Speechcraft is a program designed to teach public speaking skills to members and non-members of Toastmasters. It is a 6 - 8 sessions program, conducted over multiple weeks. Speechcraft program also provides a platform for experienced Toastmasters to practice their speaking skills in front of a new audience.
Also read: How to organize Youth Leadership Program?
The members who organize and facilitate Speechcraft program have a huge responsibility on their shoulders. They are the brand ambassadors of Toastmasters International. Whatever they do as part of the Speechcraft program can positively or negatively influence the Toastmasters International brand.
The following are some suggestions (based on my experience!), to improve the effectiveness of the Speechcraft program:
- Do not conduct the Speechcraft program without the original manuals or with photocopied manuals.
- Do not conduct Speechcraft programs with inexperienced / untrained Toastmasters.
- Ideally, the trainers should've completed at least Advance Communicator - Silver (as the manual expects you to conduct two presentations from The Better Speaker Series and/or The Successful Club Series for getting the credit)
- The trainers should've experience conducting workshops - for ex., they should've conducted some trainings in Officers Training Program or Area/Division events.
- The trainers should strictly adhere to the format / contents specified in the Speechcraft coordinator's guide. I recommend the Speechcraft organisers to be trained by experienced Toastmasters from the Division or the District.
- You can change the order in which the different topics are covered, to suit the audience's needs. However, you cannot introduce topics beyond the scope of the Speechcraft program (for ex., topics like "Interviewing skills" or "Time Management", even if the participants request for it)
- Speechcraft coordinators guide clearly explains what should be the structure for each and every meeting. Adhere to the structure / format recommended in the Speechcraft manual.
- There is a lot of differences between a regular Toastmasters meeting and a Speechcraft meeting. For ex., roles like Grammarian, Ah Counter, Sergeant at Arms, Presiding Officer etc., are not relevant for a Speech Craft program.
There is a famous quote that goes like this “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read". Speechcraft program provides a great opportunity for Toastmasters and non-Toastmasters to connect with new people and learn from each other.