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alt.org.toastmasters Frequently Asked Questions part 3 of 5: Educational Advancement in Toastmasters International 1. What should my main objective be as a new Toastmasters member? Well, there are two "right" answers to this question. The first is that your main objective should be to attend every meeting you can and participate to the fullest, helping yourself and the other members of the club to become better communicators. The other "right" answer is that you should be working toward the CTM award. 2. What does CTM stand for? It stands for "Competent Toastmaster." The CTM is the basic speaking certification offered through Toastmasters. Many members join, earn their CTM, and drop out of the organization. It's the basic "diploma." 3. What do I have to do to earn a CTM? You have to complete the Communication and Leadership (C&L) manual, which in effect means you have go work your way through the ten speech projects contained therein. When you finish your manual, you'll complete the registration information in the back of the manual and send it in to World Headquarters in California. 4. Do I have to give all the speeches at Toastmasters club meetings? No. So long as you are giving the speech to an audience with at least one Toastmasters member in attendance, and so long as a fellow Toastmas- ter completes the manual evaluation for that project, you may count that speech toward a CTM. 5. Do I have to work through the C&L manual in the order the projects are given? No. You can do the projects out of order if you like. It is recommended that you follow the order given since the projects progress upwards in difficulty but if you have a speech idea or opportunity that better suits one of the later projects you may skip over earlier ones and do that one first. 6. When I finish the CTM what happens? When you finish, there's a form in the back of your manual to fill out, sign, and send in to World Headquarters. When your paperwork is received at World Headquarters they enter it into the computer and you are issued a CTM certificate. If you mark it on the registration sheet they will also send a letter to your employer letting them know. Also, when you send in the registration sheet you're asked what three advanced manuals you'd like copies of, so you can start working on the ATM. 7. What's the ATM? ATM means Able Toastmaster. It's the next level of Toastmasters achievement after the CTM. If you like, you can consider the CTM the "core curriculum" and the ATM your actual "major." As there are 12 "specializations" you can work on to get your ATM, this is a fairly accurate generalization. 8. What do I have to do to get an ATM? Well, it's a little more difficult than a CTM, for starters. You have to: 1) have received a CTM, 2) completed three of the Advanced manuals, each of which has five speech projects, 3) have served a complete term as an elected club officer (e.g. President, VP Education, VP Membership, VP Public Relations, Secre- tary, Treasurer, or Sergeant at Arms). A term is one year in clubs that meet twice monthly or monthly and six months in clubs that meet weekly. 4) have given three speeches before non-Toastmasters groups 9. What advanced manuals are available? There are fourteen manuals available, each with five speech projects of various lengths: The Entertaining Speaker Speaking To Inform Public Relations The Discussion Leader Specialty Speeches Speeches By Management The Professional Speaker The Professional Salesperson Technical Presentations Communicating On Television Storytelling Interpretive Reading Special Occasion Speeches Interpersonal Communication You receive three of these for no cost when you complete your CTM. Additional manuals cost $2.25 plus postage and handling. 10. Other than the CTM and ATM, what educational opportunities are there in Toastmasters? Well, there's the DTM, of which more in a moment, but there are also Success/Leadership modules. If you'd like to delve in detail into subjects such as management, the qualities of a leader, effective listening, parliamentary procedure, creative thinking, and so forth, Toastmasters International offers pre-packaged course materials for you or a member of your club to present to a group of participants. These courses are called Success/Leadership modules. The modules come complete with instruction manuals for the participants and for the coordinator, as well as overhead transparencies and so forth to use during the session. The modules cost anywhere from $15 to $45, with proceeds going to pay for development of MORE modules. Modules are currently available on the following subjects: conducting productive meetings, parliamentary procedure, Speechcraft (an eight-week public speaking education program), effective listening, effective evaluation, mental flexibility, the power of ideas, characteristics of effective leaders, developing leadership skills, training, and develop- ing management skills. There is an additional course available called "Youth Leadership" which is similar to Speechcraft except that it's targeted for children and teenagers and it's not formally part of the Success/Leadership program. The modules average just over two hours each. Modules are ordered through the Supply Catalog (available for a dollar from World Headquar- ters), but veteran members own many of them and will share them with newer members. Toastmasters International has recently published a Leadership Manual which contains various leadership projects. If you wish to undertake a personalized development of your leadership skills, you may purchase the Leadership manual and get the assistance of your club in working on its projects. This training in leadership takes you along the same path you travel on the way to a DTM and when you complete the Manual, you receive a certificate attesting to your leadership excellence. 