Woking Speakers is proud to have helped our members develop their public speaking and leadership skills using the Toastmasters program.
In addition, some of our members have also gone on to win awards and commendations from Toastmasters International.
- Samantha Babister - Distingushed Toastmaster
- Bob Nisbet - Distingushed Toastmaster
Although Woking Speakers is the best Toastmasters club in the world (well, in Woking at least!), we encourage our members to visit other clubs in the local area to help develop their speaking and evaluation skills.
Some of the best clubs in the south east of England are listed below:
Area 14 - Our friends in the local area.
Other Clubs - Our friends around the UK
Arun Speakers (Chichester)
Riverside Communicators (Twickenham)
How do I join?
How many times can I come along as a guest before I join?
Come along to “test the water” as many times as you like. There is no pressure.
How much does it cost?
Guests are free. Joining details can be found here.
As a guest, will I have to speak at a meeting?
If you visit one of our meetings as a guest, you don't have to speak unless you want to.
There is an opportunity for us all to speak in the meeting during a 15 second warm up. If you’d rather not then a “pass” is acceptable.
You would also be most welcome to join in with the impromptu speaking section of our meetings, but this is entirely up to you.
At the end of the meeting, the President may ask what you thought. Feel free to let the president or another of the club members know how you found the meeting as we love receiving feedback.
When can I start to perform speeches?
As soon as you join, you can be scheduled to perform a speech. Generally, you will be scheduled for the next meeting planned – usually 4 meetings hence. If you’d rather wait a while, this can also be accommodated if you contact our Vice President Education.
What if I need some help with my first speech?
At Woking Speakers, we run a mentoring scheme where we match up new members with existing, more experienced members. This gives you someone to help you to prepare your speeches and an ally for asking all those early questions. To arrange a mentor, contact our Vice President Education.
What if I need more information?
The club website www.wokingspeakers.org.uk is pretty comprehensive but, if you do require more information, please contact anyone in the committee.
Being a good club member
- Come along to every meeting you can – you will learn public speaking by osmosis and also learn a lot about many things and make new friends.
- Respond to calls to check the Rack as fast as you can to keep all the roles filled.
- If you have said you will do something do it.
- If you are in the audience, concentrate on the speaker – the greatest gift we can give is our attention.
- We try to make badges for new members very fast. Please wear yours each week to help everyone learn each others names. Be sure to turn your badge in at the end of the evening so it will be available for the next meeting.
- Take the time to greet any guests – be friendly and if possible, take them under your wing through the evening.
- Use the speeches to practice your evaluations – write down what you would say and compare it with what the real evaluator says.
- Take the time to read “The Toastmaster” as it has lots of secret tips and tricks particularly with reference to evaluation.
- Read and understand what being a Toastmaster is all about. The Toastmasters Promise can be found on our new membership forms
Do come along to social events such as at the Sovereigns (every week after the meetings) to build on the relationships we have made within the club.
Be a good audience member
We are all learning and improving and we all need to practise. Because of this, we all need an audience. Remember to attend even when you don’t have a role and give back to the people who are there to be an audience for your presentations. When anyone is performing, try to give them your full attention.
How to progress at warp speed
Generally, we expect it to take between 1 and 2 years to achieve Competent Communicator. If, however, you would like to speed up the process, there’s always a way. Here are our best suggestions.
Always say Yes! Some of our most experienced speakers have got that way quickly by determining to always say yes to any opportunity they are offered at the club. There is always support from other members who have done the role or speech before and always saying yes leads to you being seen as reliable and getting even more opportunities.
Standby Speaking Occasionally people have to drop out of speeches and roles at short notice. When this happens, we need someone to drop in at short notice. Our VPE runs a standby list for just this reason. If you would like to join this list, prepare your next speech and contact your VPE. You will then be contacted when opportunities become available.
Enter contests Woking Speakers runs 5 competitions each year. By volunteering for each, you will gain extra speaking opportunities and learn and practise leadership skills too.
Speak at other clubs As a member of Woking Speakers, we can offer to find you speaking opportunities at other clubs in our area. Contact your VPE for more information.
How to become a better evaluator
Practise watching every speech as if you are about to be asked to evaluate it. Make notes of the strengths each speaker demonstrates in their speech. Highlight what you would recommend they work on for next time. Think about what you would suggest they do to improve. Always be specific.