An educational programme lies at the heart of every Toastmasters club, governed by the headquarters of Toastmasters International. It provides members with a proven curriculum that develops communication and leadership skills one step at a time, with many opportunities for awards and recognition along the way. It is highly recommended that you participate in communication and leadership tracks at the same time, as they develop valuable communication and leadership skills.
Progress along both tracks is achieved by working through a series of manuals, each of which offers a set of carefully crafted projects. New members receive the Competent Communication (CC) and Competent Leadership (CL) manuals.
Each project includes an evaluation guide, which gives club members an easy way to provide immediate feedback as the project is completed.
Each new member is assigned a mentor who can offer knowledge, expertise and insights to help cultivate your talent and prepare for new challenges in public speaking. Advice and feedback is given in tandem with progression through the Competent Communication manual.
After completion of the CC manual, the Competent Communication Bronze, Silver and Gold offer a more advanced series of projects and awards. The three awards consist of two advanced manuals containing five speeches each. The advanced manuals are as follows:
- The Entertaining Speaker: Projects address preparing and delivering an entertaining speech and incorporating humor into different aspects of speaking.
- Speaking to Inform: This manual contains information about organizing an informational speech and much more!
- Public Relations: Covers preparing a speech that will sway your audience to whatever it is you’re promoting.
- Facilitating Discussion: Group discussions are common, and this manual provides instruction in facilitating the most common types of discussions.
- Speciality Speeches: This manual contains information about giving the most common speeches in everyday life, including impromptu talks, preparing inspirational speeches, selling a product, reading out loud and introducing a speaker.
- Speeches by Management: This manual offers instruction in giving speeches as a member of management.
- The Professional Speaker: This manual offers guidance in preparing various types of speeches in a professional atmosphere.
- Technical Presentations: Learn how to prepare technical briefings, design and present a proposal, talk about a technical subject to a nontechnical audience, present a technical paper and enhance a technical talk with the internet.
- Persuasive Speaking: Projects cover selling a product, making “cold calls,” preparing a winning proposal, convincing an audience to at least consider your side of a controversial issue or subject, and persuading listeners to help bring a vision and mission to reality.
- Communicating on Video: Learn how to present an editorial, appear as a guest on an interview program, be the host of an interview program, conduct a press conference and use video to train.
- Storytelling: This manual offers instruction in telling folk tales, personal stories, stories with morals, emotional stories and stories about historical events or people.
- Interpretive Reading: Projects include reading stories, poetry, monodramas, plays and famous speeches.
- Interpersonal Communication: Topics in this manual include conversing with ease, negotiating, handling criticism, coaching someone to improve performance and expressing dissatisfaction effectively.
- Special Occasion Speeches: This manual provides instruction in giving toasts, speaking in praise/giving a eulogy, “toasting” someone and presenting and accepting awards.
- Humorously Speaking: Learn how to incorporate humour into every aspect of your speech.