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Home : About Toastmasters
Federal Toastmasters
Federal Toastmasters is the best way to improve your communication and leadership skills. Federal Toastmasters can help you lose the fear of public speaking and learn skills that will help you be more successful in whatever path you've chosen. You'll be a better listener. You'll easily lead teams and conduct meetings. You'll comfortably give and receive constructive evaluation. You already have some or all of these skills. In Federal Toastmasters, you will enhance them.

How Federal Toastmasters Works
At Federal Toastmasters, members learn by speaking to groups and working with others in a supportive environment. At Federal Toastmasters we have about 30 members from the various modal administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and nearby federal and nonprofit organizations who meet every Wednesday from 12 Noon to 1:00 PM at USDOT Headquarters (Nassif Building). Each meeting gives everyone an opportunity to practice one or more of the following:

  • Serve as presiding officer. A club officer is responsible kicking-off the meeting, acknowledging guests, introducing the moderator, giving awards and making annoucements.
  • Serve as moderator. A member is responsible for conducting the meeting by confirming member participation, setting the agenda, introducing speakers and providing transitions between speakers.
  • Serve as inspirational opener. A member presents motivating remarks, one to two minutes, about the theme of the day.
  • Serve as speaker. One to three members present manual or nonmanual speeches, varying from five to nine minutes, about the theme of the day or a topic of their choice. Manual speeches are based on projects from the Toastmasters International Communication and Leadership Program manuals. Projects focus on specific topics such as vocal variety, gestures, humor and persuasion. Nonmanual speeches are just speeches on any topic. Sometimes, speakers may give impromptu speeches.
  • Serve as table topics master. A member asks fellow members a question that is related to the theme of the day. Selected members have one to two minutes to respond. This is the impromptu portion of our meeting.
  • Serve as evaluator. A member serves as master evaluator and provides general comments about the meeting. One to three members, depending on the number of speakers, serve as speaker evaluators who give constructive critism and offer suggestions for improvement.
  • Serve as grammarian and timekeeper. A member is responsible for noting grammatical errors, "ah" counter and recording speech times.

The Tools You Use
Upon joining Federal Toastmasters, each new member receives the Toastmaster montly magazine, Toastmasters International Communication and Leadership Program Basic Manual and a variety of manuals on giving speeches and conducting evalutions. Members participate in the educational program which helps you develop your leadership and communication skills. Members also have access to other books in the club library as well as audio and video cassettes on speaking and leading.

Federal Toastmasters and Leadership
Leadership cannot be learned in a day. It takes practice. In Federal Toastmasters members build leadership skills by organizing and conducting meetings and motivating others to help them. Club leadership roles and a leadership development program also offer opportunities to learn and practice. Just as Federal Toastmasters members learn to speak simply by speaking, they learn leadership by leading.

Organization's Benefits
A organization's success also depends on communication. Employees face an endless exchange of ideas, messages, and information as they deal with one another and with customers day after day. How well they communicate can determine whether a company quickly grows into an industry leader or joins thousands of other businesses mired in mediocrity.

Federal Toastmasters provides the tools that enable employees to become effective communicators and leaders all at a very low cost. Federal Toastmasters helps employees:

  • Give better briefings
  • Hone their leadership skills
  • Work better with fellow employees
  • Effectively develop and present ideas
  • Offer constructive criticism
  • Accept criticism more objectively

Community Benefits
Federal Toastmasters has helped many members in their community service activities. Using the speaking and leadership skills developed in Federal Toastmasters, members have become more active in business, churches, and service and charity organizations. Federal Toastmasters members are able to organize activities, conduct meetings, and speak in public as their organization's representative. Some even become active in local, state or national government.

Toastmasters International
Toastmasters International is a non-profit organization governed by a Board of Directors elected by the membership. The first Toastmasters club was established on October 22, 1924, in Santa Ana, California, by Dr. Ralph C. Smedley, who conceived and developed the idea of helping others to speak more effectively. More clubs were formed, and Toastmasters International was incorporated under California law on December 19, 1932.

Toastmasters International's business and services are administered by its World Headquarters, located in Rancho Santa Margarita, California. It employs no paid promoters or instructors. It has no salaried staff except the Executive Director and World Headquarters staff, who provide services to the clubs and Districts.

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