Toastmasters Speechcraft: Hone Your Speaking Skills

January 13, 2023

3 min read

Toastmasters Speechcraft - Hone Your Speaking Skills

Do you have a job interview coming up? A presentation at work? A toast at a wedding?

Whether or not you have an impending speaking engagement, you can benefit from improving your communication skills. That’s exactly what Toastmasters Speechcraft is designed to do—and you don’t have to belong to Toastmasters to take advantage of it.

Continue reading to learn how Speechcraft works—and how it can work for you.

What Is Toastmasters Speechcraft?

Speechcraft is Toastmasters’s education program for non-members. It’s a condensed version the Toastmasters experience that members enjoy through their clubs, learning programs, and contests.

Toastmasters Speechcraft trains people in public speaking basics. These skills can help them prepare and practice for an upcoming speaking opportunity or simply enhance their life and career.

The Speechcraft coordinator buys the program for $50 and invests their time, so they might charge a fee to attend.

How Does Toastmasters Speechcraft Work?

An experienced Toastmasters member serves as the Speechcraft coordinator. They recruit up to five people (called “Speechcrafters”) and train them with materials provided by Toastmasters. They provide this training in four, six, or eight sessions—with each session lasting one to two hours. Speechcraft might or might not be part of a club meeting.

Toastmasters Speechcraft comprises two parts:

  • Directed learning—This happens in person and in a group setting. It’s presented by someone (often a Toastmasters member) with extensive public speaking experience.
  • Individual learning—This is interactive digital content delivered through Base Camp, Toastmasters’s online education platform.

Speechcraft Projects

Each Speechcrafter completes several projects:

  • Choose a Topic—This helps the Speechcrafter find the sweet spot between what they want to say and what their audience needs and expects to hear.
  • Prepare to Present—During this project, the Speechcrafter writes and practices a speech. Yoodli, a partner of Toastmasters, provides a free tool to practice a speech. You receive immediate, judgment-free, AI-powered feedback on your word choices, filler words, body language, and more. Here’s a screenshot from the app (you can sign up at http://www.yoodli.ai):
The Yoodli AI speech app can supplement Toastmasters Speechcraft.
  • Giving and Receiving Feedback—Toastmasters is big on evaluation and feedback because these elements are essential to learning and growth. With this project, the Speechcrafter learns about receiving and giving feedback.
  • Know Your Purpose—To be a truly successful communicator, you must identify and effectively share a purposeful message. This project helps Speechcrafters develop that skill.
  • Body Language—It’s one thing to be aware of your body language, and this project helps you not only be aware but become skilled in your understanding and use of body language and its role in speech delivery.
  • How to Evaluate—The Speechcrafter evaluates a speech using Toastmasters materials and then shares feedback based on their evaluation.
  • Vocal Variety—You already know that a monotone delivery isn’t awesome, but there’s more to learn about vocal variety. Through this project, the Speechcrafter learns how to use their voice and presence more effectively.
  • Powerful Words—A speech involves body language, voice, and—of course—words. The Speechcrafter learns to choose the right words and put them in the right order to help their audience understand, believe, and act.

Recognition

Speechcrafters earn badges by delivering speeches, and they receive a certificate upon completion of the program. If they join Toastmasters, the badges for delivered speeches count as credit in Pathways, the Toastmaters education program.

Toastmasters Speechcraft coordinators can earn credit toward a Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) award.

Toastmasters Speechcraft for You and Your Team

It should be easy to see how Toastmasters Speechcraft can benefit you as an individual. It’s also worth considering how teams can take advantage of this valuable training together. It’s likely that you serve on a team or lead a team that could improve their communication skills. Each Speechcraft bundle serves up to five people, but multiple bundles can be combined into one event. So, Toastmasters can accommodate your team of eight, 10, or 19.

Find a Toastmasters club near you to see if they’re offering a Speechcraft event. If they don’t have one on the calendar, ask them to put one together for you or your team!