FAQ

General Questions:

1. What is Moscow Free Speakers? What is Toastmasters?

Our club is part of a non-profit public speaking organization Toastmasters International headquartered in the USA. The mission of Toastmasters is to help people improve their communication and leadership skills, learn to speak in front of an audience and listen to others.

2. Do you offer opportunities for studying English?

Toastmasters clubs are not English language courses. However, we use English as a means of communication at our meetings, and so, being a member, you can enhance your speaking capabilities.

3. Why become a member of Toastmasters?

Toastmasters meetings are not a set of sporadic topics; we are considered as an educational system with detailed strategy that step-by-step will help you to organize your thoughts, present them clearly, listen critically and lead others. Moreover, Toastmasters already has been helpful for more than four million people worldwide!

By joining a Toastmasters club, you start participating in programs that will multiply your communication and leadership skills, which in its turn foster self-confidence and personal growth.

4. When and where are your meetings?

We are headquartered in Moscow, and we meet every first, third and fifth Thursdays from 19:00 to 21:00 pm in the Gorniy Institute.

5. Do I need to pay money to visit the club?

Our entrance fee to compensate for tea-break and rental expenses is 100 ₽ per person per meeting. That is all you have to pay when you are a guest.

6. How can I find out about next meeting schedule?

You can find the next meeting’s schedule in the agenda section.

7.Who is attending the club? How many people attend meetings?

Our members range in age from 18 to 80s (yes, you read that right – eighties), in speaking ability from intermediate to advanced, and in profession. On average, we have 30-35 people attending our meetings each time.

8. What should I prepare for the first visit?

You shouldn’t prepare anything in advance. You will only be asked to introduce yourself to the audience at the beginning of the meeting, i.e. tell us your name, occupation, and how you learnt about our club.

Membership Questions:

1. How can I become a club member?

Starting from the first visit, a person receives the status of a guest. In order to become a club member, he is to deliver the first project from the basic manual called the Ice Breaker.

To be allowed to present the Ice Breaker speech, the guest should demonstrate good command of the English language, attend our meetings regularly, and accomplish any two tasks of the following six:

See also: all meeting roles

Upon meeting the above-written requirements, the guest who wishes to become a member of the club should request the club officers to consider his candidacy for joining the club. The Executive Committee thoroughly studies the request and informs the guest of its decision.

It is not forbidden for the guest to appeal to the Executive Committee more than once.

2. How much does it cost to be a member?

Toastmaster membership fee is $33.75 for half a year. This money paid to the Toastmasters headquarters in the USA go partly for a subscription toThe Toastmaster monthly magazine, which all members receive by mail, and partly to support operations at the headquarters. Plus the Area fee is 300 Rubles for half a year.

Every new member is charged additional $20.00 paid once to cover the cost of a membership kit, containing educational materials, which he receives by mail.

For more information please contact the Vice-president membership.

3. How old should I be to become a member?

In order to become a member, you should be at least 18 years old.

4. I don’t speak English fluently. I just want to improve my language skills. Can I become a member?

Guests with intermediate or advanced level of English are welcome to the club as long as their language abilities allow them to express themselves and understand other speakers. And in order to become a member you have to be interested in improving your communication and leadership skills.

5. I’m a fluent English speaker but I’m shy and afraid of practicing public speaking. Can I join you?

Yes, you can. The club has a well thought-out system. Being a member, you will work on your self-improvement step by step. First, you will be able to deliver small 1-2 minute projects just to overcome your shyness, then you will have an opportunity to make simple 4-6 minute speeches, and after that you will be able to take more advanced projects.

6. What will be expected of me when I become a member?

If you become a member, you will be expected to attend our meetings on a regular basis and participate actively. Also, every member should pay semi-annual membership dues on time.

7.Under what circumstances can I be excluded from the list of members?

Exclusion from the club takes place when a member doesn’t attend the club within six months, doesn’t pay membership fees, or violates Toastmasters rules and gets PENALTIES. The excluded member, though, can at any time request the Executive Committee to reinstate his membership status.

8. I want to stop paying membership fees. Can I be reinstated as a member in the future?

Yes, you can. And if you want to receive educational materials again, you will have to pay additional $20.00.

Educational Questions:

1. Is there any systematic approach in your club that can help me develop my public speaking skills?

Yes, there is. Upon becoming a member of the club, every person chooses between two practical guides:

with tasks in the order of increased complexity. Each task (project) from the manual is devoted to mastering a certain skill, e.g. vocal variety, body language etc.
After delivering each project you receive an evaluation.

2. What is a project?

A project is a home-prepared speech on a subject of your own choice, delivered using certain speaking principles – objectives that are specific to each project. They are listed in the manual.

3. What is an evaluation?

Each project receives an oral and written evaluation by another member, using evaluation criteria specific to this project. The evaluator comments on the strong points of the speech and recommends points for improvement.

4. How often can I make projects?

You can make projects at your own pace. Schedule your speeches yourself. You should feel comfortable preparing and practicing your speech.

 

5. How can I sign up for a project/task?

You can simply ask the President to sign you up for a project or chosen task for the next meeting.

6. I have signed up for a project/task. Is there anyone who can help me or answer my questions regarding this project/task?

Yes, there is. The Vice President Education will answer all your questions. You can also come up to any member of the executive committee and ask for help. If you have signed up for a task and you are new to the club, an experienced club member shall be appointed to be your mentor and help you through your first speeches.

Emergency!

I am scheduled to deliver a speech at the next meeting but I can’t attend the club, what shall I do?

Inform about it one of the members of our executive committee as soon as possible. Or you may send a letter to moscowfreespeakers@gmail.com

Other Questions:

I have a question, which I couldn’t find in this FAQ, what do I do?

Help us improve! Please send your question to moscowfreespeakers@gmail.com and we will answer your question and also add it to the next edition of this FAQ.