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. Toastmasters International was founded in 1924 and comprises over 16.000 clubs all over the world. Moscow Free Speakers is just one of them.

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, so attending Toastmasters meetings is a great way to improve one’s English.

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. Toastmasters already has been helpful for more than four million people worldwide!

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

4. When and where are your meetings?

We are headquartered in Moscow, and we meet every other Monday from 19:30 to 21:00 pm in Nekrasov State Library. Currently we are also meeting  in zoom.

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

Our meetings are free, however we kindly ask our visitors for donations of 100 ₽ per meeting to compensate for tea-breaks, ribbons and such.

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, the guest should demonstrate good command of the English language, attend our meetings regularly, and accomplish any task of the following six:

See also: all meeting roles

2. Why should I become a member? What’s in it for me? 

Being a Toastmaster member you can give prepared speeches and take major roles (Toastmaster, Table Topics Master, General Evaluator) not only in you own club, but in any club in the world! You can receive feedback from amazing speakers and grow as a public speaker yourself. And you also get access to the Pathways online educational platform. There you can view extensive educational material on different aspects of public speaking and leadership and save your personal progress in your personal account.

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

Toastmaster membership fee is $45 for half a year. This money paid to the Toastmasters headquarters in the USA goes to support and development of the Pathways program, and also to sustain operations at the headquarters. Plus the Area fee is 300 Rubles for half a year. Also new members have to pay one-time $2o fee.

For more information please contact the Vice-President Membership.

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

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

5. 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.

6. 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 5-7 minute speeches, and after that you will be able to take more advanced projects.

7. 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.

8.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.

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 educational program out of 10 options provided by Toastmasters International. Learn more about educational program here: Pathways

After delivering each project you receive an evaluation.

2. What is a project?

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

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 Vice-President Education 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.