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about toastmasters

Toastmasters International gives you the opportunity to develop your communication and leadership skills within a supportive environment of like-minded people. More-experienced speakers and leaders are role models demonstrating the fundamentals of verbal communication.

Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. The nonprofit organization with over 364,000 members in 16,400 clubs in 145 countries offers a proven – and enjoyable! – way to practice and hone communication and leadership skills.

There is no instructor; instead, each speech and meeting is critiqued by a member in a positive manner, focusing on what was done right and what could be improved. As a member, you practice and improve your skills by following the assignments in the Pathways educational program.You get to practice your skills in a wide variety of roles: as a meeting participant, as a speaker, as a club officer and as a leader at some of the different levels necessary for an international organization.

Through practice within the "laboratory of communication" clubs provide, you'll gain confidence in your abilities in delivering prepared presentations, speaking "on your feet," using visual aids and body language, effective listening, and passing what you learn on to others. The educational material has been rigorously and professionally prepared, used by hundreds of thousands of men and women over the past decades, and improved based on their feedback.

 

Typical Club Meeting

The purpose of Toastmasters is to help members overcome apprehensions about speaking in public and to improve communication skills.

This is accomplished by providing a self-paced, focused speaking program with a supportive, experienced group of people to assist you. This mutual support will help you become more effective in several skills, including formal public presentations, individual communications, impromptu speaking situations, managing and participating in meetings, and leading and managing people.

The chief mechanism in developing these skills is through the typical club meeting, which is designed to provide an opportunity to practice various techniques in a variety of situations. A normal Toastmasters meeting will, therefore, contain a number of individual sections within the meeting, as described below.

Table Topics
During this portion of the meeting, club members (and sometimes guests) practice impromptu speaking by responding to topic questions prepared by the Table Topics Master.

Prepared Speeches
In this section, assigned members practice their public speaking skills by giving a prepared presentation from one of the Pathways learning experience projects. Each project has a specific objective in an area that helps members practice different speaking and leadership skills. The objectives are designed as guidelines to help you think about the various qualities that comprise a good speech or leader. Some members may be just starting out, while others may be more advanced. Remember, though, all Toastmasters began just as you did and, as you learn from each project, you will be able to reach and exceed what you see in your first meetings.

Evaluations
During this portion, members practice their listening and evaluation skills. Assigned members will give evaluations of the prepared speeches and of the meeting as a whole. These evaluations provide feedback on how the evaluators saw the presenters and will point out the positive aspects of the speech and some possible areas for improvement. Good evaluations are the hallmark of good Toastmasters.

Roles in a Meeting
Other members fill a number of roles in order to help the meeting flow smoothly and improve the quality of the meeting.

  • The Toastmaster prepares and leads the meeting as "host."
  • The Table Topics Master leads the impromptu speaking portion.
  • The General Evaluator conducts the evaluation portion.
  • The Timer supports everyone by reminding them of their use of time.
  • The Ah Counter notes any word or sound used as a crutch, so speakers can become aware and correct them.

 

Business Meeting

During this portion, the club's business is handled. At the same time, the club practices effective meeting management skills, so that business can be handled quickly and efficiently.

 

Finding and Visiting a Club

Visit a Club
Visiting a club is the best way to learn more about Toastmasters. While the information contained in this web site can give you a good idea of what to expect, the best way to learn what Toastmasters can provide to you is to visit one of our clubs' meetings. Contact a club using the telephone number or email provided. If the club has its own web site, you may get additional contact information there.

Visit More Than One Club
We encourage you to visit more than one club as each club has its own individual personality. Even with these different personalities, however, each club adheres to the core principles of Toastmasters: namely, to improve its members' speaking skills in a supportive environment.

You Are Always Welcome
You are always welcome at our meetings. You may take part if you wish, or just watch and listen. As a guest you will be introduced so that the members of the club know who you are, and we encourage you to join us. The decision to take that first step toward becoming a better speaker, however, is entirely up to you.

 
Club Listing by City               Club Locator Map

 

Starting a Club

Toastmasters groups are formed every day in a variety of settings. Groups meet onsite at corporations, churches, community centers – even in restaurants. Forming a Toastmasters group is simple. All of the materials are provided for you and a team of local Toastmasters will guide you through the process.

