Toastmasters International

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Toastmasters International
Toastmasters 2011.png
Abbreviation TI, TM
Formation October 22, 1924 (1924-10-22); incorporated December 19, 1932 (1932-12-19)[1]
Type INGO
Legal status Non-profit organization
Purpose Educational
Headquarters 9127 South Jamaica St., Englewood, Colorado, US
Region served
Worldwide
Membership
Over 352,000 members; 16,400 clubs in 141 countries[2]
International President
Balraj Arunasalam, DTM
Main organ
Board of Directors
Revenue
$34,115,557 (2014)
Staff
160
Volunteers
108,383
Website Toastmasters International

Toastmasters International (TI) is a US headquartered nonprofit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of promoting communication, public speaking, and leadership skills.

History[edit]

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.[1] It originated as a set of classes with the aim of improving the communication skills of the young men under his charge.[3] Toastmasters International was incorporated under Californian law on December 19, 1932.[1][4]

The first international chapter was established in Vancouver, Canada in 1932. The organization began admitting women in 1973.[1][5]

Throughout its history, Toastmasters has served over four million people, and today the organization serves over 352,000 members in 141 countries, through its 16,400 member clubs.[2] Toastmasters membership increased rapidly around the turn of the century, nearing 16,000 clubs worldwide by 2016.[6]

Meetings[edit]

Toastmasters International uses a local club-based structure, each having around 20-40 members. Meetings are held every week or other week and usually in the evening, although some clubs meet in the morning or afternoon.[1][3][4] Each club operates as a separate entity with a set of requirements leading to chartered status for them to be recognised as official Toastmasters clubs. Chartered status allows for clubs to use the names, promotional material and programme of TI.[7]

Table Topics[edit]

A main part of meetings is the Table Topics, which are off-the-cuff speeches which are assigned on the spot by a Topicsmaster. The goal of this is to think on one's feet with minimal preparation. Attendees are then asked to vote on who they thought gave the best speech.[1][3][4]

Speeches[edit]

Every meeting is based around a set of organised speeches. Speakers are evaluated by an experienced member who then gives an impromptu speech with constructive feedback based on their performance.[8]

Education[edit]

Toastmasters International places a large emphasis on building the public speaking and leadership skills of its members.[8] The current education system consists of ten differing paths suited to their needs and requirements, based around Public Speaking, Interpersonal Communication, Management, Strategic Leadership, and Confidence. Each path consists of 14 projects.[9] Content consists of online and print materials, it being the first time in the organisation’s history to provide modern technology in its programme.[9][10] Content is available in English, French and German.[11]

Public speaking championship[edit]

Toastmasters runs an international public speaking championship formally known as the Toastmasters International World Champion of Public Speaking, which is held annually at its International Convention in August.[12][13][14][15] It started in 1938 and involves over 33,000 participants in 141 countries making it the world's largest speech contest.[13][16] There is a six-month process of elimination to reach the semifinals, in which in 2018 there were 106 participants who got that far. There are ten places in the final and speeches are judged on content, gestures, organisation and style.[16]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Scott, Majorie (November 1990). "Out of the Past: Toasting the Toastmasters" (Digitised magazine). Orange Coast (November 1990). pp. 45–46. Retrieved June 12, 2018 – via Google Books. 
  2. ^ a b "Who We Are". Toastmasters International. Retrieved March 26, 2018. 
  3. ^ a b c Synge, Daniel (September 12, 1995). "How to speak in public". The Independent. London. Retrieved June 14, 2018. 
  4. ^ a b c "'Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking...'" ((Digitised magazine)). Changing Times (The Kiplinger Magazine) (April 1970). The Kiplinger Washington Editors. April 1970. pp. 17–18. Retrieved June 14, 2018. 
  5. ^ Laviola, Karen (October 24, 1989). "A toast to Toastmasters' 65 years". Orange County Register. 
  6. ^ Blake, John (October 14, 2016). "Stop texting and start speaking: The Olympians of storytelling show you how". CNN. Retrieved June 12, 2018. 
  7. ^ Dewey, Larry (January 1966). "Score Yourself as a Public Speaker" (PDF). Montana Prison News (Volume VII, No. 1). pp. 51–52. Retrieved 23 June 2018. 
  8. ^ a b Delacruz, Bernard (PhD) (June 2016). "My Road to Toastmasters" (PDF). Postscripts (Vol 6, No 44). American Medical Writers Association - Pacific Southwest Chapter. pp. 96–97. Retrieved 22 June 2018. 
  9. ^ a b "Toastmasters modernizes its education program with Pathways". Bangkok Post. 22 June 2018. Retrieved 22 June 2018. 
  10. ^ Majumdar, Meghna (6 March 2018). "Pathways: Toastmasters' programme goes online". The Hindu. Retrieved 22 June 2018. 
  11. ^ Bauldry, Jess (31 May 2018). "Public speaking in Luxembourgish". Delano - Luxembourg in English. Luxembourg. Retrieved 22 June 2018. 
  12. ^ Mooney, Harrison (August 28, 2017). "Vancouver lends an ear to world's best speakers; Toastmasters holds 86th convention, crowns new international champion". The Vancouver Sun. 
  13. ^ a b Nasir, Noorain (October 26, 2014). "Winning with Words". The Hindu. Retrieved June 11, 2018. 
  14. ^ Murphy, Dave (March 20, 2002). "Sometimes you can be a successful flop". Chicago Tribune. 
  15. ^ Basheda, Lori (August 26, 2001). "Stand and deliver Speaking Toastmasters select their world champion, whose theme is failure's value. Series". Orange County Register. 
  16. ^ a b "Resident of France is semifinalist in the world's largest speech contest". Bangkok Post. 1 June 2018. Retrieved 22 June 2018. 

References[edit]

  • Smedley, Ralph (1959). The Story of Toastmasters. Toastmasters International. 

External links[edit]