Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of meeting locations.
Headquartered in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, the organization has more than 260,000 members in over 12,500 clubs in 113 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people of all backgrounds become more confident in front of an audience.
Most Toastmasters meetings are comprised of small to moderate-sized groups who meet weekly for an hour or two. Participants practice and learn skills by filling a meeting role, ranging from giving a prepared speech or an impromptu one to serving as timer, evaluator or grammarian.
There is no instructor; instead, each speech and meeting is critiqued by a member in a positive manner, focusing on what was done right and what could be improved.
Good communicators tend to be good leaders. Some well-known Toastmasters alumni include:
Peter Coors of Coors Brewing Company
Debbi Fields, founder of Mrs. Fields Cookies
Tom Peters, management expert and author
Linda Lingle, Governor of Hawaii
Toastmasters International is the leading movement devoted to making effective oral communication a worldwide reality.
Through its member clubs, Toastmasters International helps men and women learn the arts of speaking, listening, and thinking – vital skills that promote self-actualization, enhance leadership potential, foster human understanding, and contribute to the betterment of mankind.
It is basic to this mission that Toastmasters International continually expand its worldwide network of member clubs, thereby offering ever-greater numbers of people the opportunity to benefit from its programs.
Toastmasters International empowers people to achieve their full potential and realize their dreams. Through our member clubs, people throughout the world can improve their communication and leadership skills, and find the courage to change.
Toastmasters International’s core values are integrity, dedication to excellence, service to the member, and respect for the individual. These are values worthy of a great organization, and we believe we should incorporate them as anchor points in every decision we make. Our core values provide us with a means of not only guiding but also evaluating our operations, our planning, and our vision for the future.
For more information about Toastmasters International, visit www.Toastmasters.org.
*Information excerpted from Toastmasters International website