Berkhamsted Speakers Club members learn by speaking to groups and working with others in a supportive environment. We have around 30 members - men and women with various backgrounds - who meet twice a month for 2 hours. Each meeting gives everyone an opportunity to practice:
Presenting prepared speeches
Four or five members present speeches based on projects from the Communication and Leadership manual or advanced manuals. Initial projects cover such topics as speech organisation, vocal variety, language, gestures, and persuasion, and build to help you deliver a truly persuasive speech.
Giving impromptu speeches
Members present 1-2 minute impromptu speeches on ‘surprise’ topics. We call this bit ‘Table Topics’.
Offering constructive feedback
An evaluator is assigned to every prepared speaker, to point out speech strengths and offer suggestions for improvement. Every member is encouraged to give brief written feedback on each prepared speech and this feedback, from perhaps on average 15-20 members with varying experience and levels of skill, is particularly appreciated by speakers. The whole process exists to encourage and support each of us develop our speaking skills.
Berkhamsted Speakers can help you to:
- give more informative and more effective presentations
- build confidence in public speaking
- hone your persuasive speech skills
- communicate more effectively with colleagues
- learn to more effectively develop and present ideas
- develop your coaching and leadership skills
- fully develop your career potential
The Educational System
We are part of Toastmasters which is an international, not-for-profit organisation that provides a framework and network for members to develop communications and leadership skills in a supportive and social environment. It was founded in 1924 in California and today, in 92 countries, has around 226,000 members participating in 11,500 clubs. In the UK and Ireland, there are 200 clubs and over 5000 members. The educational programme is the heart of any Toastmasters club. It is the means through which you develop your communication and leadership skills and achieve your goal of becoming a better communicator.
The Toastmasters educational programme is divided into two tracks - a communication track and a leadership track. You may participate in both tracks at the same time if you wish. Every new member gets a set of materials to guide them through the programme. Included in the material are manuals to get you started in both tracks: Competent Communication, Competent Leadership, Your Speaking Voice, Effective Speech Evaluation, and Gestures: Your Body Speaks.
|Joining Fee: £30||
When you join you get two manuals, the Competent Communicator and the Competent Leader manuals.
After you have completed 10 speeches, you can progress to the advanced manuals.
|Annual Fee: £100||
The fee is paid once a year, preferably by standing order, otherwise alternative methods can be arranged.Once a member, you will receive monthly editions of the Toastmaster Magazine.
"I've never met anyone who didn't think Toastmasters was super valuable to their career. We gain self-esteem, self-confidence, and assertiveness. This makes us better salespeople, better managers, better leaders…"
- Harvey Mackay
"Toastmasters has helped me most in front of groups of people at job interviews and meetings. A year ago I was faced with several job interviews that turned out to be 'surprise' group interviews. 30 applicants sat in the room together and had to answer questions about ourselves. One question was; 'If you could hire anyone at this table besides yourself, who would you hire?' Nearly everyone at each of these groups was so nervous, they could hardly speak. I, on the other hand, was offered the job in every situation over all the others. After the interview, other applicants came up to me and expressed to me how much my confidence and use of language had improved."
- C. Jordan
"The greatest part is the incredible friendships that are made."
- K. Clark