Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Toastmasters International

Toastmasters International, a nonprofit educational organization, was established on October 22, 1924, at the YMCA in Santa Ana, California, by Dr. Ralph C. Smedley for the purpose of helping others to speak more effectively. Toastmasters International was incorporated under California law on December 19, 1932.

Toastmasters is the world's largest organization devoted to developing communication skills. It now has some 175,000 members in 8800 Toastmasters clubs in about 70 countries.

A Toastmasters club is a "learn-by-doing" workshop. A typical club has 20 to 40 members, who meet weekly or biweekly for an hour or two to learn and practice public speaking techniques. Upon joining a Toastmasters club, members progress through a series of 10 speaking assignments designed to instill a basic foundation in public speaking. Members also develop and practice leadership skills using the High Performance Leadership Program and serving as leaders at various organizational levels.

There is no instructor in a Toastmasters club. Instead, members evaluate one another's oral presentations. Besides taking turns delivering prepared speeches and evaluating those of other members, Toastmasters give impromptu talks on assigned topics, usually related to current events. They also develop listening skills, conduct meetings, and learn parliamentary procedure.

See also: Public speaking

External link

Toastmasters International's Web site is .