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

Officers (July 2017-June 2018)

President: Lia Banie
President Emeritus: Deborah Reiter
Vice President, Education: Deborah Reiter
Vice President, Membership: Anneliese Taylor
Vice President, Public Relations: Farhad Paylakhi
Secretary: Nancy Mutnick
Treasurer: Tiffany Nguyen
Co-Sergeant-at-arms: Andres Elenes, Maria Elena De Guzman
Webmaster: Shelley Wong


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 much does it cost to join?
For new and existing members, membership fees are $45 for six months. New members will each receive a new member kit.

When does UC Oracles meet?
UC Oracles meets every Thursday except for the first Thursday of the month at Parnassus in N-417/423 from noon to 1pm. 

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.


Educational Tracks: The Toastmasters educational program is divided into two tracks - a communication track and a leadership track. Learn more about each and how to advance.

Meeting Roles: Learn what to do if you’re assigned a role for the following: President (in an absence), Toastmaster, Word of the Day, Quote/Joke Master, Speaker, Table Topics Master, General Evaluator, Evaluator, Timer, Ah Counter and Grammarian.

Officer Roles: Members can be elected as club officers with one-year terms.

Learn more about Meeting Roles, Officer Roles and public speaking.

Other UCSF Toastmasters Clubs

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

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.