Speechcraft is a short, seminar-style program that teaches basic Toastmasters skills — speaking and evaluating. Clubs that conduct a Speechcraft program at least once each year have few membership problems, according to Toastmasters International. Larry Weatherholt of Lockheed Martin, an active Toastmaster in District 25, joined Toastmasters at the completion of a Speechcraft program.
Speechcraft also benefits the members of your club by giving them new opportunities to exercise their communication and leadership abilities.
What’s in it for the Speechcraft participants? They get a chance to see what Toastmasters is all about, enjoy the camaraderie of a Toastmasters group, and gain confidence and training in their communication and leadership skills. Participants learn how to present prepared speeches, take part in impromptu speaking, and introduce and evaluate other speakers.
You can choose how you want to conduct the program. The Speechcraft may be presented as part of the Toastmasters club meeting which makes it easier for participants to become members at the conclusion of the program. It can also be presented as a seminar-style program presented outside the club, at a different location and time. It can be conducted in four, six or eight sessions.
Clubs may charge a reasonable fee for conducting the Speechcraft program. The fee should cover program expenses (materials, refreshments, room rental). Any remaining money must be placed in the club’s treasury. The club may also consider charging participants six months’ dues. In such a case, in your publicity material, offer participants a free six-month membership in the club upon successful completion of the program.
You can get started by ordering the Speechcraft Starter Kit (Item 205) from the Toastmasters International online store. Next, appoint one or two Speechcraft Coordinators who will be responsible for organizing and conducting the program. The coordinators will be assisted by experienced Toastmasters who will help with speeches, evaluations and support.
For assistance in organizing and conducting the Speechcraft program, contact your Area Governor, Division Governor or the Marketing team.
By Jodie Sanders