Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs.
- a nonprofit organization,
- comprised of over 250,000 members in over 106 countries,
- represented by over 12,500 clubs, and
- dedicated to excellence in communication and leadership
Most Toastmasters clubs meet weekly for 1-2 hours, and follow a pretty basic agenda:
- Prepared speeches – Members are given opportunities to prepare, rehearse, and then deliver presentations in front of their fellow-members.
- Speech evaluations – Whenever you speak in Toastmasters, you receive helpful and supportive evaluations from your peers.
- Impromptu speaking – Members practice speaking “off the cuff” for one or two minutes by responding to general topics of interest (table topics).
Who Joins Toastmasters?
Anyone over the age of 18 can join Toastmasters, provided they have the desire to improve their communication and leadership skills.
Beyond that, Toastmasters members are a diverse group, spanning countries and cultures, and all socio-economic backgrounds.
The Toastmasters International website tells us that:
- 52% of members are female and 48% are male.
- Average annual household income: $85,000-$99,000.
- 30% earn $100,000+ annually.
- 69% of members are between the ages of 35 and 49.
- 82% have a college degree.
- 36% have an advanced degree.
What industries employ Toastmasters?
- 20% Sales, Consulting, Self Employed
- 18% Management
- 15% Finance & Insurance
- 15% Government
- 12% Education
- 20% Other
Why Should You Join Toastmasters?
Everyone has their own personal reasons for joining Toastmasters, but here are a few of the most common:
- Become a Better Public Speaker
Members work through a series of educational programs (at their own pace) designed to improve their ability to write speeches, design presentations, and deliver them.
- Overcome Public Speaking Fears
The most positive and supportive audience in the world is a Toastmasters club audience. Speaking regularly in front of a group helps you calm your nerves and communicate effectively.
- “Practice” Presentations for Other Audiences
Everyone has different motivations for wanting to speak better. Maybe you want to hone your presentation skills for your career. Perhaps you want to be able to speak out in your volunteer organization. Maybe you want to complement your portfolio as an author, manager, or other professional with speaking gigs? Whatever the case, Toastmasters is a wonderful laboratory for you to practice your presentations and gain valuable feedback.
- Gain the Confidence and Courage to Lead
Leadership and communication skills are intimately bound. Some might argue that leadership is nothing more than the ability to effectively communicate a vision. As your communication skills improve, your ability to lead will improve as well.
Local Toastmasters with Business emphasis: Town Criers (Wake-up-4-Wealth)
Local Clubs lookup, click HERE.