What is Toastmasters?
Toastmasters Int’l was founded in 1924 to help its members cultivate their communication, public speaking, and leadership skills by enabling members to give prepared speeches, spontaneous talks, and constructive feedback. There are now approximately 13,000 clubs worldwide.
When did the Blue Ridge Toastmasters Club get started?
This club was founded in 1991 and has met continuously since then.
How much does it cost?
Members pay $54/six months, which amounts to about $2 per meeting. New members pay a one-time materials fee of $20. The fees can be this low because our host, Lenoir-Rhyne University, graciously donates our meeting space and the club is run by committed volunteers.
How is this club different?
Every Toastmasters club has its own personality, created by the members and their interests. While some clubs are formal in nature, Blue Ridge strives to maintain a light and friendly atmosphere. At the same time, we are a high-performing club, having reached the highest level of Toastmasters Int’l recognition for four straight years.
When does the club meet?
Meetings start promptly at 12:15 pm each Monday afternoon at Lenoir Rhyne University Graduate Center (room # 315), located in the Asheville Chamber of Commerce, 36 Montford Avenue in Asheville, NC. Attendees are encouraged to arrive around noon so that everyone can get situated before the meeting.
What is a meeting like?
To get the most of our limited time during our midday meeting, the meeting is highly structured and follows a printed agenda. Despite this, we cultivate a relaxed, engaging atmosphere.
You’ll also hear a lot of applause throughout the meeting as it is customary to applaud after each presentation. This may seem odd at first, but we find it helps keep meetings positive, fun, and engaging.
A typical meeting includes two-three prepared speeches delivered by club members. Speeches are then evaluated by other members in the same meeting. Those who are not speaking or evaluating have the opportunity to speak off the cuff on a variety of subjects. We give each member the chance to speak in some capacity at each meeting. All of the roles in the meeting rotate among the members.
May I attend as a guest?
Guests are welcome to drop in and may visit as often as they like. In fact, we encourage anyone considering Toastmasters to visit several clubs. There are a number of clubs in the Asheville area, each with a different personality and meeting time. Click here to find area clubs. If you are interested in joining one, there will be one with the style and the meeting time that best suits you.
What is expected of guests?
Guests are invited to introduce themselves at the beginning of the meeting. During the table topics portion of the program, guests may be invited to participate if time allows. Guests may also choose to fill in the comment slips that we use to provide written feedback to the speakers and vote as directed. At the conclusion of the meeting, guests will be invited to share their feedback about the meeting.
Do I need to be an experienced speaker to join your club?
No. Our members have a wide range of speaking skill and experience, but all join to improve their skills as well as enjoy the camaraderie. Whether you are a polished speaker or a novice, you will find the practice and feedback in Toastmasters will help you improve.
How do I join the club?
Toastmasters is one of the great educational bargains available to you. To join the club, simply complete a member form and pay a modest fee, $54 per six months, prorated according to the biannual renewal date. A one-time materials charge of $20 is also assessed to pay for the Competent Communication and Competent Leadership manuals that will be sent to you as well as a monthly Toastmasters magazine.
The VP of Membership is in charge, but any member can point you in the right direction.
Membership has its privileges. After you join, you’ll be put on the role rotation, given access to club resources, and invited to pick a mentor who can help you get started. You’ll be encouraged to jump in soon with your ice breaker speech, a short talk about yourself that helps introduce you to the club. And you’ll be expected to attend regularly, which is in everyone’s interest to maintain a vibrant, cohesive club.
Have a question we didn’t answer? Send us a note and we’ll do our best to respond.