The Story of Toastmasters

Since Toastmasters began, more than 2 million men and women have benefited from the communication and leadership programs of the organisation.

The first club was formed in October 1924, when a group of men assembled by Dr Ralph Smedley met in the basement of Santa Ana California YMCA. The aim was ‘’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”.

Other clubs were formed. By 1930, it became known as Toastmasters International. Basic Training was introduced in 1942 and has been expanded and updated many times since then to keep abreast of the times and needs of members.

In 1973, Toastmasters membership was opened to women. This change enabled everyone to benefit from the Toastmasters program of self- development.

There have been many changes to the education program over the years to meet the ever changing needs of the members. Leadership has become a stronger focus and this reflects in the introduction of the Competent Leadership Manual introduced in 2006.

Toastmasters International continues to grow every year. In Australia, there are over 500 clubs and more than 10,000 members. Dr Ralph Smedley would be proud to know that because of his dedication, millions of lives will be changed throughout the world. With 11,700 clubs and more than 235,000 members across 92 countries, Toastmasters continues to thrive in the 21 century.

Indooroopilly club was chartered on 6 October 1980, meeting at that time in the Uniting Church Hall, Station Rd Indooroopilly.

Dr Smedley maintained that “people learn best whilst enjoying themselves” and the success of this philosophy is demonstrated in the achievements of the members of Indooroopilly Toastmasters.