‘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