Youth Leadership Program and Gavel Clubs
Think of the successful leaders you know. They probably have one trait in common…
the ability to communicate effectively.
Kids need the Youth Leadership program so they can grow to meet the challenges of adulthood and leadership successfully. Sponsored and conducted by Toastmasters International and its local clubs, Youth Leadership helps young people build their communication and leadership skills so they may become tomorrow’s leaders in business, industry and the community.
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 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. Participants learn to:
- Overcome nervousness when speaking before an audience.
- Organize and present ideas logically and convincingly.
- Listen carefully to others’ ideas.
- Offer advice to help others improve their speaking and leadership skills.
- Participate in – and even lead – group discussion or meetings.
Participants increase their self-confidence as they learn. They also make new friends and have fun. Toastmasters is an enjoyable learning experience!
Each Youth Leadership program group is limited to 15 to 20 people, with a maximum of 25. 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.
A local Toastmasters club 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 kids as a result.
The adult with overall responsibility for the program is the coordinator. He or she works closely with any cooperating organization and attends each meeting, conducting most of the training and counseling participants. The coordinator has an assistant who conducts discussions and substitutes for the coordinator, should he or she be unable to attend a meeting.
How it Works
The program is presented in eight sessions during or after school, 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 usually 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, which orders them from Toastmasters World Headquarters for a small 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. Participants, working from a handbook, select officers who 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 prepared speeches. In every meeting, participants learn to apply the principles of listening, thinking and speaking.
For information on participating in a Youth leadership Program in your area Please contact Terry Pettijohn, District 56 Youth Leadership director: 409-599-1376 email@example.com.
A Gavel club are formed if the members are under 18, there are less than 20 members or if the members are unable to pay for a regular Toastmaster club. Teen Gavel Clubs in the Houston area can be formed from participants of the Youth Leadership Program or it can be formed independently. A Gavel club will elect officers, plan the agendas and conduct the meetings. The Gavel meeting follows a similar format to the Toastmasters club meeting and similarly they can run special events or contests. The members will take on the various roles and responsibilities: Toastmaster, Table Topics Master, Speaker, General Evaluator, Evaluator, Time Keeper, Vote Counter, and Grammarian. The members prepare for their leadership roles and speaking opportunities with the Toastmaster manuals Competent Communicator and Competent Leader. This is a fantastic opportunity for teens to practice their speaking and leadership skills in a safe atmosphere without fear of a grade. Watching each other at the podium emboldens each member to try new roles. They have so much fun planning the agendas and asking the questions. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Frequently Asked Questions – Gavel Clubs
Can Gavaliers earn the advanced awards: ACB, ACS, etc?
Yes. Gavel Club members can earn the CC, ACB, ACS, ACG, CL, ALB. The awards above these require a member to hold a district office and this cannot happen until they become a member of a full Toastmasters club.
I see that there are a variety of ribbons available for purchase but only by a Toastmasters member. Can a Gavelier purchase these ribbons and award to other Gavaliers?
No. Since Gavel Clubs are limited clubs they only have access to purchase a selected and limited amount of supplies.
I see that Gavaliers cannot compete in the speech contests. Are there other contests open for Gavaliers?
This is correct, the only competition that a Gavel Club member could compete in would be something that is only inside the club. They would not be able to complete outside of this level. If there was another Gavel Club that they were aware of in their area they could have a competition between these clubs, but again it would never go any further above that.
If we invite someone from a Toastmasters club to give one of the Better Speaker series presentations, can they use the speech to fulfill one of their personal requirements for advanced awards?
Yes. A member of a full Toastmasters Club can get credit for completing a speech at a Gavel Club, just as long as another Toastmasters Member is there to conduct an evaluation.
Do we need to submit a membership application and list as is done in Toastmasters clubs?
No. All that we require is the Gavel Club Kit to be filled out in full and the $50.00 USD certification fee to be paid and also the yearly dues for the club depending on when the club will be starting in the year, this is because the dues are prorated.
Generation of Tomorrow
Vic Coppinger YMCA
2100 YMCA Drive
Pearland, TX 77581
Check Facebook’s Coppinger YMCA Toastmasters for videos and posts
Diamond Communicators Club
Pearland High School’s Searcy Building
3775 S. Main St.
Pearland, TX 77581