incoming uc oracles officers
Maria Elena de Guzman, Farhad Paylakhi, Deborah Reiter, Lia Banie


Can I visit your club before I join?

Yes, you are more than welcome to visit the club as a guest as many times as you like.

When and where does UC Oracles meet?

We meet at Parnassus N-417 on Thursdays from 12-1pm. We do not meet on the first Thursday of the month.  Guests are warmly welcome to attend our club on a walk-in basis.

Do I need to contact someone before I visit as a guest?

You do not need to inform us if you are planning to attend a meeting.

Is the UC Oracles Toastmasters club free & open to the community?

Toastmasters has a nominal $45 fee for 6 months of membership. The UC Oracles club is a closed group and it is only open to people affiliated with UCSF. There are many other Toastmasters groups in the San Francisco Bay Area that are open to the public.

How can I sign up to join Toastmasters at UCSF?

Contact our Vice President of Membership, Anneliese Taylor ([email protected]).

Do I have to pay out of pocket for my Toastmasters membership?

Many UCSF departments will pay for your Toastmasters membership since it is considered staff development.

Are meetings always in the same location or do they change weekly?

Meetings are usually held in N417, but sometimes, the location changes. We will post a note on the door at N417 on the day of the meeting if there is a change of room location.

Can you send me information about UC Oracles Toastmasters meetings and events in the future?

We can add you to the UC Oracles Toastmasters Listserv. You will receive all of the emails that the UC Oracles members receive, including meeting agendas, special events and any other information relevant to our UC Oracles club and Toastmasters as the wider organization.  To be added to the Listserv, contact Deborah Reiter at [email protected]

I am a staff member at UCSF. Can only students join Toastmasters?

Any staff, faculty, students and affiliates of UCSF are welcome to join our lab.


Are there other Toastmasters meeting times being offered at UCSF?

Visit UCSF Toast of the Mission Toastmasters Club (Club#1849809) District 4, Area D01
TUESDAYS AT NOON at the Mission Center Building

Visit Toastmasters For Health (Club#3030595) District 4, Area E01
TUESDAYS AT NOON at 50 Beale Street


Do I have to be a seasoned speaker to join Toastmasters?

Everyone has different positions at the University and all members are at different levels of public speaking, from seasoned speakers to more fearful speakers with little to no experience speaking in front of groups. Our Membership and Education coordinators work with you to figure out your goals.


How do I progress in Toastmasters?

Our Education Coordinator guides you through the Education process when you join. Basically, you will take an online evaluation test and you will be given your designated Educational Pathways in order to progress through the program. This is a self-paced program and you can do as little or as much as you want in Toastmasters.


Will someone in the UC Oracles Toastmasters group help me with my projects?

Our Education Coordinator guides you through the Education process when you join. You have the option to choose or be assigned a mentor to work with and guide you through the Toastmaster’s experience


What is Toastmasters International?
(from the Toastmasters website) Toastmasters began as a series of speaking clubs organized by Ralph C. Smedley during his time working for the YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association) in Bloomington, Illinois, United States. As director of education at the YMCA, Smedley saw a need for the men in the community to learn how to speak, conduct meetings, plan programs and work on committees, and he wanted to help them. Smedley decided to organize a club where they could learn these skills in a social environment, and the men responded well to the concept. He named the group the Toastmasters Club; "toastmaster" was a popular term that referred to a person who gave toasts at banquets and other occasions. The first unofficial Toastmasters meeting was held on March 24, 1905.

However, as Smedley was offered positions at other YMCAs in Illinois and later, in San Jose, California, the fledgling clubs lacked leadership and did not flourish. Smedley began working at the newly organized YMCA in Santa Ana, California, in 1922, and for the first two years, his time was spent building a home for the organization. However, his passion to help others learn to speak and lead remained. Once the new YMCA building was christened in April of 1924, he was able to introduce the idea of Toastmasters to his colleagues, and organize the Toastmasters club that eventually became Club No. 1 of Toastmasters International. The first meeting was held at the YMCA building on October 22, 1924. Word spread about Smedley's Toastmasters clubs and soon people in surrounding communities and other states were asking how they could start their own club.

Today, Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. Our organization has more than 345,000 memberships. Members improve their speaking and leadership skills by attending one of the 15,900 clubs in 142 countries that make up our global network of meeting locations. UC Oracles is a local chapter of Toastmasters International, and a UCSF-only club.

What are the benefits of joining UC Oracles?
People go to school to learn, grow and improve themselves. Communication and leadership skills are generally not offered as part of the curriculum in a medical campus so what better place for a Toastmasters club? Indeed, there are many clubs at colleges and universities around the world, and members include undergraduates, graduate students, staff, and sometimes faculty, alumni and neighboring residents. Students learn speaking skills that help their academic performance, while staff members improve their professional abilities and enjoy learning alongside students. All agree that college and university clubs are an invaluable campus resource.

Experienced professionals and beginning speakers alike can benefit from our practical, face-to-face learning program. Whether you're speaking to the board of directors, patients, co-workers or your kids, Toastmasters can help you do it better. You'll learn and practice in a friendly, comfortable environment with people who are there for the same reason as you—to become better communicators. Our members learn by speaking to group and working with others in a supportive environment. Each meeting gives everyone an opportunity to practice conducting meetings, giving impromptu speeches, presenting prepared speeches and offering constructive evaluation.


How does UC Oracles help the UCSF community?
We do a lot of presentations including speaking evaluations and advice for faculty, staff, residents, postdocs, and students. Please contact us if you would like to collaborate with us or invite us to speak to your group to promote our organization.


Broader Toastmasters websites

Learn more about Toastmasters on toastmasters.org or about our local Toastmasters district on the Toastmasters District 4 website.

UC Oracles Contact Information

For information on UC Oracles Toastmasters Club membership, please contact Anneliese Taylor.

For information on attending a UC Oracles Toastmasters Club meeting, please contact Farhad Paylakhi or Lia Banie.

For more information on Toastmasters, visit toastmasters.org.