The Invocation is a positive and inspiring way to start the meeting. It should be brief and it should consider the audience.
Here are some reminders.
Before the meeting:
-Check the composition of members and guests to ensure that the invocation is inclusive and not offensive.
-Prepare a brief (30 second) invocation that will inspire the audience and will set a positive tone for the meeting.
-Stand or sit close to the front just before the meeting starts.
During the meeting:
-When introduced by the President after the meeting is called to order, move to the front, shake the President’s hand and invite the participants to stand.
-Lead the invocation.
-Ask the participants to raise their right hands and then lead them to reading the Toastmaster’s Promise.
After the meeting:
-Submit this kit to the Sergeant at Arms
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Speech is power: speech is to persuade, to convert, to compel.”
Friends, you have this power. This power to use language to share your ideas, to touch hearts, and to bring about change. As Toastmasters, you have the power to speak and share, to explain and to entertain, to inspire and to influence. They say, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Friends, your responsibility is to share your talents and ideas. Let tonight be a night of great speeches. May tonight also be a night of learning, of fun and bonding. May we learn from each other. May we find meaning in other people’s messages. May we use our skills to encourage and entertain others. May we continue to grow so that we can become better communicators and leaders. May everyone use the power of speech to persuade, to convert, and to compel.
Ralph Smedley said: “We learn best in moments of enjoyment."
So, Toasties, let’s have fun and let’s learn much tonight.
Dear Toastmasters, let me share with you a story of tenacity.
The story of Ralph Smedley’s early work with Toastmasters is a testimony to insight and tenacity. While working for the YMCA, he discovered that many young men were tongue-tied and awkward in their presentations. To help them improve, he created a club where they could practice public speaking in an atmosphere of acceptance and assistance. The idea was a success – the young men’s skills improved. However, the club was not self-sustaining. Four times, Dr. Smedley was transferred by his employer, and each time a club he left behind eventually died. After 16 years, he was finally transferred to Santa Ana, California, where his concept of self-sustaining clubs for the practice and improvement of public speech grew into reality, establishing a strong-enough foothold to thrive on their own.
Dr. Smedley established Toastmasters as “a nonprofit, noncommercial movement, for the benefit of its members,” and never made a penny from his creation. He worked for the YMCA until retirement at the age of 63 and then volunteered his services to Toastmasters until shortly before his death at 87.
Friends, we are here tonight because of the vision and the never-give-up attitude of Dr. Smedley. Let us not give up on our dreams. Let’s continue to learn. Let us continue to grow as communicators and leaders.
We are grateful to be here today to experience fellowship with people who share the passion for learning, leadership, and public speaking. It is such a privilege to be able to find the time from our busy schedules to feed our brains and our hearts. Inspire us. Teach us. Guide our speakers tonight. Reward them for their preparation and encourage them to keep on going one step higher in developing themselves. Lead the evaluators that they will speak positive words that will encourage and educate. Let every person here have the hunger to learn and a vision of what they want to be, to have, and to achieve. May this meeting help each person get where he wants to go. May every one find something amazing and life changing tonight.
The apostle Paul encouraged the Ephesians: Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Lord, we are here tonight in our Toastmasters journey. We thank You for the gift of communication. We thank You for the talents, the skills, the time, and energy that you have blessed us with. We ask you to bless everything that happens tonight. Let the speakers speak words that edify the audience. Let the evaluators minister to the speakers so that they will grow and learn. Let the audience be entertained and encouraged. We pray that everything we say will be a blessing to others. We ask this in the powerful name of Jesus Christ.
As a member of Toastmasters International and my Club, I promise:
•To attend Club meetings regularly;
•To prepare all of my speeches to the best of my ability;
•To willingly prepare for and fulfill meeting assignments;
•To provide fellow members with helpful, constructive evaluations;
•To help the Club maintain the positive, friendly environment necessary for all members to learn and grow;
•To willingly serve my Club as an officer when called upon to do so;
•To treat my fellow Club members and our guests with respect and courtesy;
•To bring guests to Club meetings so they can see the benefits Toastmasters membership offers;
•To adhere to the guidelines and rules for all Toastmasters educational and recognition programs;
•To maintain honest and highly ethical standards
during the conduct of all Toastmasters activities
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