What is Speechcraft?

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. – Toastmasters International on Speechcraft

Speechcraft is the quickest means by which non-Toastmasters can jump right into the process of improving their speaking skills and an effective means by which a club can build its membership.

It is structured and run like a condensed Toastmaster meeting with short educationals during the meeting and 15 or so minutes of coaching at the conclusion of each meeting. Speechcraft’s short duration appeals to people with busy lives who want to improve their speaking skills but don’t want to make an on-going commitment.

Speechcrafter students learn public speaking and evaluation skills in a safe, supportive environment and derive  many of the benefits we as Toastmasters are already familiar with but may have taken for granted. The only difference is with Speechcraft there is a specific time period.  What are those benefits?

  • Gain confidence in public speaking
  • Develop  communication and language skills
  • Learn to think quickly and clearly
  • Become an effective listener
  • Evaluate effectively
  • Use body language and visual aids
  • Advance  social skills
  • Improve job or promotion prospects
  • Experience benefits of a TM club without having to initially join

Speechcraft can also help participants improve performance in:

  • Problem-solving
  • Meeting in larger groups
  • Motivating people
  • Selling ideas or products
  • Conducting business meetings
  • Impromptu Speaking
  • Manging Nervousness
  • Introducing a Speaker
  • Preparation & Practice
  • Speech Structure & Organization
  • Beginning & Concluding a Speech
  • Body Language
  • Vocal Variety
  • Knowing an Audience

Friendships and careers can and do blossom from the Speechcraft experience.

If you would like help conducting a Speechcraft workshop by becoming a coordinator, please contact District 52’s Club Growth Director or District Director who will assist you in preparing the Speechcraft program.

Why Would a Club Host 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
  • Speechcraft students who decide to join the club are up to speed and already have 3-4 speeches towards their cc.
  • Speechcraft students invite their family and friends to the graduation ceremony, which takes place at club meeting location – which introduces them to Toastmasters and possibly inspire them to join.
  • Acquire additional funds in their treasury if Speechcraft students choose to not join the club (see “fees” below)

Additionally, individual Toastmasters can accelerate the completion of their communication and leadership designations by fulfilling various roles in a Speechcraft.:

  • One member can earn credit towards AL as Speechcraft coordinator
  • One member can earn credit towards AL by conducting Evaluation Course
  • Additional members can earn credit towards ACB,ACS or ACG by conducting Better Speaker Series modules to Speechcraft students.
  • Members can complete the mentoring requirement in the CL manual by coaching Speechdraft students

Is Speechcraft held within a club our outside?

There are pros and cons to holding a Speechcraft within or outside of the club.

The benfits of holding a Speechcraft within the club during the club’s regular meeting time and place:

  • Participants become familiar with the time and meeting place of the club. They know by the end of the program that they can work it in their schedules.
  • Get to know the current members of the club. If they join,they know they are joining friends.
  • The fee they pay for the course can be applied towards their club membership should they decide to join the club sponsoring the Speechcraft.

Benefits of conducting a Speechcraft outside of the club:

There are many considerations and benefits of holding a Speechcraft outside of the regular club meeting time and place.

  • Doesn’t disrupt regular club  meetings
  • The location where Speechcraft takes place may better suited in terms of location, space, logistics, environment, etc.
  • The fee they pay for the course can be applied towards their club membership should they decide to join the club sponsoring the Speechcraft.

If a Speechcraft is held outside the club, it is highly recommended that the  Graduation  ceremony take place during a regular club  meeting.  This is makes for an exciting meeting for the club. Speechcrafters get to see where the club sponsoring the Speechcraft actually meets. They get a larger audience and practice speaking in a different environment. Speechrafters are invited to join the club after the graduation ceremony.

Organizing the Program

A successful Speechcraft requires the commitment of at least 10-12 Club Members (or Toastmasters from other clubs if appropriate) to assist in conducting the program. Here is a suggestion of how a club might go about hosting a Speechcraft:

  • The Club’s Executive Committee decides to present the program, then discusses it with the membership. The Club decides whether the program will be conducted during regular Club meetings or outside of the Club. Once this is decided, the Club President appoints a Speechcraft Coordinator, who is responsible for planning and managing the program.
  • The club also needs advertisements (eg., flyers and webpage) – a good task for the VPPR.
  • The Secretary or Treasurer needs to order materials from Toastmasters.
  • The VPM helps to prepare information packets for the students – information about Toastmasters, old TM magazines, meeting roles, basic information about the club, etc.
  • The VPE helps by assigning meeting roles to club members for most meetings.
    • One mentor per participant . The mentor also evaluates at least two speeches by the mentee.
    • Other members to fill the roles of Toastmaster of the Day, Table Topics Master, Master Evaluator, Educational Presenter, Leadership Evaluator, Grammarian, Ah Counter, Timer, etc
    • For a GENERAL IDEA of how an Agenda may look, here is a sample agenda
  • The SAA should be prepared to set up the room with lots of extra chairs, greet the students, show them where their packets are, explain about name tents, etc.
  • Someone needs to coordinate refreshments at the sessions
  • Someone needs to plan the graduation

How much to charge for a Speechcraft?

A Speechcraft Program should pay for itself. In fact, a Speechcraft Program can be used as a fund-raising activity for your Club, provided the fees charged are reasonable. Charging a fee also makes participants view the program more seriously and helps to insure continued interest and attendance.

Some Clubs have charged up to $50 (or the cost of a new member joining the club for six months). Clubs in other Districts have charged up to $150.00. Participants are advised at the end of the program that part of those fees can be applied towards their membership.Generally, between $15 and $25 may be sufficient to cover cost of materials, any printing and postage costs, advertising, refreshments (if served) and any room fees.Excess funds must be placed in the Club’s treasury to be used for other educational purposes.

The is available from Toastmasters International for $20.00 plus tax and shipping (as of November, 2012) The kit contains complete materials for starting and promoting a Speechcraft program for five people.

  • 3 Coordinator’s Guides (Item 204)
  • 10 Instructions for the Adviser (Item 208)
  • 5 Speechcraft Workbooks (Item 204H)
  • 15 copies of An Opportunity To Succeed (Item 207)
  • 3 copies of Number One Membership Building Tool (Item 203A)
  • 5 Participant’s Certificates (Item 261)
  • Coordinator’s Certificate (Item 260) Expanding Your Horizons (Item 211)

Turning Prospects 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!

If you would like help conducting a Speechcraft workshop by becoming a coordinator, please contact District 52’s Club Growth Director or the District Director who will assist you in preparing the Speechcraft program.

Page: Speechcraft updated 7/12/16 eg

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