Youth Leadership Program
Youth Leadership Program Co-Chairs
Madan Chauhan, DTM and Nancy Parkhill, DTM
In light of COVID-19, District 86 is encouraging youth leadership programs to convert to online meetings to protect the safety and well-being of participants.
The Youth Leadership Program is one of the options in a Toastmasters club's toolkit for building membership. While it may have a longer lead time than other options, the YLP is a great way to introduce new potential members to the benefits of Toastmasters.
The YLP is an eight week program that meets once per week for one- to two-hours per session. It is designed to help develop public speaking and leadership skills for those ineligible to attend Toastmasters Clubs. Many of these programs are run for those aged between 12 and under eighteen years of age, but many are targeted at older adolescents. The program is run by a Toastmasters member on a volunteer basis from a local Toastmasters club.
The program is based on the belief that everyone has the potential to become a good communicator and leader - but this potential needs to be developed.The program helps participants through practical experience, the example of others and guidance from the program’s facilitators. Meetings generally follow a format similar to that of a Toastmasters club meeting, with an announced agenda that includes practice in parliamentary procedure, prepared and impromptu speeches and the selection of presiding officers. In every meeting, participants learn to apply the principles of listening, thinking and speaking.
Participants learn to:
- Overcome the nervousness everyone feels when asked to
speak before an audience
- Organize and present their ideas logically and convincingly
- Listen carefully to others’ ideas
- Offer advice that will help others improve their speaking and
- Participate in – and even lead – group discussions or meetings
Through the eight-session program, participants will increase their self-confidence as they learn. They also make new friends and have fun, reinforcing that Toastmasters is an enjoyable learning experience. Participants will learn speaking and leadership skills that they will use for the rest of their lives.
For Toastmasters Interested In Youth Leadership
Toastmasters interested in starting a Youth Leadership Program can run one of the eight week programs in conjunction with their club. Toastmasters may be the Coordinator of the program, attending each session, supporting the participants, and giving presentations. Or, you may wish to provide support to another Toastmaster, either attending the entire program, or joining for one or two sessions to give presentations, or to offer feedback to participants.
The Coordinator has an assistant who conducts discussions and substitutes for the Coordinator, should he or she be unable to attend a meeting.
As a Coordinator, your efforts will be recognized as one of the requirements for achieving your DTM in the Pathways program.
Want to be a coordinator? You must complete level one of any path in the Pathways program before you are eligible. Read the Youth Leadership Program Workbook and Youth Leadership Coordinator’s Guide to learn more.
For Sponsoring Clubs, Schools & Community Youth Groups
Toastmasters planning to sponsor and run a Youth Leadership Program should contact their club leadership to receive resources and advice on running such a program and to have their program recognized appropriately. The sponsoring club should designate one of its members to be the Youth Leadership Coordinator for the program. Please be sure to promote the location, dates and times the program will be running, along with your club information. Please also notify the Club Growth team to update this web page.
If you are an established teacher, social worker, or other community leader, who is interested in enhancing your existing program, and are interested in partnering with a local Toastmasters club to sponsor a Youth Leadership Program, please reach out to a nearby club that may want to conduct a program for your organization.
The program is not in competition with school programs or courses, or other established youth projects. Instead, it is a supplement to these programs, providing emphasis on specialized skills and individual needs.
For Parents and Guardians
If you are a parent or guardian who believes public speaking is an important skill, please reach out to one of the Toastmasters clubs in your area and let them know you are interested in attending their club as an adult who is interested in finding out more about how Toastmasters meetings work. You can easily search for a club in your area using the Find a Club website.
Please note: Participants in YLPs are selected for what they can become, not for what they already have done. The program is not an award to honor those who have already become leaders either inside or outside of the school. It is for young people who have not yet developed the ability to express themselves. Often teenagers want the course as a supplement to their high school education, or to prepare for college.
The duration of each of the eight sessions and the age range of the youth who may participate in any particular program will be set by the sponsoring Toastmasters club. Participants are selected by the sponsoring Toastmasters club or by a cooperating organization (such as a school). Also, in order to give each youth an adequate opportunity to participate, the sponsoring Toastmasters club will set the maximum number of participants for its program. Generally, the programs run with approximately 15-20 people.
Toastmasters believes that economic means should not limit the opportunity for youths (and others ineligible for Toastmasters Clubs) to participate and therefore the program is sponsored by the Club or other sponsoring organization, and is offered at no cost to participants.
District 86 Youth Leadership Program Successes
Are you conducting OR have you conducted, a Youth Leadership Program? If yes, please let the Club Growth team know - we want to recognize you for your energy, your hard work, and most of all, your willingness to give back. We want to congratulate you in your development of your practical skills like leadership, teamwork, time management, and especially your coaching skills. Youth aren't the only people who appreciate how amazing your contribution has been. Here's just a few of the most recent successes we salute:
Fleurette Knaggs, YLP Coordinator from Barrie Toastmasters, is starting a virtual program for youth this summer. They are welcoming parents of potential participants to get in touch with the club.
Shahan Aaron, YLP Coordinator from Hamilton No. 1 Toastmasters Club, is starting a virtual program based out of Hamilton, Ontario for July and August. They are welcoming parents of potential participants to get in touch with the club.
Clinton Springer, YLP Coordinator from Talbot Trail Toastmasters, is running a virtual program based out of St. Thomas (London, Ontario) from June 3-July 22.
More to come...
Interested in finding out more? Contact your local Toastmasters club.