What is Toastmasters
Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. Our membership is 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.
The world needs leaders. Leaders head families, coach teams, run businesses and mentor others. These leaders must not only accomplish, they must communicate. By regularly giving speeches, gaining feedback, leading teams and guiding others to achieve their goals in a supportive atmosphere, leaders emerge from the Toastmasters program. Every Toastmasters 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.
What Toastmasters Can Do For You
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. How to join…
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 once a week for about an hour. Each meeting gives everyone an opportunity to practice:
- Conducting meetings. Meetings usually begin with a short business session which helps members learn basic meeting procedures.
- Giving impromptu speeches. Members present one-to two-minute impromptu speeches on assigned topics.
- Presenting prepared speeches. Three or more members present speeches based on projects from the Toastmasters International Communication and Leadership Program manuals. Projects cover such topics as speech organization, voice, language, gestures, and persuasion.
- Offering constructive evaluation. Every prepared speaker is assigned an evaluator who points out speech strengths and offers suggestions for improvement
The Tools You Use
Upon joining a Toastmasters club, each new member receives a variety of manuals and resources on speaking. Members also have access to other books, audio, and videos on speaking and leading. They also receive the award-winning The Toastmaster, a monthly magazine 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.
A company’s success also depends on communication. Employees face an endless exchange of ideas, messages, and information as they deal with one another and with customers day-to-day. How well they communicate can determine whether a company quickly grows into an industry leader or joins thousands of other businesses mired in mediocrity. Toastmasters provides the tools that enable employees to become effective communicators and leaders all at a very low cost. Toastmasters training helps employees:
- give better sales presentations
- hone their management skills
- work better with fellow employees
- effectively develop and present ideas
- offer constructive feedback
- accept criticism more objectively
Toastmasters produces results. Around the world more than three million men and women of all ages and occupations benefited from Toastmasters training, and more than one thousand corporations, community groups, universities, associations, and government agencies now use Toastmasters training.
Toastmasters also helps members in their community service activities. Using the speaking and leadership skills developed in Toastmasters, people become more active in business, 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.
About Toastmasters International
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 October 22, 1924, 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 December 19, 1932.
Toastmasters International’s is administered by its World Headquarters, located in Rancho Santa Margarita, California. It employs no paid promoters or instructors. It has no salaried staff except the Executive Director and World Headquarters staff, who provide services to the Clubs and Districts.