Written by Nadiah Zainal
Toastmasters Internationalis a term that is still quite foreign to Malaysians especially the university students. From a quick survey, only 5 out of 20 university students know the word toastmasters and what it is all about. A little bit on the history of toastmasters, according to toastmasters.org, the journey began when Ralph C. Smedley, an education director at the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) organized a series of speaking club. At that time, he feels that the men in the community need to learn the essentials of how to speak in order for them to conduct meetings, program planning, and other skills to help them in a social environment
The first toastmasters meeting was first conducted on the 24th March 1905. In general, we know that the term ‘toast’ is used whenever a person wanted to give toast at an occasions. Smedley take the concept and created the club’s name; ‘Toastmasters’. Today, after 90 years since it started, the club is still standing strong and it is now known as the ‘Toastmasters International’.
People with basic knowledge on toastmasters usually will generalize toastmasters club as a place where people practice public speaking. It is not just a place for people to practice public speaking, it is the place that people can learn lots of skills that will definitely benefit them. Public speaking is not everyone’s cup of tea. Not everyone is good in talking in front of people. Toastmaster will definitely help people that have difficulties in that area. It will give you the skills like how to prepare the speech, how your body should speak (body language), what kind of tone you should use and many more. Once you have mastered it, it will then give you the confidence when speaking in front of people and how you present yourself to the world.
Speaking from experience, you are also in the learning process whenever you are watching other people speak during toastmaster’s session. Different people have different styles of presenting their words and from that you get a piece of their skills. Furthermore, you will meet people that might have the same difficulties and the same mission as you. This will make it easier for you to practice and be more comfortable as you know that you will be supporting each other to do well.
Toastmaster is not a boring place to be. It might sound nerdy and too academic but it is a fun place to be that has lots of fun activities. And you know that it is the place that will make you a confident and a better communicator.
Once you become a Toastmasters member, you are always welcome to attend any toastmasters meeting in more than 15,900 clubs and in more than 142 countries all over the world. To date, there are more than 345,000 memberships in Toastmasters International Club. You will never be alone because there are always Toastmasters members anywhere you go.
History: The toastmasters journey. (n.d.). Retrieved from