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Accredited Speaker? You? Yes!

Many people believe that the Toastmasters program is just for people who want to overcome their fear of public speaking. It will give them some comfort and increase their confidence, but it isn't really for serious speakers. It's where the amateurs hang out.

Think again.

After you overcome your fear of public speaking, ignoring the leadership side of the program for a moment, have you thought of Toastmasters as a place where you can pursue excellence in public speaking and presentations, that it can help you get to the top of your game?


Craig Senior at Rise Up for Haiti (Photo: Erick Sodhi)

  • The speech contests give you an opportunity to develop and hone a speech. Get a mentor or coach and develop amazing content that touches the heart, makes them think, and makes them feel. Practice it as many times as you can stand, until you no longer sound like you rehearsed it, until it part of your intuitive, authentic speaker self
  • Speak at other clubs to give yourself new audiences
  • Develop a workshop or a few to deliver at the Toastmasters Leadership Institute (TLI) or at a District Conference. This gives you larger audiences.
  • Become an Accredited Speaker

What is an Accredited Speaker? I never heard of that before.

The Toastmasters Accredited Speaker Program might be Toastmasters International's best kept secret. It recognizes members who already possess and regularly demonstrate the expert skills needed to speak professionally. Between 1981 and 2012, Toastmasters recognized only 65 Accredited Speakers.


Here is an overview of the requirements to achieve your Accredited Speaker credential:

Screening Level 1

  • already earned one of: Able Toastmaster, Advanced Toastmaster Bronze, or Advanced Communicator Bronze
  • deliver 25 presentations, at least 20 minutes long, to non-Toastmasters audiences of at least 20 people, in the 3-year period before your application. 15 of the 25 presentations must be paid engagements.
  • complete the Application Form
  • on your application form, submit a link to a 20- to 45-minute, unedited video in English, recorded before a live, non-Toastmasters audience (webinars or Skype recordings do not count)
  • Five recommendations from five different clients for paid engagements, using the official Accredited Speaker Program Recommendation Form.
  • Non-refundable Level 1 application fee of $100
  • Read the details in the Accredited Speaker Rules

Screening Level 2

  • If you pass Level 1, you are invited to present before a live audience, including a panel of judges, at the Toastmasters International Convention.  A majority vote for your level of professionalism by the judges gets you through.
  • Non-refundable Level 2 application fee of $150
  • Read the details in the Accredited Speaker Rules

Benefits And Recognition

If you pass Level 2, you will receive the following benefits and recognition:

  • letter of commendation
  • ceremonial presentation of an Accredited Speaker plaque at the International Convention
  • news release sent to selected publications
  • Hall of Fame acknowledgement in the Toastmaster magazine

More Information

Now the rest is up to you. Accredited Speaker could be part of your path to becoming a professional speaker. Certainly the 25 presentations will enable you to hone your presentation and give you a warm market to launch your speaking business. 

Coach Craig

P.S. To answer your question, yes I am working towards Accredited Speaker.

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Reader Comments (3)

Does a "webinar" count as a live audience??? They tend to be there in mind/spirit but not in body..

The "traditional" live audience is often a "captive" audience who has to be there for some reason or another. They may be there in body but not in mind/spirit.

Jan 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris

I am 99% certain that Toastmasters would mean the audience is in the room with the speaker and a webinar would not count. Good question, so I will ask Toastmasters International and get back to you. Coach Craig

Jan 19, 2013 | Registered CommenterMessage Masters

We checked with Toastmasters Intl.. Webinars and other telecommunicated or recorded presentations cannot be used for the 25 presentations. The presentations must be before a live audience.

Jan 22, 2013 | Registered CommenterMessage Masters

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