Opening Address – The History of Toastmasters

“The History of Toastmasters”
Opening address – 25 March 2008 chapter meeting

Good Evening!
Fellow Toastmasters and Friends!
Welcome to Kowloon-Singapore Toastmasters Club!

Tonight we have a few guests attending our chapter meeting for the first time.
Let’s give them a round of applause.

Our guests may not know what toastmasters are all about.
A toastmaster is not a toast or a toaster.

Let me give you some background information.

The first toastmasters’ club was formed in Oct 1924, when a group of young men assembled by  Dr. Ralph C. Smedley met in the basement of the Santa Ana, California YMCA.

Dr Smedley began working as a director of education for a local YMCA after graduating from college. He realized that the older boys who visited the YMCA needed training in the art of public speaking. He wanted to help them, and so he began a public speaking club.
He decided the training format would be similar to a social club. During the early 1900s the word “toastmaster” referred to a person who proposed the toast and introduced speakers at a banquet. Smedley named his group “The Toastmasters Club” because he thought it suggested a pleasant, social atmosphere which appealed to young men.

Growth was slow during the early years, but the number of clubs increased steadily.  Membership in Toastmasters International increased rapidly after the end of World War II, and by 1954 the number of Toastmasters clubs had approached 1,500.

Dr Smedley’s legacy has continued to flourish. Throughout the ’80s, Toastmasters International established itself as the world leader in the training of public speaking. Today, there are more than 220,000 members in 113,000 clubs spread over in 90 countries.

Speaking with confidence is really useful.  However, not everyone can do it.

You may have read books on how to conquer the fear of public speaking.
You may have attended courses or workshops on how to improve your communication skills.

However, you lack a platform for practice.
Practice is the key to helping you improve in public speaking.

The purpose of KSTMC is to provide opportunities for our members to practise and improve their communication skills, using the methodology of “learning by doing”.

Through educational workshops, prepared speeches and impromptu speeches, our members can learn from the feedback given by more experienced speakers.

If you want to overcome stage fright and learn to speak with confidence, join Kowloon-Singapore toastmasters club.

Toastmaster of the evening!

Club President 2007-2008
Kowloon-Singapore Toastmasters Club


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