Speechcraft is an extended workshop on communication and leadership where the participants learn about various aspects of communication and leadership and are supported by a team of presenters and mentors and guided by a coordinator. The Speechcraft program allows experienced Toastmasters to present the fundamentals of public speaking to non-members in an atmosphere of a Toastmasters club meeting. It’s a great way to promote membership in your community or company club, as Speechcraft brings prospective new members to a meeting to see, first-hand, what Toastmasters is all about.
Speechcraft is also the quickest means by which people can jump right into the process of improving their speaking skills. Designed for non-Toastmasters, this series of educational sessions covers a number of topics that play a part in good public speaking, including the following:
- Take the Terror Out of a Talk
- Speech Organization
- Construct a Speech
- How to Relate to Your Audience
- Vocal Variety
- Using Visual Aids
- Effective Speech Evaluation
Speechcraft normally takes six to ten hours over the course of three to ten meetings, depending upon the pace and schedule set by the hosting team of presenters. Over the course of these sessions, participants learn about good public speaking and have the opportunity to practice within the Speechcraft group, mentored by experienced Toastmasters. Friendships and careers can and do blossom from the Speechcraft experience.
There usually is a nominal fee, which covers the cost of materials for the workshop, as well as an initial membership in Toastmasters. This new membership will help you solidify and continue the learning that you have begun in the Speechcraft program. The fee should cover program expenses (materials, refreshments, room rental). Any remaining money must be placed in the club’s treasury. No individuals, educational institutions or other organizations may derive financial gain either directly or indirectly from the presentation of these programs.
A Speechcraft workshop is the most cost-effective and time-effective way to acquire the skills of speaking, listening, thinking, and evaluating - skills vital to almost any profession in today's world.
Why Should a Club Hold a Speechcraft?
Clubs find many benefits in hosting a Speechcraft session:
- Build club membership
- Give new members a helping hand with the different meeting roles
- Reach out to the community
- Give experienced members an opportunity to grow
- Share the Toastmasters experience with others
Also, individual Toastmasters can build their leadership skills and fulfill one of the requirements for Advanced Toastmaster Gold recognition by coordinating a Speechcraft session.
How Does a Club Host a Speechcraft?
The club hosting the Speechcraft session should order a Speechcraft Starter Kit from Toastmasters International. This package contains a Coordinator's Guide, Participant Handbooks and other supporting materials.
Turning Participants into New Members
Usually, Speechcraft participants are prospective new members for your club. They will join your club if they are impressed by the activities and members and can see the benefits they will gain from their experience. Impress participants and help them benefit by conducting the best program possible. Make them feel welcome. Finally, before the last session, ask participants to join the club. You may be able to combine Speechcraft graduation with a new-member induction ceremony!