The Speechcraft program allows experienced Toastmasters to present the fundamentals of public speaking to non-members in an atmosphere of a Toastmasters club meeting. It’s a great way to promote membership in your community or company club, as Speechcraft brings prospective new members to a meeting to see, first-hand, what Toastmasters is all about.
Speechcraft has several benefits. Participants become a part of your club meetings. They come to know and enjoy the club’s fellowship while gaining confidence and training in their communication skills. Many Toastmasters members indicate they joined their club because they participated in a Speechcraft program. Clubs that conduct a Speechcraft program at least once each year have few membership problems.
Speechcraft also benefits the members of your club. The program gives club members new opportunities to exercise their communication and leadership abilities. It also increases interest and attendance among all members.
How the Program Works
Speechcraft can be presented as an integral part of your club meeting or 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.
Presenting the program inside the club setting has advantages. It provides participants with a sample of the Toastmasters club experience, making it easier for participants to become members at the conclusion of the program. The Speechcraft program need not disturb the usual club programming. Instead, a portion of each of the eight meetings is devoted to Speechcraft. It is suggested an extra 30 minutes be added to the club meeting. Trimming the business portion of the meeting can also yield extra time for Speechcraft.
Conducting the program outside the club setting has advantages too. More participants can be accommodated because more time is available. You can conduct the program for a particular group, civic club or company at the group’s location. Also, a Speechcraft program outside the club often leads to the formation of a new Toastmasters club in that location.
How To Get Started
The Speechcraft Starter Kit (Item 205) is available from World Headquarters and contains materials for up to five participants. Additional materials may be ordered separately.
Number of Participants
If Speechcraft is presented within the club, five to 10 participants are needed. For programs presented outside the club, more participants can easily be accommodated, but the minimum number of participants is five.
Turning Prospects into New Members
Usually, Speechcraft participants are prospective new members for your club. They will join your club if they are impressed by the activities and members and can see the benefits they will gain from their experience. Impress participants and help them benefit by conducting the best program possible. Make them feel welcome. Finally, before the last session, ask participants to join the club. You may be able to combine Speechcraft graduation with a new-member induction ceremony!
Rules for Fees
Clubs may charge a reasonable fee for conducting any Success/Communication and Success/Leadership program for nonmembers. The fee should cover program expenses (materials, refreshments, room rental). Any remaining money must be placed in the club’s treasury. No individuals, educational institutions or other organizations may derive financial gain either directly or indirectly from the presentation of these programs. You are asked to report anyone doing so to World Headquarters.