Toastmasters Speaking Elephants

Improve Your Public Speaking in English

Every Tuesday 18h30
Warsaw – Poland

Toastmasters Speaking Elephants

‘According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. Death is number two.

Does that sound right? This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.’ Jerry Seinfeld (American Comedian)

The Mission of Speaking Elephants Toastmasters Club is to provide a positive and supportive learning environment in which our members become conscious of their power to communicate comfortably and confidently.

We believe public speaking is a skill, not magic or a special in-born feature. A skill you can master in the “Learn by doing” fashion.

Toastmasters International has helped millions of men and women become more confident in front of an audience. Our learn-by-doing program is to help you become a better speaker.

Why pay thousands of dollars for trainings when you can join our club for a fraction of that cost and have fun at the same time. And when doing so, you can have a positive impact on your self-confidence, your career and personal relationships.

We know it is possible. All our members were once terrified novices, feeling the same symptoms as you when facing an audience.

Fear no longer! Speaking Elephants Toastmasters Club is the best place to push yourself outside your comfort zone.

If it is your first meeting with us, do not worry. Your participation is completely voluntary and we want to make the experience as comfortable for you as possible.

Still not sure Toastmasters is right for you?

Stop by one of our regular meetings and witness the benefits first-hand.

Visitors are always welcome.

We hold meetings every Tuesday at 6.30 p.m., Warsaw

Events and Posts

What is Toastmasters?

‘Ours is the only organization
I know
that is dedicated to
the individual’
Dr. Ralph Smedley, the Founder of Toastmasters International

We strongly believe in those words and work together to bring out the best in each of us. Speaking Elephants is a place that provides its members with the opportunity to grow and learn.

We simply get more speaking done before 8:30 than most people do all day. Our club provides an encouraging environment so that those who are not accustomed to speaking can feel at ease. At Speaking Elephants you are among individuals who want to improve their communication skills and, more importantly, want to help you improve your communication skills as well. The structure of each meeting is as follows:

    • a few speeches prepared by club members
    • evaluations
    • impromptu speeches called Table Topics
    • evaluations of selected aspects of public speaking (e.g. body language, time control etc.)

 

What makes our club one of the premier public speaking groups in Poland is the quality and diversity of the topics of the speeches that you will hear. By actively listening, providing reinforcement for the speakers’ strengths and gently offering useful advice, we, as a Toastmasters Club, motivate members to work hard and improve. By giving feedback, we are contributing to our fellow Club members’ improvement. Preparing and presenting evaluations is an opportunity to practice:

  • listening
  • critical thinking
  • delivering feedback
  • motivating.
    The club meetings are also fun and excitement!

Check our Facebook page for the latest news

Check  the link below to learn more about Toastmasters International
https://www.toastmasters.org

Our mission.

‘To provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every member has the opportunity to develop and practice communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster self-confidence and personal growth.’TM International mission statement

This is not just another empty mission statement!

This simple and powerful message has allowed Toastmasters International to become the leading international movement devoted to making effective oral communication a worldwide reality.

From its humble beginning in 1924 (20 members) at the YMCA in Santa Ana, California, Toastmasters International has continually expanded its worldwide network of Clubs, thereby offering ever-greater numbers of people the opportunity to benefit from its programs.

Today, thanks to its almost 270,000 members in over 13,000 clubs in 116 countries, Toastmasters International helps men and women learn the arts of speaking, listening, and thinking, skills so important in private and professional life.

Toastmasters Speaking Elephants Club Rules

Toastmasters Speaking Elephants Club Charter

Toastmasters Speaking Elephants Club Rules

1. The educational program is based on that of Toastmasters International.

2. The club is a non­profit organization.

3. The Speaking Elephants Toastmasters Club (SETMC) is a part of the international non­profit organization Toastmasters International (TI) and is registered as club number 1174825.

4. The club has its own webpage: http://www.speakingelephants.pl, Facebook fan page: www.facebook.pl/toastmasters.speaking.elephants and an Easy Speak web page: http://speakingelephants.tmclub.eu.

