About the Program  


Think of all the benefits you are gaining from your involvement in Toastmasters. Now imagine paying forward those benefits to middle and high school students, under the age of 18 years.  The Youth Leadership program can help young people successfully grow to meet the challenges of adulthood by building their self-esteem and self-confidence as they develop their communication and leadership skills so they may become tomorrow's leaders in business, industry and the community. The materials are based on the program sponsored and conducted by Toastmasters International and members of our local clubs.  


Purpose of the Program  


Every young person has the potential to become a good communicator and leader, but this potential needs to be developed. The program's unique eight-session, workshop-style design enables participants to develop this potential through practical experience, the example of others and guidance from the program’s facilitators.  The program is not in competition with school programs or courses, or other established youth projects. Instead, it's a supplement to these programs, providing emphasis on specialized speaking and leadership skills, and individual needs.  


Program Objectives


Overcome nervousness when speaking before an audience.  Organize and present ideas logically and convincingly.  Listen carefully to others' ideas.  Offer recommendations/suggestions to help others improve their speaking and leadership skills.  Participate in - and even lead - group discussion or meetings.  Time-management skills.  Participants increase their self-confidence as they learn. They also have fun. Toastmasters is an enjoyable learning experience!  


The Participants  


Each Youth Leadership program group is limited to 15 to 20 people. That way, each person receives individual attention and has the opportunity to get practical experience. Participants for the program are selected by the sponsoring Toastmasters club or by a cooperating organization (such as their school). The program is not an award to honor those who already have become leaders. It’s designed for the much larger group who are still working on communication skills. Participants are selected for what they can become, not for what they already have done. Often teenagers want the course as a supplement to their high school education, or to prepare for college.  


The Sponsors  


A local Toastmasters club in good standing, serves as sponsor and provides the experienced leaders needed to present the program. These adults are patient and understanding; they remember their own struggles with youthful issues and work well with youths as a result.  The adult with overall responsibility for the program is the coordinator. The coordinator selects a team, comprising of active members who are members of clubs in good standing. He or she works closely with any cooperating organization and with the team of facilitators, conduct most of the training and guidance to participants. The coordinator has an assistant coordinator and one-two more team facilitators who conducts discussions and may need to lead the session, if and when the coordinator is unable to attend.  


How it Works  


The program is presented in eight sessions after school, evenings or on weekends. Each session usually lasts one to two hours. Activities taking place in the sessions include the following:  

  • Evaluation of present speaking ability
  • Discussion of chairmanship principles
  • Presentation of speeches
  • Impromptu talks
  • Group evaluation
  • Discussion of speech organization
  • Discussion and practice in listening
  • Discussion of gestures in speaking
  • Discussion of voice and vocabulary
  • Exercise in chairmanship

There is no cost to participants for tuition or materials. The materials used in the program are produced by Toastmasters International and are provided by the sponsoring Toastmasters club, and/or district, who orders materials from Toastmasters World Headquarters for a minimal fee.  Generally, meetings follow a format similar to that of a Toastmasters club meeting. There is an announced agenda and participants learn and practice parliamentary procedure during each meeting. Lecturing is minimal, but discussion is held during each session. Select participants preside over the meetings. The remaining class members are assigned other duties on a rotating basis, so everyone is actively involved. Participants also deliver short impromptu and four prepared speeches. In every meeting, participants learn to apply the principles of listening, thinking and speaking. E-mail membership@toastmasters.org to learn more about the Youth Leadership program.  Clubs conduct the program on a voluntary basis. Find a nearby club that may want to conduct a program for your organization.  If you need to order materials, contact the Member Services Department at 949-858-8255 or visit the online store.  For more information about possible programs within District 36, please write to YLP@district36.org. 


Benefits for a Toastmaster Club member 


Credit towards your DTM  

Develop your skills as a leader and trainer  

Opportunity to shape tomorrow’s leaders    


Differences between Speechcraft and Youth Leadership  


Speeches will generally be short 3-5 minutes.  


Activities should be geared to challenge and entertain teens, etc., theory sessions, table topics of interest to teens, table topics that engage and entertain.


Youths may need to be coached through the evaluation role. Use your team members to demonstrate what is an effective evaluation versus what is ineffective. Youth particpants will need the support of the team to become comfortable delivering and receiving feedback.  


Student Testimonials  


Not Available at this Time  


Past Coordinators and Team Facilitators’ Testimonials  


Not Available at this Time