Overview of Toastmasters International:
Toastmasters International is an organization dedicated to helping people improve public speaking skills
, communication skills and self-confidence. Founded in 1924 at the YMCA in Santa Ana, California, Toastmasters is now located in over one hundred countries. Members join local groups and participate in weekly sessions lasting between one and two hours. The primary goal of Toastmasters is to help you become more comfortable and competent in front of an audience.
A Typical Meeting:
During Toastmasters meetings, members give prepared and impromptu speeches, and also serve as peer evaluators. There are no instructors at Toastmaster meetings. Instead, members provide feedback to each other about areas for improvement and areas of strength.
How to Join Toastmasters:
The first step in joining Toastmasters is to find a local group and attend a meeting. Visit the Toastmasters International website
, find the group closest to you, and call or email to confirm the time and location for their next meeting. After attending the meeting you can complete an application to join; Once your application is approved you will receive a new member kit.
Who Can Join Toastmasters:
Anyone over 18 is eligible to join. If there is no local group in your area, you have the option to start your own.
Cost to Join Toastmasters:
Membership dues vary so it is best to contact your local group. However, fees are generally very reasonable.
Well-Known Toastmasters Members:
Well-known toastmasters include Peter Coors of the Coors brewing company, Debbi Fields, founder of Mrs. Fields Cookies, Tom Peters, management expert and author, and Linda Lingle, Governor of Hawaii.