5. Club meetings are held in English.

6. The club is an open club, i.e. visitors are welcome to attend the meeting and eventually become members.

7. Meetings are held on a weekly basis in the evening– on a day decided by club members.

8. The club membership fee amount is decided by the club members.

9. Semester fee amounts 240PLN per member and most of it is transferred to Toastmasters International. Since the amount sent to US is in US$, the exchange rate PLN/US$ will affect the PLN amount that needs to be transferred.

10. The remaining amount (after paying TI fees) is for transferred to the club account which is later spent as club decides.

11. The Executive Commitee decides on the annual club budget.

12. All members share responsibility for the effective functioning of the club and each member has an equal vote when it comes to decide on the most important decisions in the club.

1. The Executive Board is created to make club decisions more effectively and includes the following positions:

a. President

b. VPE ­ Vice President of Education

c. VPM ­ Vice President of Membership

d. VPPR ­ Vice President of Public Relations

e. Secretary

f. Treasurer

g. Sergeant of Arms

h. Mentoring Officer

2. Definitions and responsibilities of all Executive Board roles are stated in the Toastmasters constitution, except for the definition and responsibilities of the Mentoring Officer role which are stated in Speaking Elephants Toastmaster Club Rules.

3. If a member from the executive board resigns from role, all remaining members of the Executive Board are equally responsible for finding a replacement.

4. The term for members on the executive board lasts for 1 Toastmasters Semesters, i.e. 6 months.

5. In the area of its competences ­ The Executive Board takes decisions with a simple majority of votes keeping quorum.

6. In the area of decisions that relate to all members ­ Executive Board establishes voting keeping quorum.

7. The immediate past President has an advisory vote and he/she helps maintain club tradition and culture and also conducts elections for the new board.

8. Board meetings take place monthly.

9. All club members may attend Board meetings.

10. If any member of the executive committee is absent (without excuse) from more than 2 consecutive executive board meetings, he or she is considered to be replaced by another member from the club.

1. The Club works as a supportive team. This means other members depend on each other to grow as communicators and as leaders. Leaders, thus all members are expected to actively and regularly participate in meetings and take up roles ­ not only prepared speeches.

2. When signing up for a role members should firmly commit to it. If for any reason he/she cannot attend that meeting, he/she should:

a. find a replacement from among other members, and

b. inform the VPE immediately.

3. By regularly attending meetings, members will generally receive more attention and growth opportunities. To benefit from the it, members must be present.

 

Inactive Membership

1. Being “active” means having attended at least 4 meetings in the last 2 months.

2. An inactive Member does not have the right to perform speeches, unless explicitly requested by the President or Toastmaster of the evening. Inactive Members also may not hold office, do not have the right to vote on club business and do not count towards the quorum of club membership. They may, however, participate in club discussions and serve as evaluators.

3. The status of “Inactive Member” is given by majority vote of the Executive Committee to those paying members whose attendance dropped below the threshold described in rule (1). The VPM reviews attendance records before meetings where a quorum is required, and reports such members to the rest of the Executive Committee to vote on.

4. Following deactivation, the VPM will inform the affected member of their status; the VPE will remove them from all reserved slots in the speech roster, and in the case of Executive Committee members, they will be removed from office.

5. Upon resuming regular attendance and meeting the criteria of rule (1), an Inactive Member may request the Executive Committee to move him or her back into active membership. The Executive Committee then decides by majority vote.

6. Additionally, PRE, VPE, VPM can decide to change the status of inactive member to an active member after they are present on 2 regular meetings. The person who decides to change the status of the inactive member informs the Executive Committee as soon as possible.

1. Being “active” means having attended at least 4 meetings in the last 2 months.

2. An inactive Member does not have the right to perform speeches, unless explicitly requested by the President or Toastmaster of the evening. Inactive Members also may not hold office, do not have the right to vote on club business and do not count towards the quorum of club membership. They may, however, participate in club discussions and serve as evaluators.

3. The status of “Inactive Member” is given by majority vote of the Executive Committee to those paying members whose attendance dropped below the threshold described in rule (1). The VPM reviews attendance records before meetings where a quorum is required, and reports such members to the rest of the Executive Committee to vote on.

4. Following deactivation, the VPM will inform the affected member of their status; the VPE will remove them from all reserved slots in the speech roster, and in the case of Executive Committee members, they will be removed from office.

