Meetings

Learn more about Senate Toastmasters!  

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The U.S. Senate Toastmasters club generally holds meetings on the first and third Friday of each month. A full calendar is listed in the right-hand column.

What can you expect when you attend a meeting?

When you come to a meeting of the U.S. Senate Toastmasters Club, expect to have fun, meet friendly people and hear interesting speeches. You will have an opportunity to introduce yourself to club members. But don’t worry, you won’t have to give a speech (unless you choose to do so)!

In general, expect the meeting to start punctually at 12 noon and end at 1 p.m. The program is formal. Only one person holds the floor at a time. The person at the lectern recognizes him or her. The atmosphere is supportive. Members are collegial and help one another grow as speakers and leaders.

Each hour-long meeting of the U.S. Senate Toastmasters Club has three main sections: prepared speeches, impromptu speeches and evaluations. Before the program begins, the emcee of the meeting, called the Toastmaster of the Day, offers opening remarks. He or she then invites the Grammarian to provide a Word of the Day, which speakers strive to use throughout the meeting. The Toastmaster of the Day may ask guests to introduce themselves before the program begins. At other times, he or she might ask for introductions at the end of the program.

The first section of the program is prepared speeches. These presentations are five to seven minutes in length for beginning level speeches and longer for advanced speeches. Club members work on projects from educational manuals provided by Toastmasters International. To learn more about the Toastmasters educational program please visit the Toastmasters International website.

The second section of the program is impromptu speeches, which are called Table Topics by Toastmasters International. A Table Topics Master poses questions for club members and guests (who volunteer) to practice speaking off the cuff. Responses are one to two minutes in length and ideally will be a mini-speech with an opening, body and conclusion. A timer shows time signals to help speakers stay within these time limits.

The third section of the program is evaluations. A two to three minute oral evaluation is given for each prepared speaker. These evaluations aim to encourage the speaker and provide useful suggestions for improvement. In addition to formal evaluations, those attending the meeting are encouraged to provide written feedback on evaluation forms provided at the beginning of the program. Also during the evaluation section of the meeting, the Grammarian reports on the use of the Word of the Day and the general usage of language. The Ah Counter reports on the presence of crutch words such as “um,” “ah,” and “you know.”; The Timer reports on how well speakers stayed within their time limits. Finally the General Evaluator comments on how the meeting was run.

Announcements pertinent to the club members or relevant to our local Toastmaster district occur before the meeting ends. We acknowledge club member achievements and the For Any Reason award (whose meaning is exactly as the name implies) is presented by the person who received it at the previous meeting.

If you’ve never attended a Toastmasters meeting, you’re in for a treat. Visitors always are welcome. You need not be a member to attend. We look forward to meeting you and sharing all that our club has to offer.