What Can You Expect When You Join Northrise Toastmasters?
A Painless Introduction
At your first meeting you will be 'inducted'. This is a painless process, and you won't have to utter a word. You will simply be asked to stand up, shake hands with the President or Vice President Education, and you'll be welcomed into the club. At that time you will also be given a New Member Kit containing your first speech Manual and some very useful educational material.
It's (another) Game Of Two Halves
At Northrise our meetings are in two halves:
The first half has welcomes, any notices, and Table Topics. Table Topics are brief impromptu speeches on random topics. The aim is for a bit of light-hearted fun, Table Topics are a lot less scary than they seem at first sight, they're great at helping you think on your feet, and both our website and our workshops give you some tips and techniques to stop you impersonating a goldfish.
After about half a dozen Table Topics, the Table Topic Evaluator gives a brief evaluation on how these micro-speeches went, and we then break for 5 minutes for more tea, coffee, toast, muesli etc.
The second half of the meeting is a bit more formal, and generally has three speeches of around 7 minutes each of which is evaluated to provide the speakers and audience with feed back. Sometimes we'll have a workshop on some aspect of speaking instead of one of the speeches.
We Foster By Roster
Speakers, evaluators and other meeting roles are rostered by the Vice President Education, and after the first one or two meetings, you will start being rostered. The roles for which you'll be rostered should follow this approximate sequence:
Timekeeper (in charge of the stopwatch and the coloured lights).
Grammarian (comes up with a Word Of The Day).
Hospitality (fills in the sheet of members and guests, and welcomes the guests).
1st speech (it's a short easy one, just talk about yourself).
Table Topics Master (you get to choose the speakers and set the Topics!).
2nd and 3rd speeches.
Table Topics Evaluator.
The curve is quite gentle, you won't be sprung on to do anything without any warning, and you will have plenty of opportunities to see others perform each role before you. Also you'll find there is always someone around to help you and explain what's what, plus our website http://www.northrise-toastmasters.org has a section where the main roles are described.
You'll probably get to do each role more than once, so don't assume for instance that you'll be called on to do your first proper speech in meeting no. 4, it doesn't work out as exactly as that. Oh, and the rosters are planned a few meetings out so you also get plenty of notice.
Now that you've joined Northrise, fees are only payable twice a year at Semi Annual time, March and September. When you joined up you paid a once-only lifetime joining fee and a membership fee that took you from the month of joining to the next Semi Annual.
From time to time you will receive a Directory of Members and fortnightly a Meeting Roster and at least one notice of each meeting. These are all sent out by email. If you have problems with email or internet access, let the Club President know so that alternatives can be arranged.
Northrise is one of the very few clubs that offers its members video feedback. Each prepared speech is taped and a copy tape sent to the speaker the following week. The original is not retained by the club. Seeing yourself on tape provides a very useful tool for self evaluation. However, should you for any reason not want a tape made of your speeches, just advise the President or cameraman.
Video feedback is a powerful learning technique which will accelarate your speaking growth.
If you can't get to a meeting, please let the meeting Chairman know,
or tell the Vice President Education.
Remember, if you miss a meeting, that will mean you will go for a whole month between fixes and that can be a long time for a Northrise junkie. You can lose learning momentum in a four week gap.
So that's it! Easy! Nothing to it! But as with so many things, participation is the key - the more you put in, the more you'll get out.