Youth Leadership Program (YLP)

The Youth Leadership Program is a workshop consisting of eight one- to two-hour sessions that enable young people under the age of 18 to develop their communication and leadership skills through practical experience. The program is presented during or after school, or on weekends. In the workshop, young people learn valuable skills including:

  • Evaluating their own speaking ability
  • Preparing and giving speeches
  • Giving impromptu talks
  • Controlling their voice, vocabulary and gestures
  • Giving constructive feedback and more

How the program works

Participants in the Youth Leadership Program are selected by a sponsoring Toastmasters club or by a cooperating organization (such as a school). The workshops are structured for small group learning and are limited to 25 students. They are presented by a coordinator who attends each meeting. Meetings generally follow a format similar to that of a Toastmasters club meeting, with an announced agenda that includes practice in parliamentary procedure, prepared and impromptu speeches and the selection of presiding officers.

Steps to coordinate a Youth Leadership Program

1. Obtain approval from club officers for your club to sponsor a program.

2. Once approved, club officers appoint a YLP Coordinator (an experienced Toastmaster) and Assistant(s).

3. Contact community groups and/or schools to help recruit youth participants from middle school and high school.

4. Choose a centralized venue for classes such as a library, church or school. Schedule out 8 2-hour sessions.

5. Ask the club Treasurer to order a Youth Leadership kit and extra workbooks and certificates, if needed (items 811, 805 and 810) from https://www.toastmasters.org/. Note, the cost of the materials should be absorbed by the club’s treasury.

6. Prepare by reading the workbook and Coordinator guide. Each session provides objectives and a general meeting agenda. Topics include: chairmanship, public speaking, impromptu speaking and listening.

7. Train youth on parliamentary procedure to elect officers during Session One and Session Four. Each officer fulfills specific duties. The President presides over the meeting.

8. Enable participants to gain experience by allowing them to conduct the meetings themselves.

9. Discuss and demonstrate key points and techniques in the manuals, adapting as necessary based on participants’ skill level and meeting schedule.

10. End the success with a SHOWCASE celebration for participants to display their skills and to be awarded their certificates. Invite VIPs from the community and Toastmasters District 10 to honor their achievement.

How to Start a Youth Leadership Program

The Speakers of YLP—See Examples of YLP Participants in Action