5. Upon resuming regular attendance and meeting the criteria of rule (1), an Inactive Member may request the Executive Committee to move him or her back into active membership. The Executive Committee then decides by majority vote.

Mentoring

1. The Mentoring Officer takes care of the mentoring process in the club and is responsible for connecting Mentors with Mentees and training Mentors to fulfill their duties correctly.

2. Mentors explain club rules and customs, and help new members prepare for the first Pathways projects.

3. New club members should select a Mentor soon after joining. The VPE or Mentoring Officer will assist in that process.

4. Mentors must have completed at least 5 speeches of the Competent Communicator manual.

5. It is advised that Mentors be connected with Mentees for at least 5 speeches of the Competent Communicator or two levels in Pathways.

6. Mentors and Mentees can change.

1. Education at the Club follows the program prepared by Toastmasters International and is available:

1.1 For members joining from May in Pathways Program; and

1.2 For members who joined before June before Pathways program as well as in traditional program in a set of manuals, divided into two paths:

a. Communication path, starting with Competent Communicator and three Advanced communication stages, and

b. Leadership, starting with Competent Leader, and two Advanced communication stages.
The deadline for submitting projects from traditional program in June 30, 2020.

2. The two educational paths are complimentary. While the Communication program will teach how to transfer ideas to others, the Leadership program will teach how to help others reach their goals. Member gets the most benefits when they pursue both paths simultaneously:

a. every speech that members present to the Club should be connected to one of the Communications projects,

b. every role performed at the Club should be evaluated as one of the Leadership projects.

c. on special occasions PRE and VPE allows exceptions.

1. As a general rule, members may give a speech no more frequently than every other meeting, to allow everyone equal access to speaking opportunities.

2. Members may sign up to be a backup speaker – i.e. give a speech in case one of the planned speakers resigns. In this case, the frequency restriction mentioned above in (1) does not apply and ­ and bypassing rule (1), provided the member:

a. is absolutely sure he/she will attend the meeting,

b. prepares as if he/she had a regular speaking slot, and

c. is ready to make the speech even if informed just minutes before the meeting.

3. Members may be denied a speaking opportunity if they don’t attend meetings regularly or don’t take other roles.

4. Members should choose an evaluator themselves, from any of the eligible members in the club (see Role Eligibility rule 1), and communicate the name to the VPE before the meeting. If a speaker is a new member or do not know whom to choose, he/she asks his Mentor, VPE or Mentoring Officer for advice.

5. If the planned time of speech exceeds 10 minutes, a speaker must informs the VPE at least 2 weeks before the scheduled meeting to allow for proper planning. Failure to do so may result in having the speech removed from the agenda.

1. Some roles during the meeting require more experience than others. Hence, these general eligibility rules apply when signing up for a role:

a. Timer, Grammarian, Ah Counter, Body Language Evaluator ­ no restrictions,

b. Table Topics Master ­ after attending at least 4 meetings,

c. Evaluator ­ after presenting at least 4 Competent Communicator projects,

d. Toastmaster ­ after attending at least 8 meetings,

e. General Evaluator ­ after attending at least 10 meetings and having performed every other role at least once.

2. Exceptions to rule (1) may happen, depending on the situation, and will always be decided on by the VPE or PRE.

3. You can perform one and only one role during a meeting, unless approved otherwise by the VPE or PRE.

1. All video and audio recordings as well as photographs made during meetings may be published online and in other media, for personal use as well as to promote the club. If a member doesn’t wish to have these images published, inform the VPPR.

2. Members must not use the name of the Club or Toastmasters International to promote any events or organizations unrelated to Toastmasters.

3. Member may not promote or conduct any commercial or political activities within the club.

These Rules were presented to and approved by vote of Club members on May 22, 2012. Amended and approved by vote Club Members on February 15, 2016.

Roles

Toastmaster of the meeting

Toastmaster is the emcee of the entire meeting. It is the duty of the Toastmaster to introduce the theme of the meeting, review the agenda, introduce the Grammarian or Quizmaster, Timer, Invocator/Jokemaster, and General Evaluator, and finally to close the meeting on time. He or she sets the tone of the meeting and ensures that it runs smoothly. They think about ways to make a meeting unique. The Toastmaster is to act as the genial host who conducts the day’s program. Simply put, all depends on him or her, without a Toastmaster’s collide preparation the meeting is doomed to fail.

