Frequently Asked Questions about Toastmasters

Do you want to know

If so, read below.

What is Toastmasters?

Toastmasters is a training and educational organisation which teaches its members communication, leadership, training and management skills, and builds their self-confidence and leadership skills through public speaking. It is the largest and most successful organisation of its type in the world.

How long has Toastmasters been around?

Toastmasters International was founded in 1924 and now has around 14,700 Clubs in 144 countries with 280,000 members. There are around 600 clubs and 10,000 members in Australia, with around 280 of these clubs being in NSW or the ACT. As a Toastmaster you will be welcome in any of these Clubs.

Why do people join Toastmasters?

People join Toastmasters in order to:

  • Practice public speaking and enhance their presentation skills
  • Develop the skills to persuade and convince others
  • Learn to put their ideas across clearly and with conviction
  • Improve their self-confidence before a group of people
  • Learn to think quickly and clearly under pressure
  • Learn to listen effectively and critically
  • Learn to supportively evaluate someone else's presentation
  • Train to become a good leader
What specifically will I learn to do as a Toastmaster?

In a Toastmasters Club you will learn, by doing,

  • How to give an impromptu speech
  • How to give a prepared speech
  • How to evaluate what you hear
  • How to introduce speakers
  • How to be a more effective leader of people
  • How to chair and run meetings

How do I learn these skills?

When you join a Toastmasters Club you will be enrolled in the Toastmasters’ education program called Pathways. In the Pathways learning experience there are 11 specialized learning paths to choose from and an opportunity to leverage over 300 unique competencies.

Pathways is a cutomised learning experience designed to help you meet your personal and professional goals. It is built around the four guiding principles of Toastmasters, being experiential learning, self-paced learning, peer evaluation and mentoring.

In particular you learn by doing with your efforts evaluated by your fellow Club members. You will be gradually introduced to the various roles within a Toastmasters meeting. Gaining proficiency in these helps improve your communication and build your leadership skills.

How soon will I be an expert?

People all progress at their own pace. Some move faster than others but everyone who joins Toastmasters and participates in the program can be sure they will become a competent speaker. Your skills develop gradually. As you proceed you will find that situations that once terrified you, now hold no fears for you.

Is it expensive?

No. In fact in comparison to various courses, seminars, programs and kits offered through the media, Toastmasters is the least expensive and in our opinion the most effective way to learn public speaking and to develop confidence and self esteem. While clubs charge their fees in various ways, the ongoing cost to belong to Toastmasters usually works out at around $10-20 per month. The initial joining fee is normally around $100, which may include some months worth of membership fees. Venue hire and/or meal charges may also apply at meetings.

Who can join Toastmasters?

Anyone over the age of 18 years may join Toastmasters. With around 280 clubs in New South Wales and the ACT, there is sure to be a club near you! You can find details of Toastmasters clubs by clicking the Find a Club link.

What do I need to do to join Toastmasters?

You need to visit a Club. Visitors are always assured of a friendly welcome at every Toastmasters Club. Visitors may attend one or more Clubs a number of times to see the Toastmasters program in action without any obligation. Clubs differ in size, culture, types of venues, meeting times and lengths and meal arrangements, so "shopping around" is sometimes necessary to find a suitable Club.

How do I choose a club to visit?

Go to our Find a Club section to find details of the Clubs in your area. Please use the contact phone number or email address to contact a Club before you visit them. This ensures that you will be expected and enables the Club to explain any special aspects of their next meetings.

What do I do if I need more information?

to our enquiries service.