What is Toastmasters?
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Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. Today, the membership is 260,000 strong. These members improve their speaking and leadership skills by attending one of the 12,500-plus clubs that make up the global network of meeting locations. Since 1924, more than 4 million people around the world have become more confident speakers and leaders because of their participation in Toastmasters.
Toastmasters are members of a Club comprised of approximately 20 people that meets weekly or bi-weekly for an hour or two. Participants practice and learn communication and leadership skills by filling meeting roles, for example giving a prepared speech, giving an impromptu speech, or giving an oral evaluation of a fellow member's speech. There is no instructor. Instead, each speech as well as the meeting are critiqued by a member in a positive manner, focusing on what was done right and suggestions for improvement.
Members learn speaking 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.
For more information, view the What is Toastmasters? PowerPoint slide show
Below is a one-minute "Welcome to Toastmasters" video with several testimonials
Below is a 10-minute "Toastmasters Meeting Demonstration" video