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