Most Toastmasters meetings are 1 hour and 40 minutes long, and consists of three basic parts:
Four club members present speeches based on projects from the Competent Communication or Advanced Communication manuals. Most speeches are 5-7 minutes long.
A fellow member orally evaluates each prepared speech in a helpful, constructive manner based on the objectives for that project, and all members write notes for the speaker.
In this segment, members who are not presenting speeches or evaluations have an opportunity to think quickly and speak for 1-2 minutes on a wide variety of topics.
New members to CCTM are immediately paired with an experienced mentor, who will work with the new member on the first three speeches and often beyond. Advanced speakers also link up with individuals in the club who can help them acquire particular skills. Nearly every member of the club is a mentor, a mentee – or both.
More than a million people have utilized Toastmasters International’s highly successful speaking program worldwide. Since 1958, CCTM has continued to hone its practices to allow each member to work at his or her own pace, and to provide maximum support as each member grows in ability and confidence. Leadership training offers additional value.
Every prepared speech is orally evaluated in a way that leaves the speaker motivated and ready to try the next speech. In addition, speakers get written notes of affirmation. CCTM prides itself on its club culture of fine evaluations and regularly wins contests for “best evaluator.” Generally, members who speak one week will be evaluators the next week.
Fifteen minutes of each meeting is devoted to a round of “Table Topics” — short, extemporaneous talks on a topic chosen by a group leader. This lively session gives members an opportunity to think on their feet and be prepared for almost any question, and gives everyone in attendance a chance to practice their skills.