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Of course you know Toastmasters as the place to build your public speaking skills, but today’s Toastmasters clubs are so much more! With a Toastmasters membership, you can:
- Build your professional network across industries
- Make new friends in your community
- Enrich your week with talks on a variety of subjects
- Gain experience managing teams and projects in a judgement-free environment
- Develop skills to mentor others and deliver necessary feedback in a kind way
- Become more confident overall.
Dozens of Clubs Near You
The club experience is the heart of Toastmasters! In addition to your membership in Toastmasters International, you will be affiliated with a specific Toastmasters chapter that meets locally or online. Toastmasters clubs are either restricted or open in membership.
- Restricted Clubs have some kind of membership requirement in place. This is almost always either a requirement that you work for a particular company (as in the case of corporate clubs, below), or that you have a certain level of experience in Toastmasters (as in the case of advanced clubs). Aside from requiring members to be adults, Toastmasters does not restrict membership based on age, sex, creed, disability, or any other protected category.
- Corporate clubs are sponsored by an entity or workplace for use by their employees. Often, Toastmasters membership is paid for or reimbursed by the company as an employee benefit.
- Advanced clubs are an option for Toastmasters members who want to join a high-level club as a supplement to their regular membership. These clubs often require a member to have a designated “home club” and to have completed a certain number of speeches in the Toastmasters program prior to joining.
- Open Clubs are the most common type. Anyone over the age of 18 can apply to join these clubs.
- Community clubs are just that—Toastmasters clubs that cater to a specific local community. You can meet a wide variety of people in community clubs
- Themed clubs have a theme or emphasis such as sales, humor, or special interest group.
- University clubs are usually open, but centered around the students and/or staff of a particular college or university.
Pathways: The Toastmasters Learning Program
When you join Toastmasters, you gain access to Pathways, Toastmasters’ new educational program. With Pathways, you choose a specialization or focus for your learning. Eleven paths are available, with titles like Visionary Communication, Presentation Mastery, and Engaging Humor. No matter which path you select, you will learn the fundamentals of public speaking, discover your personal style, expand your knowledge and demonstrate your skills with a capstone project. Paths are available in an e-learning format that includes downloadable PDFs of each project as well as numerous resources. The online platform is continuously evolving, with improvements to the program’s content and accessibility arriving every year. When you join, you can specifically request accessible materials be emailed to you in HTML and Word formats. Regardless of format, the content of Pathways is the same. For more information, including answers to common questions, visit toastmasters.org/pathwaysaccessiblematerials.
How to Join
Joining Toastmasters is simple: contact a club near you and ask to visit. If you like the experience, ask to join. The club officers will help you complete an application for membership. Once your application is received and your initial dues are paid, you are ready to start!
You can search for clubs in using this handy Find-a-Club link.
If you’d like help locating and selecting a club, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch with a District Leader.
Bonus: Five Questions to Ask
As you begin to explore clubs in your area, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
- How often would I like to be able to attend?
- All Toastmasters clubs will have at least 12 meetings a year. Most clubs meet weekly or every other week. If you prefer flexibility, try a weekly club. If you like Toastmasters being an event in your month—or if you think you might like membership in multiple clubs—opt for a biweekly or monthly club.
- Is there a particular day and time of the week I’d prefer to meet?
- Clubs all have regular meeting days. There is a Toastmasters club meeting somewhere on any given day of the week. Some clubs alternate days of the week. For example, a club might meet on the second Tuesday and fourth Thursday of each month.
- Noon clubs tend to keep meetings to a lunch hour. Evening clubs can indulge in a longer program that includes more content and speaking opportunities. Morning clubs may have a more relaxed atmosphere.
- Do I prefer online meetings, on-site meetings, or a hybrid?
- This year, we have a greater variety of clubs than ever! Some of our clubs are staying online post-pandemic, some are meeting in the same space, and some are experimenting with hybrid meetings—either alternating online and on-site meetings, or conducting true hybrid meetings using teleconferencing technology. Be sure to ask your potential club what their plan is for next year.
- Is there a particular industry or age group I’d like to work with? For example:
- A noon club in an office park might attract people from corporate environments
- A university club will most likely have a large number of younger people in the club
- What are my initial goals for Toastmasters?
- Are you looking for a club with a gentle atmosphere to help you overcome stage fright?
- Would you like a club that has a strong mentoring program or consistently earns awards?
- Would you like a well-established club that hews to tradition, or a new club with lots of startup energy?
No matter what you are looking for, District 31 (comprised of Rhode Island and Eastern Massachusetts) has the perfect club for you! We can’t wait to meet you!