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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.

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



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]


Toastmasters International is 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]

Table TopicsEdit

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

Public speaking championshipEdit

Toastmasters runs an annual, international public speaking championship formally known as the Toastmasters International World Champion of Public Speaking.[7][8][9][10]

See alsoEdit


  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. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ Nasir, Noorain (October 26, 2014). "Winning with Words". The Hindu. Retrieved June 11, 2018. 
  9. ^ Murphy, Dave (March 20, 2002). "Sometimes you can be a successful flop". Chicago Tribune. 
  10. ^ Basheda, Lori (August 26, 2001). "Stand and deliver Speaking Toastmasters select their world champion, whose theme is failure's value. Series". Orange County Register. 


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

External linksEdit