Youth Leadership Program

If you are looking to sign up a student to participate in the YLP program, please visit for the sign up form.

Are you inspired to empower our youth with self-confidence, communication and leadership skills? Are you considering to become a YLP coordinator or a club sponsor? Are you trying to complete a DTM? Our youth need YOU, committed Toastmasters leaders and clubs, to coordinate and/or sponsor more YLPs in our community. Please check out these resources and contact the district youth chair for more information about YLP.

The Purpose of YLP

Every young person has the potential to become a good communicator and leader, but this potential needs to be nurtured and developed. The Youth Leadership Program’s unique eight-session, workshop-style design enables participants to develop this potential through practical experience. Participants learn to:

  • Overcome nervousness when speaking before an audience.
  • Organize and present ideas logically and convincingly.
  • Listen carefully to others’ ideas.
  • Offer advice to help others improve their speaking and leadership skills.
  • Participate in – and even lead – group discussions or meetings.

The students

Each Youth Leadership Program (YLP) group is usually limited to 10 to 15 people, with a maximum of 20. That way, each student receives individual attention and has the opportunity to get practical experience.  The program can be tailored to serve any school-age group, as long as the program design is modified to reflect the capacity and interests of the specific group of students.

Sponsoring Club

A local Toastmasters club serves as sponsor and provides the experienced leaders needed to present the program.  The sponsoring club usually pays for the YLP kits needed to run this program. Sponsoring a YLP can create opportunities for club members to raise their leadership and public speaking skills to the highest level. It is also an effective PR tool for the club to interested parents and the community.


The adult with overall responsibility for the program is the coordinator. To qualify to serve as a Youth Leadership Program Coordinator, the individual must first be an active Toastmaster in good standing with a Toastmasters club, and have accomplished six speech projects in the basic Communication and Leadership Program.

The Coordinator attends each meeting, conducting most of the training and counseling participants. The YLP Coordinator may welcome in additional support and involvement of a Toastmaster assistant, or various outside speakers, presenters or community members, however only one Toastmaster and one Toastmaster Club is recognized as having served as the YLP Coordinator and sponsoring club.

Coordinating a YLP is an ultimate opportunity for a toastmaster to help our youth and serve our community. This amazing experience will enable you to strengthen your leadership skills, and also help you to become a much better public speaker and evaluator.


How YLP Works

Meetings follow a format similar to that of a Toastmasters club meeting.  Students take turns giving prepared speeches, being an evaluator, or participating in impromptu speaking. Students also take turns performing different meeting roles to improve their leadership skills.

The program is presented in eight sessions during or after school, or on weekends. Each session usually lasts 1-2 hours. Activities taking place in the sessions include the following:

Evaluation of present speaking ability

Discussion of chairmanship principles

Presentation of speeches

Impromptu talks

Group evaluation

Discussion of speech organization

Discussion and practice in listening

Discussion of gestures in speaking

Discussion of voice and vocabulary

Exercise in chairmanship

The materials used in the program (YLP Workbook for Students and YLP Coordinator Guide) are produced by Toastmasters International. These are ordered from Toastmasters International for a small fee.

YLP’s are usually sponsored by the local Toastmasters club and are led by Toastmaster members. After 8 weeks, a YLP group can hold a Final Speech Contests for the students to showcase their newly-acquired public speaking skills to their parents, families and guests.


HOW TO GET A Youth Leadership Program STARTED

How Toastmasters Youth Leadership Programs typically become offered
It is typically the case that what causes a Toastmasters Youth Leadership Program to be offered is that a youth organization, home school group, parent group, spiritual community, teacher or other ‘champion’ in a school (whether a student, Principal, parent or teacher) publicizes and builds interest in a Toastmasters Youth Leadership Program offering to its community of youth, thereby building a critical momentum and number of youth participants to proceed with the program.

Individual Toastmasters are also invited to initiate contact with any community of youth, including schools, in order to build interest in a Toastmasters Youth Leadership Program offering. Public school and home school settings are great places to propose offering a Toastmasters Youth Leadership Program. Securing the school’s Principal, Administrator, Teacher or a Student as a champion within the youth community is then critical to gaining enough youth participants to proceed. The ‘champion’ contacts a Toastmasters club or the District 6 Youth Leadership Chair to arrange for appointment of a qualified Toastmasters YLP Coordinator to coordinate and conduct the YLP program. Securing youth participants is the responsibility of the community, school, or youth organization or other champion who steps forward to build participation in a Toastmasters Youth Leadership Program offering.

Be aware that public schools often request that a Toastmasters Youth Leadership Program Coordinator also cooperate with the guidelines set forth by an associated Community Education organization (guidelines may include agreeing to a background check, as well as following other protocols to assure the safety of school age youth). The Toastmasters Youth Leadership Programs are generally NOT available on an open enrollment basis, since the Youth Leadership Programs are limited duration endeavors arranged on behalf of a particular community of youth.


9 Easy Steps to Start a TOASTMASTER Youth Leadership Program

Youth Leadership Program may be conducted in school or for home school groups, Scout troops, 4-H clubs, church youth groups and any other group of youth in the community. All programs must be presented by a current Toastmaster in good standing, following the guidelines in the Youth Leadership Coordinator’s Guide .

Step 1:

Inspire and persuade a Toastmaster club to be your sponsoring club.  Talk to the officers at your club regarding this, and maybe give a speech to your club on this.  Step up to be the Coordinator – “person in charge” of the YLP.  Recruit assistants!

