What Makes us so Special
With over 13,000 clubs in 116 worldwide locations (and at least 30 clubs in and around Irvine, CA), we know you have plenty of choices to select from. What makes The Contrarians an awesome choice for your investment?
The Contrarians Toastmasters Club is a 2010-2011 Select Distinguished Club that was chartered on 05/09/2007. This makes us old enough to have established roots while still young enough not to be set in our ways. Our members are energetic and dynamic. Here’s what recent guests have said about our club:
"You have a very special group here and seem really supportive of each other." - Guest
"I've visited other Toastmasters clubs and there isn't another club like yours." - Guest
"The moment I walked into the room, I felt like I was part of something special." - Guest
"You guys are pretty cool." - Guest
We have very low club dues (~ 72 cents per meeting) and we meet weekly giving you more opportunity to improve your communication and leadership skills than many other clubs who meet less frequently.
We are very welcoming and supportive. In fact, here's what one member had to say about his first time getting up to speak in front of our club.
We also have an established Mentoring Program and each new member is assigned a dedicated mentor to help them learn the ropes. But the mentoring doesn't stop with a dedicated mentor/mentee. We have a 24x7 'Mentors Hotline' for all members which is staffed by a team of helpful members who enjoy answering Toastmaster related questions.
The Contrarians Purpose Statement
The Contrarians purpose is to provide a positive, respectful and supportive forum where members can speak their minds passionately on any subject, no matter how challenging or controversial it may be, and thus enhance communication and leadership skills."
The Contrarians Toastmasters Club has no prohibition on the subject matter of one’s presentations. In fact, all speakers are encouraged to address topics of a sensitive nature, including politics, religion, sex, and other “taboo” subjects which is why our motto is “No Topic is Taboo.” We encourage this freedom for the following reasons:
x Speakers tend to speak more effectively on subjects about which they are passionate
x The ability to address sensitive topics with passion and civility is a valuable skill for any speaker
x Corporate and civic leaders need to know how to address sensitive topics when the need arises
Toastmasters recognizes club members may learn much about the world around them from listening to others’ speeches on a variety of subjects. This variety adds interests to club meetings and stimulates thoughts and ideas. Toastmasters does not prohibit any topic, content, or language of any speech. Read Toastmasters International's official stance here. At the same time, we recognize that a club is a diverse group of people; thus, we should be sensitive to this diversity and use good taste and responsibility in our speech topics, content and language.
Mentors, speech evaluators, and general evaluators can all play an important role in guiding and encouraging speakers to address sensitive topics. It is especially important not to put limitations on the message, but to help the speaker convey the message while demonstrating respect for the audience.
At The Contrarians, not only do we emphatically agree on speaking freely about politics, sex and religion, we encourage it! Nothing is taboo at The Contrarians as we come together to master communication and build leadership in the Toastmasters tradition! Our credo overflows into our newsletters and meeting snapshots as well, which gives us yet another opportunity to "speak our minds" in written form.
Check out the following April 2012 Toastmasters Magazine article called 'You're Speaking about What?!' which features our club.
The Contrarians Position Statement on Profanity (adopted July 2007)
The Contrarians Toastmasters Club has no prohibition on the use of specific language, even profanity, in one’s presentations. Nevertheless, the Contrarians generally avoid the use of profanity for the following reasons:
x Use of profanity may reduce the speaker’s credibility
x The impact of profanity on the audience may distract from the speaker’s message
x Continued use of profanity may limit the speaker’s growth in other areas
x Use of profanity may offend or alienate the audience and might even impact meeting attendance.
Mentors, speech evaluators, and general evaluators can all play a role identifying effective alternatives to profanity. However, the speaker has the ultimate responsibility to determine the most effective words to convey his or her message.