What is Toastmasters
Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. Our membership is more than 345,000 members, who improve their speaking and leadership skills by attending one of the 15,900 clubs in 142 countries that make up our global network.
Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organization governed by a Board of Directors elected by the membership. The first Toastmasters club was established on 1924-10-22, in Santa Ana, California, by Dr. Ralph C. Smedley, who conceived and developed the idea of helping others to speak more effectively. More clubs were formed, and Toastmasters International was incorporated under California law on 1932-12-19.
Toastmasters International’s is administered by its World Headquarters in Denver, Colorado. It employs no paid promoters or instructors. Its only salaried staff are the Executive Director and World Headquarters staff, who provide services to the Clubs and Districts.
What Toastmasters Can Do For You
The world needs leaders. People are called on to head families, coach teams, run businesses and mentor others: to be leaders, to lead others, take action, and inspire others to do the same. But leaders cannot facilitate accomplishments on their own, they must communicate. By regularly giving speeches, receiving (or obtaining) feedback, leading teams and guiding others to achieve their goals in a supportive atmosphere, leaders emerge from the Toastmasters program. Every Toastmaster’s journey begins with a single speech. During their journey, they learn to tell their stories. They listen and answer. They plan and lead. They give feedback—and accept it. Through our community of learners, they find their path to leadership.
Do you want to learn how to deliver a speech like a pro, or gain leadership skills to advance in your career? Your goals are important, and Toastmasters’ proven program can help you reach them. By joining a club, you’ll gain the skills to become a more confident public speaker and a stronger leader in every area of your life.
Skills Toastmasters Learn:
- Communicate more effectively
- Improve presentation skills
- Increase leadership potential
- Motivate and persuade team members
- Effective listening for evaluations
- High self-confidence
- Become more successful in your career
- Reach your professional and personal goals
Toastmasters helps members in their community service activities. Using the speaking and leadership skills developed in Toastmasters, people become more active in businesses, churches, and service and charity organizations. Toastmasters members are able to organize activities, conduct meetings, and speak in public as their organization’s representative. Some even become active in local, state or national government.
How Toastmasters Works
At Toastmasters, members learn by speaking to groups and working with others in a supportive environment. A typical Toastmasters club is made up of 20 to 30 people who meet weekly for about an hour. Each meeting gives everyone an opportunity to practice:
- basic meeting procedures.
- one- to two-minute impromptu speeches on assigned topics.
- prepared speeches based on projects from the Toastmasters Pathways program. Projects cover fundamentals such as speech organization, voice, language, gestures, and persuasion.
- evaluations describe speech strengths and suggestions for improvement in a motivational way.
The Tools You Use
Upon joining a Toastmasters club, each new member receives access to the Pathways on-line learning system, or pays a small fee to receive it in print. Members also have access to other books, audio, and videos on speaking and leading. They also receive the award-winning monthly magazine, The Toastmaster, offering the latest insights on speaking and leadership.
Leadership cannot be learned in a day. It takes practice. In Toastmasters members build leadership skills by organizing and conducting meetings and motivating others to help them. Club leadership roles and a leadership development program also offer opportunities to learn and practice. Just as Toastmasters members learn to speak simply by speaking, they learn leadership by leading.
What It Costs
Toastmasters is the most cost effective program for personal and professional development, with proven results. There is a one-time registration fee, after which the annual fee varies among clubs.
Visitors are welcome at all Toastmasters clubs open to the public. Every club has a Membership officer who will arrange your visit. Find a day and time that best suits your schedule.