Toastmasters is excellent value for money.
Membership is usually less than the price of a coffee per week and offers the following benefits:
- Improved public speaking and leadership skills
- Greater self-confidence and self-awareness
- Personal and professional growth
- Networking with new people and potential friends
- Regular 1-2 hour meetings
- Learn in a safe, supportive and friendly environment
- Regular encouragement and constructive feedback
- ‘Pathways’ Online Learning Experience
- Access to comprehensive Members Resources
*Fees vary from club to club depending on services and facilities
"Understanding comes through communication, and through communication we find the way to peace."
Ralph C. Smedley – Founder
remember the past
Toastmasters began as a series of speaking clubs organized by Ralph C. Smedley during his time working for the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) in Bloomington, Illinois, United States. As director of education at the YMCA, Smedley saw a need for the men in the community to learn how to speak, conduct meetings, plan programs and work on committees, and he wanted to help them.
Smedley decided to organize a club where they could learn these skills in a social environment, and the men responded well to the concept. He named the group the Toastmasters Club; “toastmaster” was a popular term that referred to a person who gave toasts at banquets and other occasions.
The first unofficial Toastmasters meeting was held on March 24, 1905. Much like Toastmasters meetings today, the participants took turns leading and speaking at each meeting. Smedley and the older, more experienced men evaluated short speeches, while the younger men were invited to join in the evaluations. However, as Smedley was offered positions at other YMCAs in Illinois and later, in San Jose, California, the fledgling clubs lacked leadership and did not flourish.