In October 1924, a group of men assembled by Dr. Ralph C. Smedley met in the basement of the YMCA in Santa Ana, California, U.S.A., forming a club “to afford practice and training in the art of public speaking and in presiding over meetings, and to promote sociability and good fellowship among its members.” The group took the name “Toastmasters.”
Soon men in other communities and states asked for permission and help to start their own Toastmasters clubs. By 1930, a federation was necessary to coordinate activities of the many clubs and to provide a standard program.
When a speaking club in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada, expressed interest in forming a Toastmasters club, the group became known as Toastmasters International.
Toastmasters International entered the new century as the undisputed world leader in public speaking training, with over 10,500 clubs and more than 200,000 members in over 120 countries. In the years to come, more people than ever will benefit from Toastmasters leadership and education.
For more information see www.toastmasters.org