Who Are We?
The District 38 Speakers Bureau exists to help speakers develop their speaking skills for the public arena—to help polish presentation, delivery, and content for audiences outside the Toastmasters club environment. The group provides support and education to help developing speakers begin the move from free to fee speaking.
We also support small business / startups looking to capitalize on Speaking to grow their businesses or to pitch for investments, and professionals looking to transition, be promoted, or find jobs through the power Professional Speaking.
The District 38 Speakers Bureau is a function of the District 38 Toastmasters District Governor and Public Relations Officer. Speakers Bureau is not a club. To become a member of Speakers Bureau, it is recommended you be a member of a Toastmasters Club, to ensure you have base speaking skills and techniques from the stage.
You can become a member of the Bureau by signing up and attending meetings. To become a Speakers Bureau Qualified Speaker you must give a presentation from 20-40 mins, give a qualifying speech, then be voted on by the members. and finally approved by the Chair. You can check the submission guidelines here and use the Pre-Presentation Questionnaire to help prepare.
What Happens At Speakers’ Bureau Meetings?
Meetings have several components. We usually start with an educational presentation on a topic of interest to speakers. Then Qualifying Speakers give their presentations and receive feedback from the audience on how they did. At the end of the meeting, we open the floor for attendees to share experiences in the world of speaking, including leads, accomplishments, lessons learned, etc.
Why Should I Attend Speakers’ Bureau Meetings?
Even if you attend as a spectator, you have much to gain from Speakers’ Bureau meetings, including:
- Meet and learn from other developing speakers
- Hear what other speakers are saying and doing in their presentations
- Learn and grow from monthly educational topics
- Learn what is on the mind of your audience
When And Where Are Speakers’ Bureau Meetings Held?
Speakers Bureau currently meets at the Cherry Hill Public Library, 1100 Kings Highway North, Cherry Hill NJ. This is a temporary location. There will also be ‘floating meetings’ to support the needs of the region. We meet the second Wednesday of every month, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Guests are welcome and encouraged to attend.
How Do I Become A Qualified Speaker And A Member Of Speakers’ Bureau?
To become a member of Speakers Bureau, you must give a qualifying speech. The process is:
- Attend at least three Speakers’ Bureau meetings so you understand our format and expectations.
- Sign up to give your Qualifying Speech (contact Rae-Ann: info@SJSpeakersBureau.com, 888-724-7517)
- Prepare a 20-40 minute formal presentation. Work with a Qualified Speaker or Charter member, as needed, for coaching and advice.
- Submit your speech title and a speaker’s introduction to the Speakers’ Bureau Chair at least two weeks before the meeting (info@SJSpeakersBureau.com). Use this Pre-Presentation Sheet to help with the info you need. Also check out the Submission Guidelines.
- Come to the meeting prepared to speak and receive feedback, and participate in the meetings.
What If I Need Help Preparing My Qualifying Speech?
Speakers’ Bureau members are often asked to mentor people preparing for their Qualifying Speech. This mentoring is always helpful to the Qualifying Speaker in preparing their presentation, contributes to their success, and is free of charge. You can request free coaching by contacting the Speakers’ Bureau Chair, Rae-Ann Ruszkowski (info@SJSpeakersBureau.com)
What Happens After My Qualifying Speech?
After you give your speech, members of the audience will provide in-depth, constructive feedback on your content, appearance, delivery style, and overall presentation. They will also complete a written feedback form which you will receive at the end of the meeting.
In addition, members of Speakers’ Bureau will vote on whether to admit you to Speakers’ Bureau. Ballots are counted after the meeting, and you will be notified by telephone or e-mail within a few days. You might “Pass” and be admitted to Speaker’s Bureau, or you might be asked to “Try Again” at a later time.
What Are The Benefits Of Becoming A Member Of Speakers Bureau?
Members of D38 Speakers Bureau gain many benefits, including:
- Networking opportunities with other speakers
- Constant learning and development of speaking skills
- Opportunities to speak to local service clubs and other organizations
- Opportunities to speak at Toastmaster training and conferences
- Bio and posts on the club website, with links to your own site(s) and social media
How Can I Become More Involved In Speakers’ Bureau?
There are several ways to support the Bureau and become more involved:
· Serve As Master Of Ceremonies At A Speakers’ Bureau Meeting
Each meeting has an emcee who helps plan the meeting, introduces speakers, and helps the meeting run smoothly and on time by serving as the “Toastmaster” for the evening. Explanation of this role can be found by clicking Detail of Master of Ceremonies Role.
· Present An Educational Topic
Each meeting has a 15 – 30 minute educational presentation on a topic of interest to speakers. Past topics have included Making a Professional Presentation, Using Questions in Presentations, Developing & Marketing Your Brand, Social Media, and Getting Your Book Published. Offer to present a topic, or nominate a business contact who might be willing to present a topic of interest to speakers.
· Contribute To The Monthly Newsletter & Club Website posts
Rae-Ann Ruszkowski, Chair of the Speakers Bureau & Donna Fountain, the Co-Chair for Speakers Bureau and publishers of “The Speakers Bureau Update,” are always looking for contributions to the newsletter & club website. You can write a short article on a topic of interest to Speakers Bureau members and attendees, or for meeting / event planners. Articles might be about recent speaking events, upcoming opportunities, lessons learned in the world of speaking, etc. Posting articles to the club website offers additional exposure, PR, and traffic to you, your product & services, and your website. Submission Guidelines are here.
· Sign Up To Speak After Becoming A Qualified Speaker
Rae-Ann Ruszkowski is the Service Club Chair for Speakers Bureau. When outside groups submit a request for a speaker, Rae-Ann, and the Co-Chair, Donna send an e-mail to all Qualified Speakers who have registered their topics, phone number, and e-mail address. Bookings are assigned based on the fit between the requested topics and the available speakers. Being promoted & prominent on the club website also drives requests for speakers.
For more information on District 38 Speakers Bureau, contact one of our officers:
Speakers Bureau Chair, inception-present
Speakers’ Bureau Co-Chair, inception-present