Q1: How many new member teenagers (students) are added to the program annually?
A: It depends on the available coaching bandwidth. While there is no fixed number, we have typically been able to add new teenagers to the program every year.
The Toastmasters classes run in a workshop format where everyone has a role every week, focusing on various communication skills from one week to another. That limits the number of teenagers we can have in one group (class).
We welcome new teenagers and families. We look forward to the new ideas, new energy, enthusiasm, fresh perspective, and colors that every new teenager brings. It enriches the experience of everyone in the program.
So far, we have taken all interested families in the program (sometimes with a little bit of wait time).
- If you have done toastmasters in the previous years, you will be a returning member. We have your contact info and send invites at the start of every quarter. Please skip Q2-5 and go straight to Q6. Thank you for your continuing interest in toastmasters.
- We had to stop the program last couple of years because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Q2: What is the starting age for toastmasters?
A: The starting age for the Toastmasters youth program is 13 years. We give older teenagers priority. For example, a 14-year-old should get a first chance before a 13-year-old.
Q3: How do you register for Toastmasters?
Q4: What if we don’t make a list this quarter?
A: We keep you on a future list. We handle requests on a first-come-first-serve basis. If you had to wait, your priority at the next opportunity goes up as your request date would be that much earlier.
Again, we have taken all interested families in the program (sometimes with a little bit of wait time). We hope to be able to continue doing so unless the demand gets too overwhelming to handle.
Q5: What if you start toastmasters at an older age?
A: That is fine. We have several examples of teenagers starting at older ages ranging from 14-17 years, and they have done well. One advantage of joining when you are older is more maturity. It makes it easier for you to grasp and implement the ideas.
No need to think or worry that you will miss out on any part of the opportunity if you start at an older age.
Q6: Are we graduating from one class to the next while continuing the program?
A: Right now, all the groups are the same. We spread the age group and experience level evenly between different groups.
Your group probably will change from one quarter to the other, so you get exposure from different peers and coaches.
When we add new teenagers/families to the program doing toastmasters for the first time, we try to keep them together in one group and bring them along for the first three months. After that, they merge with other ongoing groups. We mix the age group with this first-timers group and quarter as well.
Q7: When we get invited to enroll and start the program, what if we have other conflicting activities?
A: That is fine. In that case, let us know, and you will get a chance for a spot in a future quarter when we add new students to the program.
The program does require commitment and regular attendance. So, you are strongly encouraged to look at all you might have to decide whether this is something you can take on as an additional activity. We encourage and appreciate you to look at the schedule before committing to sign up. It will help us help you maximize returns from the precious time you invest in this.
Q8: If you are returning (ongoing and not a first-timer to the program) family in the program, do you have to commit to and join toastmasters every quarter?
A: From our experience, continuity helps. However, we understand you might have a lot going on as well. Therefore, we schedule Toastmasters classes for 8-10 weeks. If you have to skip a quarter and would like to resume from the next, that is fine.
Q9: When we decide to join for a particular quarter, why is it a requirement to commit to the schedule and attend classes regularly for that quarter?
- If you don’t attend classes regularly and participate actively, it dilutes the experience of others. Families invest precious time in this, and we are very sensitive not to compromise their returns from it. It adds to the bandwidth demand of coaches to make it run smoothly.
- It creates a headache for everyone involved in the program (other students, families, coaches).
We assume you looked at all you might have going on with activities and family calendar, looked at the schedule carefully, and planned ahead of time for the published program to work for you.
We understand that things can happen. For example, what if you get sick, have a mishap from a sports activity, or have an unforeseen family emergency that might come up. The overall spirit of the engagement is you are planning to commit and make it to all classes, and you don’t have known, planned conflicting activities.