Accredited Speaker Program FAQ
How does the program work?Back to Top
Applications are reviewed for completeness, and video submissions from accepted applicants are reviewed by a panel of judges. An applicant who a majority of judges agree demonstrates high-caliber presentation skills is advanced to the next level.
Applicants who pass Level 1 are invited to present before a live audience, including a panel of judges, at the International Convention held in August each year. Applicants whose live presentations meet the required level of professionalism (as agreed upon by a majority of judges) are awarded the prestigious Accredited Speaker designation.
Who is eligible to apply?Back to Top
A potential applicant must meet the following requirements before applying:
- Be a current Toastmasters member in good standing
- Have earned one of the following education awards, or higher (Able Toastmaster, Advanced Toastmaster Bronze or Advanced Communicator Bronze)
- Have given a minimum of 25 speaking engagements to non-Toastmasters audiences within the past three years
Please note that international officers or directors, candidates for international officer or director, region advisors and applicants for region advisor are not eligible to participate in the Accredited Speaker Program.
How do I apply?Back to Top
Applicants must send the following to World Headquarters between January 1st and February 1st each year:
- A completed application form, plus a complete list of 25 speaking engagements to non-Toastmasters audiences with in past three years from application date. Requirements: 1) 15 of the 25 must be paid speaking engagements; 2) A minimum of 20 people must be in attendance at each speaking engagement; 3) Presentations must be a minimum of 20 minutes in length
- Five recommendations from five different clients for paid engagements. (The official Accredited Speaker Program Recommendation Form must be used.)
- Provide a link to a video presentation. Requirements: 1) The presentation must be 20- to 45-minutes in length; 2) The presentation must be spoken in English; 3) The presentation must be filmed before a live, non-Toastmasters audience.
- Submit a non-refundable Level 1 application fee of 100
How much is the application fee?Back to Top
A non-refundable Level 1 application fee is 100.
If an applicant is advanced to Level 2, there is an additional, non-refundable 150 fee.
Applicants who fail to pass Level 2 may reapply and present again at the International Convention. Repeat Level 2 applicants need not submit another recorded presentation but must submit an additional 150 non-refundable fee for each attempt. The number of times a candidate may try to pass Level 2 is limited to three, after which the applicant must re-apply at Level 1.
Where do I submit my application and application fee?Back to Top
Applications may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org or mailed with the application fee to: Accredited Speaker Program, Toastmasters International, PO Box 9052, Mission Viejo, CA 92690. Please make check payable to Toastmasters International.
What is an acceptable video presentation?Back to Top
Acceptable audio presentations must:
- Be 20- to 45-minutes in length (not including introduction)
- Be spoken in English
- Be recorded before a live, non-Toastmasters audience
- Not be edited or dubbed
What kind of presentations do applicants give?Back to Top
The most common types of presentations, but are not limited to:
- Keynote. A keynote is a speech that is the main speech at a meeting or for that day of the meeting. Keynote speakers usually speak to the entire group of meeting attendees at or after breakfast, lunch, or dinner. A keynote speech is typically 30 to 90 minutes and usually focuses on a broad topic of interest to all attendees. Example: At an advertising association meeting, science fiction writer Ray Bradbury gave a keynote on creativity.
- Seminar. A presentation on a topic covering some facet of knowledge or skill. The speaker's goal is to impart knowledge of the topic.
- Lecture. A speech usually 20 to 90 minutes, given before a group of from 10 to 1,000 or more. Speeches are somewhat formal. The speaker follows an outline of points to cover. Audience participation is minimal and usually confined to a brief question-and-answer session after the talk. Example: The U.S. president's State of the Union address.
Can any of the speaking engagements be in another language besides English?Back to Top
Yes. However, the video that is submitted to World Headquarters will need to be in English.
What counts as a speaking engagement?Back to Top
If you are in a salaried position (a teacher, a minister, a manager, etc.) that involves presenting regularly, you are not able to count presentations given for that job as speaking engagements.
Would sales of a product count as a paid speaking engagement?Back to Top
No. Any sales transactions for products do not count as a paid speaking engagement.
If a client is paying for travel accommodations, would that count as a paid speaking engagement?Back to Top
Yes. Any compensation that you receive for speaking at an event, whether it is in a form of travel, will count as a paid speaking engagement.
Do the 25 separate speaking engagements have to be to 25 different organizations?Back to Top
No. Speaking for the same organization is acceptable, as long as the presentations are at different events. Please keep in mind that your recommendations must come from five different clients.
If I am a speaker at a conference and do multiple sessions, does each session count as a separate speaking engagement?Back to Top
No. That conference is one overall event and would be considered one speaking engagement.
I presented at a Toastmasters district conference. Can that count as a speaking engagement?Back to Top
No. Presentations given at Toastmasters clubs, speech contests, district events, district conferences and at the International Convention qualify as speaking to a Toastmasters audience. To count, speaking engagements must be for a non-Toastmasters audience.
What criteria are used to judge applicants’ presentations?Back to Top
There are three main categories:
Content — speech development, Audience response, speech value
Delivery — body language, voice, platform style, appropriateness
Language — grammar and word choice
Judges are asked to rate the presentation based on the following prompts:
- Was the speech structured around a purpose, and did the structure include an opening, body and conclusion?
- Did the speech immediately engage the audience's attention and then move forward toward a significant conclusion?
- Was the development supported by relevant examples and illustrations, facts and figures, delivered with smoothness in a way that blended into the framework of the speech to present the audience with a unified whole?
- Did the speech relate directly to that purpose?
- Did the speaker say something meaningful and original to the audience?
- Did the speaker's appearance reinforce the speech, whether profound, sad, humorous, and instructional?
- Did body language support points through gestures, expressions, and body positioning?
- Was the voice flexible, moving from one pitch level to another for emphasis, and did it illustrate a variety of rate and volume?
- Did the speaker speak with enthusiasm and assurance, showing interest in the audience and confidence in their reactions?