Local leaders in Toastmasters will guide you through the process and if you have at least thirty people interested in forming a club, District 4 Toastmasters will come to your organization and do a demonstration meeting.

Your Organization Needs Toastmasters
Your company’s success depends in large part on how well your employees communicate – with each other as well as with customers. Good communicators tend to be good leaders, and chances are your company needs employees with leadership potential. This is where a Toastmasters group can help.

 

Organization Structure

 Toastmasters International is an international nonprofit educational organization dedicated to making effective oral communication a worldwide reality. With its headquarters in southern California, the Toastmasters International organization is governed by a Board of Directors representing various clubs and regions around the globe. District 4 Toastmasters is a part of this organization, as summarized by the hierarchy listed below:

Toastmasters International Organization StructureMembers the participants - and benefactors - of the entire organization. There are currently over 352,000 members worldwide with over 3,000 residing in District 4.

Clubs the core unit of the Toastmasters organization typically made up of 20 to 30 members. There are 16,400 clubs worldwide with over 130 in District 4.

  The mission of a Toastmasters club is to provide a supportive and positive learning experience in which members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth.

Areas a group of 4 to 6 clubs supported by an area director and area council made up of club officers. There are 28 areas in District 4.

  The mission of the area is to provide district contact, support and services to the club so that the club may in turn fulfill its responsibilities to its members.

Divisions a group of 4 to 6 areas supported by a division director and division council made up of area directors. District 4 is made up of 6 geographical divisions.

  The mission of the division is to serve the clubs assigned to it by providing district support and resources through the area directors.

Districts a geographic area established by the Board of Directors of Toastmasters International. There are 105 districts worldwide. District 4's geographic area includes San Francisco Peninsula from San Francisco south to Los Altos.

  The mission of the district is to build new clubs and support all clubs in achieving excellence.

Regions a geographic grouping of districts. There are 14 regions worldwide with an elected international director and an appointed region advisor marketing in each supporting their districts. District 4 is in Region 2, which includes Hawaii, southern Nevada, and California from San Francisco south to Riverside County.

Every group within this structure exists solely to improve the activities offered by the Toastmasters program, and each of the larger groups is dedicated to helping the more local groups and individual clubs realize the Toastmaster vision of effective oral communication.

diamond director nodate

The Diamond Director Award was created to encourage clubs to explore using video as a medium to promote the club. Video consumption on the internet has grown rapidly and Toastmasters clubs can use video to give visitors to their club website a peek into the personality of the club. The purpose of the Diamond Director award is to build a 30 - 60 second infomercial for the club. Please do not submit a recording of a club meeting for this contest. Instead get creative, tell a story through the video and give your viewer a call to action.

Eligibility
The contest for the Diamond Director award is open to all VPs of Public Relations (and their committee members) in District 4 Toastmasters. The video submitted must be an original entry for the current contest. More than one video may be entered in the contest by a club.

To enter the contest, please send an e-mail message to the Public Relations Manager pr@d4tm.org stating their intention to enter. Please provide a link to the video.

Judging Criteria
Entries will be judged on the site's content and design, with the emphasis clearly on the quality of the content presented by the site, as follows:

  • Story Line (30%)
    • Clear and enticing story line to the video
  • Information (25%)
    • The basic outline of a Toastmasters meeting is shown
    • Effective communication of the Toastmasters educational program
  • Call To Action (15%)
    • Clear next steps for the viewer to take
    • Closing the sale by asking for viewer action
  • Coolness Factor (20%)
    • The video comes together well and the viewer wants to share it with others
  • Technical Excellence (10%)
    • How well shot is the video?

Entry Deadline
To be eligible, entries must be sent to the Public Relations Manager pr@d4tm.org by April 30.