Grammarian

The role of Grammarian has two parts. The Grammarian listens for and keeps track of all the unnecessary words or noises that often find a way into our sentences when we speak. These sounds include: um’s, ah’s, lip smacks, repeated words, or fillers (unnecessary words used to bridge between points) such as: and, so, but, and like. The grammarian chooses a word of the day, which they explain to the club and is displayed throughout the meeting room, and if a member uses the word of the day they receive credit for that. The purpose of the Grammarian is to help us eliminate those unnecessary words or sounds as well as to broaden our vocabulary by introducing us to a new word.

Ah-counter

The role of the Ah Counter is to note words and sounds used as pause fillers by anyone who speaks during the meeting. Words may be inappropriate interjections such as “and,” “well,” “but,” “so,” “you know.” Sounds may be “ah,” “um,” “er.” The ah-counter’s job is also to note when a speaker repeats a word or phrase such as “I, I” or “This means, this means.” The intent is not so much to “catch” speakers using fillers, but more to help make them aware of crutch words that they may be using out of habit and that may take away from the impact of their speech.

Timer

The Timer records the length of each person’s speech and provides a visual sign to the speaker that the allotted time is about to expire. The Timer provides a visual sign by using a timing device with three lights green, yellow, and red. All Toastmaster speeches and reports are carefully planned to fit specific time periods so that we learn the art of time management.

Speaker

During the scheduled speech portion of the meeting, Speakers present prepared speeches from one of the many Communication or Leadership manuals provided by Toastmasters International. The basic manuals provide structure and guidance to improve skills such as organization, vocabulary, vocal variety, and body language, while the more advanced manuals deal with topics such as leadership, persuasive speaking, and becoming an entertaining speaker. Speeches range from five to twenty minutes in length and have specific objectives.

Evaluator

At Toastmasters everyone is evaluated, because through constructive feedback we can all improve as speakers, which is what Toastmasters is all about. Evaluators provide constructive feedback in oral and written form. Evaluations are highly encouraging and provide a positive learning experience for all. Evaluations are done in the first and third person, so as not to single out the speaker and make them feel as though they are being attacked. Evaluators provide feedback of what they liked, what they thought could be improved.

Table Topics Master

The Table Topics Master helps members improve their impromptu speaking skills by asking members to speak for one to two minutes about a surprise topic usually surrounding the theme of the day. The purpose of table topics is to have members “think on their feet” and speak for one to two minutes. It is also meant to give people who do not have a speaking role an opportunity to speak. Guests are not required to participate, but are often given the option to if they feel comfortable doing so.

General Evaluator

The general evaluator is just what the name implies – an evaluator of anything and everything that takes place throughout the meeting. This includes leadership, mood, quality, timing and evaluation of all participants other than the speakers. In addition, the general evaluator is responsible for the evaluation team, and for running the evaluation portion of the meeting. The General Evaluator comments on the overall meeting and may make suggestions on how to improve the meeting for the next time.

FAQ

FAQ



‘There are two types of speakers. Those who get nervous and those who are liars.’ Mark Twain

Q: What is this Toastmasters all about?

A: It’s an international non-profit organization dedicated to helping people with their speaking, leadership, and communication skills. Toastmasters can help you lose your fear of public speaking and improve skills you need to advance in your career. You can get started by attending our meeting this very Tuesday.

Q: Who are the members of the club?

A: Our Toastmasters come virtually from all walks of life. Among us you can find: bankers, local politicians, sales people, students, teachers, IT specialists, HR officers and entrepreneurs. This variety of life and professional experience gives our club its „unique character”. We always learn something new form each other.

Q: What if I am not from the ‘business world’, will I fit in?

A: Of course, you will. Whether you are a professional, student, stay-at-home parent or retiree, Toastmasters is the most efficient, pleasant and inexpensive way of gaining outstanding communication skills.

Q: What does a typical meeting look like?

