Toastmasters began at a YMCA in Santa Ana, CA by Dr. Ralph C. Smedley, in October 1924. The mission at the time was "training in the art of public speaking and in presiding over meetings." The name "Toastmaster" was chosen in the hopes it would appeal to the target people group of young men.
In 1930 the organization turned international with the opening of a club in British Columbia, Canada.
Eight years later, District 3 was organized, earning it the distinction of being the first District outside the state of California. These days, there are nearly 200 Toastmasters clubs with over 3,000 members in the Arizona District.
World wide, the 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization boasts a membership of nearly 250,000 members in more than 12,500 clubs in 106 countries.
||A group of approximately 20 (though this varies by quite a bit) Toastmasters
||President and 7 other club officers
||A group of 4-6 Clubs in a relatively close geographical area – ours is called Area G5, which includes clubs in Gilbert and Mesa
||A group of 6-7 Areas in a relatively close geographical area – ours is called the Gila Division, which includes Areas in Tempe, Mesa, Chandler, Gilbert, and a few other smaller towns
||Ours is District 3 – the State of Arizona
||District Governor, Lt Governor of Education & Training, Lt Governor of Marketing, Public Relations Officer, Secretary, Treasurer, District Executive Committee, District Council
||The paid staff of Toastmasters
||Executive Director & Management Staff
||The whole of the organization
||Board of Directors, President, Executive Committee
The Toastmasters Educational Program
There are two tracks in the Toastmasters educational program: The communication track and the leadership track. Most individuals focus only on the communication track – giving speeches – when they first join a Toastmasters club. There is so much more to the Toastmasters program than simply giving speeches.
The leadership track is easy to work – all you have to do is to bring your Competent Leadership manual with you each week, and you will find yourself completing it at about the same time you complete you Competent Communication manual.
Below is the full Toastmasters Educational Program:
The Communication Track
- Competent Communicator (CC):
Completed the 10 speech projects in the Competent Communication manual
- Advanced Communicator Bronze (ACB):
Achieved CC and completed two Advanced Communication manuals
- Advanced Communicator Silver (ACS):
Achieved ACB and completed two additional advanced communication manuals, conducted any two presentations from The Better Speaker Series and/or The Successful Club Series
- Advanced Communicator Gold (ACG):
Achieved ACS, completed two additional advanced communication manuals, conducted a Success/Leadership, Success/Communication or a Youth Leadership program, coached a new member with the first three speech projects
- Competent Leader (CL):
Completed the 10 leadership projects in the Competent Leadership manual
- Advanced Leader Bronze (ALB):
Achieved CL and CC awards, served at least six months as a club officer and participated in district-sponsored officer training program and participated in the preparation of a Club Success Plan during that time in office, and conducted any two presentations from The Successful Club Series and/or The Leadership Excellence Series.
- Advanced Leader Silver (ALS):
Achieved ALB award, served a complete term as a district officer, completed the High Performance Leadership program, served successfully as a club sponsor, mentor or coach
The pinnacle of Toastmasters involvement, the Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) award is the highest level of educational awards the organization bestows on its members. To become a DTM, the member must have:
- Achieved Advanced Communicator Gold award
- Achieved Advanced Leader Silver award
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