Step 2:

Choose a day and time that will work for you and your assistants, as well as the age range for your YLP group.

Step 3:

Find a venue.

Step 4:

Set the dates for the entire program. They can be consecutive weeks, or can be spread out into every other week.

Step 5:

Advertise. Post on your Toastmaster’s website; email to homeschool or PTA groups; post flyers at libraries, schools, Starbucks, etc.

Step 6:

Select 10 – 15 participants, but no more than 20 for the YLP.  Require student to commit to attend most, if not all, of the dates of the YLP.

Step 7:

Order YLP kits (Item 811), to include Coordinator’s guides (Item 802) and Youth Leadership Participant’s Worbooks (Item 805) from TMI website.

Step 8:

Inform the District 57 Youth Leadership Coordinator, Jean Luong, of your start date, location & time, and the names of the coordinator(s) and assistants.

Step 9:

Start the YLP program, using the Coordinator’s guide as a template for lesson plans. You are not required to do everything in the guide. You get to pick and choose!


From the very beginning and at every step of the process, feel free to contact the District Youth Leadership Coordinator if you have any questions or would like some suggestions and feedback.  Some experienced YLP Coordinator can mentor or work with you to help make the entire process as easy and rewarding as possible!

If you would like to join or start a Toastmaster Youth Leadership Program, please email District 57 Youth Leadership Coordinator – Jean Luong at



Youth Leadership Program Recognition

Toastmasters District  57 would like to recognize the following sponsoring Toastmaster Clubs and Coordinators for completing these Youth Leadership Programs:

Youth Leadership Club Sponsor Youth Leadership Coordinators Location Time Frame


Upcoming Youth Leadership Programs:       

Youth Leadership Club Sponsor Youth Leadership Coordinators Location Time Frame Contact Person



Video: What is a Toastmasters Youth Leadership Program?

Video: Overview of the Toastmasters Youth Leadership Program (YLP)




  1. What advice would you give to a Toastmasters Club thinking of organizing a YLP?
  • If there is any member in the club who is interested and willing to do it, then GO for IT! Make it happen!!
  • The experience is most rewarding and the youths’ growth and transformation as speakers are absolutely AMAZING!!! The interest of parents and students in the community is tremendous, and we don’t have enough YLPs to meet the need. There are times parents drive students 1 hr each way to attend the YLP.
  • Interested coordinators should try to partner up with another experienced Toastmaster, and do not need to be from the same club
  • Youth Leadershipmay be conducted for scout troops, 4-H clubs, church youth groups and many other organizations, and for young people in the community. However, all programs must be presented by a Toastmasters club, following the guidelines in the Youth Leadership Coordinator’s Guide
  1. How do you promote your YLP and find students?
  • Parents’ school website.
  • Former YLP students and parents
  • Word of mouth
  • Toastmasters Club’s website
  • Community newsletter
  • Talk to principal/teacher of an elementary/middle school nearby
  1. What are the educational topics covered in a YLP?
  • Basic public speaking skills
  • Impromptu talks
  • Speech organization
  • Practice in listening
  • Body gestures
  • Voice and vocabulary
  • Effective evaluation to motivate
  • Exercise in chairmanship
  1. How do you find speakers to cover those educational topics?

Within your club and outside your club around the district. Try to select strong speakers who can illustrate and educate students on specific topic/skill and not any speaker to come to give any speech they want.

  1. Any potential pitfalls to avoid?
  • Try to limit your class size to 10-14 students, so you have time for each students to give @ least 3 prepared speeches, and for coordinators to follow and give effective feedback to individual students.
  • Avoid mixing students of different age groups and grades together. It is better to have students of a similar grade / age group in a batch, e.g. high school kids can be in a separate batch from middle school or elementary grade kids. This will be fair to students.
  • Set up a policy to handle frequent absenteeism. If the same student is absent too often, set a limit and a consequence, e.g. if they miss 3 sessions, they cannot participate in the competition nor can they receive a certificate.
  • If you have to recruit students yourself, make sure to start making announcements or advertising at least 1 month ahead to have time to put the class together and reserve educational speakers.
  1. Ideas for Best Practices?
  • Make time for the Table Topics section, youth love them, especially for funny topics.
  • Recruit and encourage parents’ participation, including staying for the entire session.
  • Encourage parents to sign up and take turns for bringing snacks during breaks to give students more energy.
  • Give the elected student leaders more responsibility and recognition.

Students feel good about recognition so for competitions, with more than 7 speakers listed, announce “special” certificate awards and recognize them (i.e. special mention for 4th and 5th place speakers, or Most Improved Speaker)

Share your Youth Leadership Program experience
Please take a moment and share the results of your Youth Leadership Program offering with the District 57 Youth Leadership Chair at, conveying the following information:

  • Name, Email, and Phone of the Toastmaster serving as Youth Leadership Program Coordinator
  • Name and club number of Toastmasters Sponsoring Club
  • Name of the Youth Group, School or other Organization offering the Toastmasters YLP to youth participants
  • Start and End Dates of the YLP offering
  • Age or Grade Level of youth participants
  • Number of youth participants
  • Special objectives, challenges, and/or accomplishments of YLP offering
  • Names of additional Toastmasters supporting this YLP offering

Thank you for sharing your gifts and talents with our children and youth, who are our greatest treasure!