Flexibility – you decide what your individual pace is by using the educational resources according to your needs.
The educational program at Toastmasters encompasses two paths:
- Competent communication
- Competent leadership
Both paths are followed simultaneously. However, it is you who decide what you want to take from each of them and what you want to contribute. You can focus only on the parts that are of your interest and will benefit you the most.
From the first day on you can start cooperation with more experienced Toastmaster – a mentor and take care of the quality of your speeches and plan your development.
Every member contributes to a Toastmasters meeting. There are two functionaries and judges working on the speaker. At a meeting you learn through all senses and by performing a particular function – you may speak, observe, listen or comment on the speech by giving feedback.
Competent communication path focuses on the development of communication skills and includes:
- A student book – Competent Communication – 10 projects to be carried out with a focus on particular aspects, of public speaking, for instance the structure, body language or voice.
- 15 advanced student books – thematic books covering, for example, informative speaking, storytelling, public relations, humorous speeches. The realization of two advanced books enables you to get the title of an advanced speaker – Bronze, Silver and Gold.
- 3 educational books – by means of which you delve into the public speaking or management. As a result, you may prepare a speech on the topic of your liking and embody a trainer.
Competent leadership enables you to develop your leadership and managerial skills. Even if you do not manage a team, the skills you are about to acquire may be invaluable in your career path. You will be given a chance to practice them in a safe environment in order to use them at work.
Competent leader path includes:
- A student book – Competent Leadership – over 20 diversified group projects and 10 thematic projects. The projects aim at the development of certain skills, for example, listening, giving feedback and event management.
- A chance to have a certain function in the club (Bronze Leader Level)
- A possibility to be a on a managerial position at the Toastmasters International (Silver Leader Level):
- Area Director to cooperate with a few clubs supporting their growth and contribute to the creation of new clubs.
- Divisional Director to be a link between the international TM structures and the area directors
- Or you can master leadership and managerial skills on the international level i.e. divisional level
- Mentor – in line with the scenario “learn yourself – learn how to teach – teach others” you will get a unique opportunity to encompass the most effective way of learning i.e. learn yourself by teaching others and becoming a mentor.
- Event Management e.g. conferences and competitions. For instance, there are Toastmasters conferences which are 2-3 days long events and are organized cyclically. There are up to 400 people participating in them from all around Poland. You can be a leader or a member of the organisation committee. These conference are not only educative but also networking.
- High Performance Leadership (HPL) – is a 5-module-project in which you can demonstrate your skills and create something from scratch on your own or with a team. HPL takes from 6 to 12 months. It can be any initiative that enhances the functioning of the clubs or supports the acquisition of communication skills and the results of which can be measured.
Everything is in your hands – for example, you can start your own Toastmasters club.
The vast majority of clubs world-wide use an IT platform called Easy Speak, which enables you to follow your development online. If you are into rivalry and competition you can compare your results with others. It gives you a chance to connect with each and every registered Toastmaster world-wide.
Every active member has an access to education information available in the membership section at www.toastmasters.org
Also, you will receive a monthly – Toastmasters International – an edition that will come to you directly from the US by mail. It includes practical articles relating to public speaking and leadership skills.
The below is a graphic reflecting development paths at Toastmasters.