CanadaOne Twitter CanadaOne Linkedin CanadaOne Facebook CanadaONe RSS


Association Profile: Toastmasters International

By CO Staff @canadaone |

If the idea of speaking in front of a room of people terrifies you, you are not alone.

Many people are uncomfortable at the podium, yet being able to present with confidence is an important skill to develop when starting or growing a small business.

Whether you need help overcoming a fear of public speaking or simply want to improve your presentation skills, Toastmasters International is a great starting point. Here is an interview that provides a good overview of the organization.

What is Toastmasters?

At Toastmasters, members learn by speaking to groups and working with others in a supportive environment. A typical Toastmasters club is made up of 20 to 40 people who meet once a week for about an hour. Each meeting gives everyone an opportunity to practice:

  • Conducting meetings. Meetings usually begin with a short business session which helps members learn basic meeting procedures.
  • Giving impromptu speeches. Members present one- to two-minute impromptu speeches on assigned topics.
  • Presenting prepared speeches. Three or more members present speeches based on projects from the Toastmasters International Communication and Leadership Program manuals. Projects cover such topics as speech organization, voice, language, gestures and persuasion.
  • Offering constructive evaluation. Every prepared speaker is assigned an evaluator who points out speech strengths and offers suggestions for improvement.

Who can join, and what will it cost?

Anyone age 18 or older can apply for membership in a club. I suggest they visit several clubs and find one they feel comfortable with. Each club has its own personality. Basic fees are U.S. $20 to join and receive the needed materials. In addition, dues of U.S. $36 are assessed every six months. The local clubs may also assess additional fees, based on local expenses.

Please note: Daniel is an American representative of Toastmasters. For a Canadian quote, we spoke to Adrian Constantinescu, CC, club president of Richmond Hill Toastmasters club, in Richmond Hill, Ontario. He says his club charges a one-time initiation fee of $40 and an annual fee of $145.

How does one find the Toastmasters club nearest to them?

The best way is to visit our website at and follow the Find a Club link.

How can members benefit from what Toastmasters has to offer?

Your success in business is based on how effective you are. Through participation in the Toastmasters Communication and Leadership development program, people from all backgrounds learn to speak effectively, conduct a meeting, manage a department or business, lead, delegate and motivate.

How Toastmasters works:

  • As your improved communication skills become obvious within the workplace, increased visibility, recognition and promotion will follow.
  • Your improved presentation skills will win you the respect and admiration of your colleagues and employees - and make them wonder what you did to change!
  • Leadership skills acquired through participation in Toastmasters will increase your management potential.
  • As a Toastmaster, you will acquire an increased ability to motivate and persuade, making you more effective as a supervisor or manager.
  • Members of Toastmasters clubs have access to a wide range of educational materials, including books, audio and videotapes, and seminar programs available at reduced cost through the Toastmasters Online Store.

How can business owners benefit from Toastmasters?

Successful business owners have to be good communicators. Toastmasters can help them give better off-the-cuff remarks and better-prepared presentations, and also give better employee evaluations. Impromptu and prepared speaking and evaluations are all practiced in a Toastmasters meeting.

Canadian, Eh!

For over 15 years CanadaOne has helped Canadian businesses start-up and grow. All of the content on our site is created to help busineses get Canadian answers!

Featured Member

MemberZone. Get in the zone! Join Today!

CanadaOne Recommends

Bullies in the Boardroom: Covering the Legal Bases

Should I Start My Own Company?

Conversations with Entrepreneurs: Billy Blanks

Avoiding Legal Perils: Critical Insights into Canadian Franchise Law

Starting a Business: Choosing a Year-End


Article Tags