Toastmasters International is a not for profit organisation, represented by over 12,500 clubs, comprised of 250,000 members in 106 countries and is dedicated to excellence in leadership and communication. The basis of Toastmasters is a “learn by doing” workshop where members can improve their public speaking and leadership skills in a welcoming, friendly environment - a typical class has around 30 members who meet every couple of weeks to practice their skills.
Ralph Smedley opened the first Toastmasters club as far back as 1924 in Santa Ana California at his local YMCA. His aim was to meet the needs of leadership and speech training for young men in his local area, his “Ten Lessons in Public Speaking” is still the back bone of today’s Toastmasters educational program, in the form of the Competent Communicator Manual. Visit the Toastmasters International to Learn More About the History of Toastmasters.
The Competent Communication manual is a series of 10 self-paced assignments which provides members with a foundational education in public speaking in which members learn to hone their, delivery, speech organisation, eye contact gestures and more. Once this manual has been completed, members can choose from fifteen different manuals including, humorous speaking, persuasive speaking and storytelling.
In addition to this, members can opt to take the “competent Leadership” manual, which focusses on developing members leadership skills. This involves taking on various meeting roles and serving as a club officer. More information about the curriculum can be found on the Educational Program page.