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What is Toastmasters International?

J.A. with Toastmasters logo

J.A. Gamache at the 2007 Toastmasters International Convention in Phoenix, U.S.A.

The Toastmasters International program is for anyone 18 years of age or older who wants to develop their ability to communicate confidently.


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Founded in 1924 in Santa Ana, California, Toastmasters International is a non-profit organization governed by a Board of Directors elected by the membership. 
As of August 2011, there were over 260,000 members, over 12,500 Toastmasters clubs worldwide.

The Toastmasters club in the Montreal area are either French, English or bilingual. Montreal's oldest club was founded in 1948!
Members meet at breakfast, lunch and in the evenings in corporations and communities of all types. No invitation is needed in order to join.

The typical club has 20 to 30 members who meet once a week for about two hours.

Typical meetings might consist of:

  • A short business session in which members practice and learn parliamentary procedure.
  • A Table Topics session, giving members the opportunity to participate in impromptu speech situations.
  • Prepared speeches from several of the club members, based on projects from the Communication and Leadership manuals.
  • An evaluation session, during which each speaker is provided with valuable feedback regarding the strengths of their presentation and ideas for potential improvements.
  • A critique of the evaluations and of the meeting as a whole by a general evaluator.

In addition to speaking, each member will have the opportunity to serve in several roles during the meetings, which are rotated from week to week.
For further information in the greater area of Montreal-Ottawa
visit the following web site: www.toastmastersdistrict61.org.

Anywhere else around the world, visit Toastmasters International website: www.toastmasters.org.


Texts of J.A.'s contest speeches

Have a look at some of J.A.'s contest speeches


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