You doubtless have an interest in public speaking, communication and leadership skills. Who doesn’t? Hull Speakers is part of Toastmasters International – the largest not for profit personal development programme in the world. You could do a course. Some are excellent. But, if you did it 12 months ago then you may be rusty. Toastmasters is not a course. It is an on-going programme of applying skills on a regular basis to ensure you are ready to apply these skills.
Below, we talk about formal public speaking (Pathways) and informal (Table Topics) and we encourage people to visit, for free, as our guests for as long as they need to see if Hull Speakers is for them. Finally, we talk about Ten Promises members are asked to try to follow which enable clubs to function – the clubs are managed by unpaid members on a voluntary basis. So, the promises encourage everyone to do a little.
Pathways – Formal Speaking
Toastmasters works differently. Sure, it provides all the course materials that members need. We call it “Pathways.” choose a speech type, for example, Motivational, Coaching, Management, Persuasion….and follow a number of modules. Each one develops a particular speaking skill that you need for your chosen Pathway. Click this Toastmasters link for more information on Pathways.
Then, you will give a talk or speech to an audience of other members. You will
be constructively evaluated – and the audience will give you feedback. That way you know how you come across before you are ever placed in a professional speaking situation. Over several speeches, you will find that things that inhibit your effectiveness as a speaker are addressed; and you are made aware of things that are your core strengths.
Table Topics – Impromptu Speaking
Great, when you get asked to give a formal talk at work – you’ve got it covered with Pathways. You’ll know how to engage and delight your audience.
Hey, what about when you just get asked to talk with no preparation? We cover that too. We call informal talking “Table Topics.” You get a random subject and are asked to talk on it for two minutes.
Some people take to it immediately. You may surprise yourself. If not, then, over several sessions, learning some techniques and watching others you’ll learn how to relax, calmly gather your thoughts, structure them and decide what you can talk about based on what you do know.
We always welcome guests. We prefer people, before they even consider joining, to visit us for a few sessions. We meet twice a month and the details of meeting dates, where to find us and where to park are here. Just turn up – but if you email us to let us know you are coming we will look out for you. There’s no pressure. You can just watch – but most people who attend just to watch surprise themselves when they take to the floor. Meetings are very positive.
The Pathways programme is only available to members because it is tailored to the individual and set up by our HQ. However, Table Topics is not part of a set programme and guests gain a lot from joining in.
We suggest you come to a few sessions as our guests before considering joining. You want to be sure that it is right for you. One you join, Toastmasters asks new members to commit to ten promises. Sure, things come up in life and you may not be able to do this all of the time. But they help the club function and allows everyone to get the best out of it.
As a member of Toastmasters International and my club, I promise:
1. To attend club meetings regularly
2. To prepare all of my projects to the best of my ability basing them on the Toastmasters education program
3. To prepare for and fulfill meeting assignments
4. To provide fellow members with helpful, constructive evaluations
5. To help the club maintain the positive, friendly environment necessary for all members to learn and grow
6. To serve my club as an officer when called upon to do so
7. To treat my fellow club members and our guests with respect and courtesy
8. To bring guests to club meetings so they can see the benefits Toastmasters membership offers
9. To adhere to the guidelines and rules for all Toastmasters educational and recognition programs
10. To act within Toastmasters’ core values of integrity, respect, service and excellence during the conduct of all Toastmasters activities