District Director 

Kitzzy Aviles, DTM
dd@d4tm.org

Read Bio

Kitzzy Avilés

Program Quality Director   

Kalidas Cheroolil, DTM
quality@d4tm.org

Read Bio

Kalidas Cheroolil

Club Growth Director

Timothy Carlisle, DTM
growth@d4tm.org

Read Bio

Timothy Carlisle

Public Relations Manager

Stephen Chin, DTM
pr@d4tm.org

Stephen Chin

Division A Director 

Catrina Meyers, ALB
send email

Division A Area
Directors & Clubs

Catrina Meyers

Division B Director

Mike Fidel, DTM
send email

Division B Area
Directors & Clubs

Mike Fidel

Division C Director

Elliotte Mao, DTM
send email

Division C Area
Governor & Clubs

Elliotte Mao

Division D Director

Joe Bresler
send email

Division D Area
Directors & Clubs

Joe Bresler

Division E Director

Anny He, ACS, ALB, LD2
send email

Division E Area
Directors & Clubs

Anny He


 Support

Immediate Past
District Director

Stefanie Chow, DTM
send email

Stefanie Chow

Administration Manager

Shantha Mohan, ACB
admin@d4tm.org

Shantha Mohan

Finance Manager

Natasha Baker-Streit
finance@d4tm.org

Natasha Baker Streit

Parliamentarian

Katherine Pratt, DTM
parli@d4tm.org

Katherine Pratt  

Logistics Manager

Tony DeLeon, DTM
send email

Tony DeLeon

District Webmaster

Ken Cawley, DTM
webmaster@d4tm.org

Ken Cawley

 

 

District Director 

Kitzzy Aviles, DTM
dd@d4tm.org

Read Bio

Kitzzy Avilés  

Division A Director 

Catrina Meyers, ALB
send email

Division A Area
Directors & Clubs

Catrina Meyers

Program Quality Director   

Kalidas Cheroolil, DTM
quality@d4tm.org

Read Bio

Kalidas Cheroolil  

Division B Director

Mike Fidel, DTM
send email

Division B Area
Directors & Clubs

Mike Fidel

Club Growth Director

Timothy Carlisle, DTM
growth@d4tm.org

Read Bio

Timothy Carlisle  

Division C Director

Elliotte Mao, DTM
send email

Division C Area
Governor & Clubs

Elliotte Mao

Public Relations Manager

Stephen Chin, DTM
pr@d4tm.org

Stephen Chin  

Division D Director

Joe Bresler
send email

Division D Area
Directors & Clubs

Joe Bresler

Immediate Past
District Director

Stefanie Chow, DTM
send email

Stefanie Chow  

Division E Director

Anny He, ACS, ALB, LD2
send email

Division E Area
Directors & Clubs

Anny He

Administration Manager

Shantha Mohan, ACB
admin@d4tm.org

Shantha Mohan  

Logistics Manager

Tony DeLeon, DTM
send email

Tony DeLeon

Finance Manager

Natasha Baker-Streit
finance@d4tm.org

Natasha Baker Streit  

District Webmaster

Ken Cawley, DTM
webmaster@d4tm.org

Ken Cawley

Parliamentarian

Katherine Pratt, DTM
parli@d4tm.org

Katherine Pratt      

district4mapDistrict 4 Toastmasters is the organization that represents Toastmasters clubs in part of the San Francisco Bay area. District 4, also called The Golden Gate District, stretches from the Golden Gate Bridge, down the San Francisco Peninsula to Palo Alto and Los Altos Hills.

Finding and Visiting a Club
If you are interested in learning more about Toastmasters, refer to our list of clubs or interactive club locator map to find a District 4 club which meets in a location and time convenient to your office, home or commute.

District Leadership Team
The district leadership team is made up of the district executive committee and support volunteers. The district executive committee which ensures that the district and its leaders are working toward the achievement of the district mission includes the district director, the progarm quality director, the club growth director, the public relations manager, the district secretary, the district treasurer, the area and division directors, and the immediate past district director.

Areas and Divisions
District 4 is divided into five Divisions, with four to six Areas in each Division to support local Clubs. Each of the Divisions covers its own geographical area. The locations are shown on our Club Locator Map which is color coded by Division.

District Awards
Every year, District 4 sponsors several awards recognizing both clubs and individuals for their outstanding performances during the year in the areas of member education, leadership, and the overall promotion of the Toastmasters program.

History
The first club in Northern California was formed in 1934 when Redwood City Toastmasters Club #27 was formed. That club soon sponsored a second club, Lee Emerson Bassett Toastmasters Club #33. Clubs Forty Niner Toastmasters Club #49 and Downtown Toastmasters Club #56 followed quickly. In the fall of 1937, these four clubs petitioned Toastmasters International to become a District. The petition was approved and District 4 became the fourth district in Toastmasters International and at that time included all of California north of the Tehachapi Mountains.



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