A: Some of you want to know what a typical Toastmasters meeting looks like. Here’s a sample of what you can expect during our meetings. A typical meeting can be divided into two parts. Speech part: These are manual speeches (up to three), given by our members who prepare them based on TM manuals. First basic manual is “Competent Communicator” – ten projects, each completed in a form of a speech that focuses on a skill concerning public speaking, starting with “The Ice Breaker” (whose goal is to face an audience and say something about yourself), followed by “Organize Your Speech”, “Research Your Topic”, projects about body language, vocal variety, using the visual aids, etc. The speeches are prepared by the speakers prior to the meeting.

The next to follow is the Table Topic Session, where an appointed Table Topic Master prepares several questions or tasks to be performed on the spot or answered off the top of your head, all related to the meeting’s theme. This is where we learn to think on your feet.

And after a short break comes the Evaluations part, where all the speakers receive feedback – the speakers are evaluated on their performance, fluency, language correctness and time-keeping. Our meetings are usually crowned with a short trip to a nearby restaurant where we get to know each other better and establish many long-lasting friendships.

Q: When is the next meeting?

A: We hold our meetings every Tuesday at 18.45 and they usually take two hours. In case of bank holidays or some other unexpected events we place such information on our webpage (www.speakingelephants.pl) and facebook profile http://www.facebook.com/toastmasters.speaking.elephants .

Q: What happens when I first walk in to the meeting?

A: We welcome you and give you a short induction on what, when and how. Any questions you have about the meeting will be answered. You’ll have a chance to meet and talk with several of the members. By the end of the meeting, most visitors tell us how much fun they have had. Later our Vice President Membership, Marinela Dimitrova, will contact you to follow up on your experience.

Q: Will I have to speak when I come?

A: We will ask you to introduce yourself and encourage you to speak more soon to begin your progress, however everyone may proceed at their own pace – you maye decide just to listen to the others. Our main goal is to put you at ease, because we’ve all been where you are now. Once you become more involved your comfort level will increase.

Q: Can I speak Polish?

A: Our club is English-speaking, and at least a working knowledge of the language is required. For those who prefer the Polish language, please visit our fellow Toastmasters from two Polish-speaking clubs in Warsaw at: http://topcareerstoastmasters.waw.pl/ and http://toastmastersleaders.pl/ .

Q: I think my English is not good enough.

A: Most our club members are non-native speakers of English who speak English on different levels. We are all far from being ‘perfect’ when it comes to speaking the language of Shakespeare, but through constant practice and feedback we strive to get better. We learn by trial and error, fighting with our most common errors.

Q: I already feel like coming, should I register first?

A: No such need. Just come by and we will make you feel at home. However, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us on a Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/toastmasters.speaking.elephants

Q: What is the cost?

A: You can take part in our meetings free of charge as long as you wish as a quest. The more, the merrier! However, to become a full member of the club you have to pay a membership fee. The fees are: 90 PLN one time registration fee + 240PLN six month membership fee.

Q: Do I have to pay straight-away?

A: No, not at all. We advise our quests to come and feel the vibe of our meetings first, to have a try at our table topics session (short impromptu speeches) and see how it works for them. Once they feel this is the place they have been looking for, they can register to try the whole experience, and fully benefit from the Toastmasters Educational Program. Once a member, you can give prepared speeches, take on one of the many meeting or leadership roles.

Q: How do I pay?

A: Contact our Treasurer in Executive Committee Members section.

Q: Where do we meet

A: Sometimes we move, for details look at at information about our venue

Christine Walters

What We Do ?

Support Each Other

Train Our Speeches

Communicate

Facebook

Find out more about our recent events on our facebook page.

Toastmasters Speaking Elephants

CONTACT

We meet every Tuesday at 18.30 at 

Multimedia Library for Children and Youth no. XXXI Biblioteka Publiczna im. Zygmunta Łazarskiego w Dzielnicy Mokotów m.st. Warszawy.
Multimedialna Biblioteka dla Dzieci i Młodzieży nr XXXI Tyniecka 40a, 02-621 Warszawa

You also can send us a Mail

If you’d like to practice your public speaking skills in Speaking Elephants club then join us any time as a guestNo sign-up necessary, just come and enjoy :)

Toastmasters Speaking Elephants
Improve Your Public Speaking in English
https://www.facebook.com/toastmasters.speaking.elephants

Check  the link below to learn more about Toastmasters International
https://www.toastmasters.org