Members Tools

Basic Etiquette or How Not To Feel Silly at your First Few Meetings

Before the meeting, read up on the responsibilities of the role you've been assigned and talk to another member if you have questions. Arrive at least 5-10 minutes early to check in with the Toastmaster or General Evaluator, regarding your role in the meeting.

1. When You Have Something To Say:

  • Raise your hand and wait to be recognized by the person in control of the meeting.
  • Always stand while speaking.
  • Begin and conclude your remarks by acknowledging the person in control of the meeting.

2. When You Are Introduced To Take Control At The Lectern:

  • Shake hands with the person who Introduced you.
  • Step in front of the person leaving the lectern.
  • Begin by acknowledging and/or thanking the person who introduced you.

3. When You Introduce Someone To Replace You At The Lectern:

  • LEAD the applause at the conclusion of your introduction of that person.
  • REMAIN at the lectern until your replacement arrives.
  • Shake hands and step back to allow him/her to proceed directly to the lectern.
  • Promptly take your seat.

Helpful Websites for Planning and Researching Speeches

TM International Website

District 5 website

American Rhetoric
The Power of Oratory in the United States. Database of
5000+ full text, audio and video (streaming) versions
of public speeches, sermons, legal proceedings,lectures,
debates, interviews, other recorded media events, and a
declaration or two. Just an unbelievable collection.

This is by far the most comprehensive collection of reference materials useful for composing speeches, identifying topics, and researching.

10 Tips For Successful Public Speaking 

Feeling some nervousness before giving a speech is natural and healthy. It shows you care about doing well. But, too much nervousness can be detrimental. Here's how you can control your nervousness and make effective, memorable presentations: 

1. Know the room. Be familiar with the place in which you will speak. Arrive early, walk around the speaking area and practice using the microphone and any visual aids.

2. Know the audience. Greet some of the audience as they arrive. It's easier to speak to a group of friends than to a group of strangers.

3. Know your material. If you're not familiar with your material or are uncomfortable with it, your nervousness will increase. Practice your speech and revise it if necessary.

4. Relax. Ease tension by doing exercises.

5. Visualize yourself giving your speech. Imagine yourself speaking, your voice loud, clear, and assured. When you visualize yourself as successful, you will be successful. 

6. Realize that people want you to succeed. Audiences want you to be interesting, stimulating, informative, and entertaining. They don't want you to fail. 

7. Don't apologize. If you mention your nervousness or apologize for any problems you think you have with your speech, you may be calling the audience's attention to something they hadn't noticed. Keep silent. 

8. Concentrate on the message -- not the medium. Focus your attention away from your own anxieties, and outwardly toward your message and your audience. Your nervousness will dissipate. 

9. Turn nervousness into positive energy. Harness your nervous energy and transform it into vitality and enthusiasm. 

10. Gain experience. Experience builds confidence, which is the key to effective speaking. A Toastmasters club can provide the experience 
you need.