11. What happens after I earn an ATM? The first thing that happens is that you send in the registration and receive your certificate for your achievement. Members who earn ATM's are listed in Hall of Fame section of the Toastmaster magazine, and TI World Headquarters will send a letter to your employer if you wish notifying them of your accomplishment. After earning an ATM, you have two courses of action open to you. One is to continue giving advanced manual speeches, and work towards the ATM Bronze and ATM Silver awards. The other is to seek leadership opportuni- ties and earn the DTM. The paths are NOT mutually exclusive; members are encouraged to continue working down both avenues as they continue their membership in Toastmasters. 12. What is an ATM Bronze and ATM Silver? The ATM Bronze and ATM Silver are further advances along the Able Toastmaster route. The requirements for the ATM Bronze are as follows. You must have: 1) completed an ATM, 2) completed three ADDITIONAL advanced manuals, 3) given five speeches, seminars, or workshops to non-Toastmasters audiences in the previous two years, 4) coordinated two additional Success/Leadership modules. As with the ATM, you must send in the registration to receive credit, and again you are recognized in the Toastmaster, and may have a letter sent to your employer. The requirements for the ATM Silver are as follows. You must have: 1) completed the ATM Bronze, 2) completed three more advanced manuals other than those used for the ATM and ATM Bronze, 3) have conducted a training seminar in a company or in public OR have conducted a Toastmasters training session for Club or District officers within two years of application. 4) have judged two Toastmasters speech contests above the club level. 5) presented a platform-style speech to an audience of not less than 50 people. As with the ATM, you must send in the registration to receive credit, and again you are recognized in the Toastmaster, and may have a letter sent to your employer. 13. Is there an ATM Gold award? No. 14. What is a DTM? DTM stands for "Distinguished Toastmaster." The DTM is the highest level of certification presently awarded by Toastmasters International. The DTM is also the hardest award to earn. In order to qualify for a DTM, you must: 1) be an ATM, 2) have four years continuous membership as of date of application, 3) have coordinated at least one registered Speechcraft program within two years of application, 4) have coordinated at least one registered Youth Leadership program within two years of application, 5) have presented to other than a Toastmasters audience at least five speeches, 6) have served a complete term as an elected club officer, 7) have served a complete term as a District officer (e.g. District Governor, any District Lieutenant Governor, Division Governor, Area Governor, Secretary, Treasurer, or Public Relations Officer), 8) have served as official sponsor or mentor of a new club within four years of application (note, up to four members may so qualify for each new club) OR have served as Club Specialist (appointed by the District Governor) in rebuilding an existing club with 9 members or less to a total of at least 20 members within four years of application. 9) have sponsored five new members within one year of application. These may not be charter members of a new club sponsored or mentored by the applicant. To receive credit your name must appear as the sponsoring member on the new members' membership application forms. 15. What happens after I've earned a DTM and an ATM Silver? You have several options. You may go back at any point after earning a CTM and work your way through the C&L manual again and earn another CTM. Some members earn a new CTM every year. This is one way in which veteran members may remain polished at the fundamentals of public speaking. You may also earn multiple ATM's and DTM's if you fulfill the requirements multiple times. You can work on the Leadership Manual or on presenting Success/Leadership projects. Given that the DTM and ATM Silver take a minimum of four years to complete, and often longer, one will not soon run out of things to work on in Toastmasters. 16. Is there anything else? Well, yes. The very, very best speakers may qualify for the Accredited Speaker program, a TI program to recognize those with professional speaking skills. The requirements to qualify as an Accredited Speaker are as follows. The applicant must: 1) be a current member of a Toastmasters club. 2) have given a minimum of 25 speaking engagements to non-Toastmas- ters audiences within three years of application date. Copies of five letters of acknowledgement or appreciation from any of the 25 engagements must be provided as documentary evidence of successful presentations. 3) pass a rigorous two-stage judging process. Fewer than 25% of the members who apply for the Accredited Speaker program become Accredited Speakers, and very few Toastmasters apply in the first place. This program is only for the best. 17. Have you considered making a "speech bank" of good speeches presented by Toastmasters members available for gopher or FTP? Yes, this has been considered. Some people think it would be an excellent idea, as they feel that there is no better way to learn how to write a good speech than to study others' speeches at length. Others, however, feel that a speech bank would lend itself more to Toastmasters and non-Toastmasters alike using speeches without attribution in speaking assignments or in speech classes, and that's not something we want to encourage. Toastmasters is a learn-by-doing type of environment, not a "copycat, adhere to this form or that form that someone, somewhere called 'good'" environment. Furthermore, a written copy of a speech contains none of the presentation and style the speaker put into its delivery and, as such, cannot be considered a full speech. To appreciate a speech and learn from it, you must see it presented. Hence, as yet, no "speech bank" has been set up. There's a lot to do in Toastmasters! Start today!