About Transformers Toastmasters

Transformers Toastmasters is Club No. 4500, Area H4 in the Southern African District 74 of Toastmasters International.

We are a group of like-minded, self-driven and friendly(!) individuals all striving to help ourselves and others become better speakers and leaders.

Although all Toastmasters clubs belong to the same movement, meeting procedures and programmes are somewhat individualised. What follows here is the way we, at Transformers, run our affairs.

However, for the various Competent Ccommunicator or speech levels, and their evaluation, all Toastmasters clubs take their guide from the experienced Toastmasters International World Headquarters, and the specifications and standards set are thus identical worldwide.

Transformers Toastmasters was originally called Eskom Toastmasters when they assisted with sponsorship. We are now open to all members of the community. "Transformers" keeps the link to our electrical parent but also addresses the self-improvement goals of the organisation.

Most of the procedures are conducted in English, although you can speak in another language if enough people in the audience understand it. Educational material, supplied by Toastmasters International, is always in English.

This section introduces our club and covers protocol and the meeting programmes.
Please refer to How to Join and the Prepared Speeches and Speech Contests for further details.

Transformers Toastmasters Meetings

Meeting Protocol

Dress at Transformers' normal meetings is smart casual. If you wear a jacket, protocol usually requires that you wear your jacket until the toasts have been proposed early in the evening's programme.

Toastmasters applaud any person walking to the lectern and applaud once again when the speaker has finished speaking and returns to his/her seat. When called upon to speak, a speaker should, where appropriate, wear the jacket and ensure that it is buttoned.

Smoking is discouraged during Transformers meetings but the programme includes breaks when you can light up outside the meeting room.

Also see that at all times, you have a drink to ensure a "charged" glass when toasts are proposed. Contrary to opinion, any beverage may be drunk when toasting - not just water or wine!

Toastmasters are sticklers for time. We always try to ensure that times specified on the programme are adhered to, in order to ensure that we finish the meeting before 21h45.

Any comments you wish to make throughout the course of the meeting must be addressed through whoever is chairing the meeting at the time.


The programme we use at Transformers closely follows the international format, with some variations. The following features are normally present:

Opening - The Sergeant-at-Arms calls the meeting to order and introduces the President, who declares the meeting open. This may be followed by the invocation in which one of the members offers a few inspirational words.

Introduction of Guests - The Vice President Membership asks the members to introduce their guests. This they do by giving a short introduction and then asking the guests to rise and be recognised. The members applaud each guest.

Programme Changes - The Vice President Education confirms the programme and mentions any last minute changes, which may have occurred.

Toasts - There are usually two to three toasts during the evening. The first is to South Africa - the Loyal Toast. There is no applause after this toast. Then follows the Toast to Toastmasters International and Toast of the Evening by one of the members. These toasts are normally applauded.

Prepared Speaking Session - This is normally the highlight of our programme. Members participating have been given time to prepare speeches for evaluation by experienced members of the club. After the members have delivered their speeches, the Evaluation panel meets during the dinner recess in the bar. Guests are welcome to observe this discussion.

Table Topics - This session consists of impromptu or unprepared speeches of up to two minutes by five or six of the members. The Table Topics Master gives subjects to the speakers. The object is to teach members to think on their feet, and have the confidence to offer an opinion when called on to do so unexpectedly. Guests are welcome to join in but there is no obligation to speak.

Wordmaster - The Word of the Evening is introduced by a member at the start of the meeting, usually before the toasts. Members and guests are encouraged to practice using the word throughout the meeting and there is a report back on who used this unusual/useful word.

Grammarian - During the entire meeting, this member listens intently and notes grammatical errors and may also report any particularly eloquent phrases used during the meeting.

Um-Ah Counter - This is a role often assigned to a new member, who now reports on the number of pregnant pauses and "filler" words made by every speaker.

Educational Slot - Delivered by a guest speaker or experienced Toastmaster, ranging from communication skills to wine tasting!

General Evaluation - An experienced senior Toastmaster, usually visiting from another club, or the Area or Division Director evaluates the whole meeting. This affirms our good points, gives feedback to the speech evaluators and tips on how to improve meetings in the future.

Hall of fame/On-a-point/Awards - The President presents the awards for the evening. The President will then open the meeting for discussion of any items which have not been mentioned and finally will announce the meeting is closed.


Members often integrate the theme of the meeting into their assignments. The Toastmaster of the Evening has the right to choose a theme.

At the start of each Toastmasters year (in July), our President chooses a theme for the club to focus on. This often drives the themes of each meeting.

The Prepared Speeches

The Toastmasters first manual (known as the Competent Communicator or CC manual) consists of instructions for ten prepared speeches, carefully graded to assist the Toastmaster to overcome successive obstacles. They are numbered CC 1 to 10. CC stands for Competent Communicator.
Speakers are usually given at least two weeks to prepare for their next speech. There is a minimum and maximum time for each speech in the manual. These are given below. A competent Toastmaster, who will switch on a green light at the minimum time, an amber light at the optimum time and a red light at the maximum time, times the speeches.

When you have completed the first manual, you are entitled to apply for your CC (Competent Communicator) award - and then proceed to the various (specialised) advanced manuals.

The specifications given in the manual for the various speeches do not give the subject of the speech, but rather the nature of the assignment concerned. It is for speakers to work out their own subjects, and they must give each speech a title, which they must tell the Toastmaster of the Evening, so that they can be suitably introduced.

Grab Your Opportunity

We at Transformers Toastmasters look forward to welcoming you as a member. We assure you of the opportunity for personal development to the maximum of your potential. All we ask in return is that you grab each opportunity, use it to the full, contribute to the development of other members, and have fun at the same time!
We have members who have progressed from their CC (Competent Communicator) award through to the pinnacle award, the DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster) and members who have just started.

The DTM requires the member to deliver advanced assignments and achieve an ACB, ACS and ACG (Advanced Communicator Bronze/Silver/Gold). The member must also participate in the leadership of the organisation by attaining the Competent (CL) and Advanced Leader (ALB and ALS) awards.