What is the Toastmasters International？
Toastmasters International (TI) is a nonprofit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of helping members improve their communication, public speaking, and leadership skills. Through its thousands of member clubs, Toastmasters International offers a program of communication and leadership projects designed to help people learn the arts of speaking, listening, and thinking.
The organization grew out of a single club, Smedley Chapter One Club, which would become the first Toastmasters club. It was founded by Ralph C. Smedley on October 22, 1924, at the YMCA in Santa Ana, California, United States. Toastmasters International was incorporated under California law on December 19, 1932. Throughout its history, Toastmasters has served over four million people, and today the organization serves over 292,000 members in 122 countries, through its over 14,350 member clubs.
How does it work?
A Toastmasters meeting is a learn-by-doing workshop in which participants hone their speaking and leadership skills in a no-pressure atmosphere. A typical group has 20 to 40 members who meet weekly, biweekly or monthly. A typical meeting lasts 60–90 minutes.
There is no instructor in a Toastmasters meeting. Instead, members evaluate one another’s presentations. This feedback process is a key part of the program’s success. Meeting participants also give impromptu talks on assigned topics, conduct meetings and develop skills related to timekeeping, grammar and parliamentary procedure.
Members learn communication skills by working in the Competent Communication manual, a series of 10 self-paced speaking assignments designed to instill a basic foundation in public speaking.
Members also learn leadership skills by taking on various meeting roles and working in the Competent Leadership manual. In our learn-by-doing approach, we don't lecture members about leadership skills; we give them responsibilities and mentoring to help. Then we ask them to lead.
Why should I join?
The Toastmasters program offers many benefits that help people in all walks of life. As a result of participating in Toastmasters, you will:
Increase your self-confidence
Become a better speaker
Become a better leader
Communicate more effectively