Members of Toastmasters and Rotary will enhance their skills, broaden their networks and increase their positive impact in communities through a new collaboration. The ongoing relationship between the two organizations will begin at the grassroots level with local club members learning and working together. Additionally, Toastmasters will create a set of eight structured communication and leadership development courses for Rotary with a phased rollout that will be available in English in 2020, and in more languages in 2021.
Most people would rather die than give a speech. Public speaking is the number one fear for many people. In Toastmasters, persons learn how to feel comfortable in front of an audience, sharing knowledge, experiences, and values. This is not only fun for the audience, but it’s healing and even cleansing for Rotarians to share our stories. While it can initially be hard to open up and be vulnerable in front of peers, as we do so, it helps us understand and relate to each other.
Concurrently, members of the audience listening to others speak also benefit – identifying with the way the speaker feels, or the thoughts they have shared, producing empathy, trust, and a sense of community. These all lead to peace and as we learn and develop different speaking techniques, this benefits all areas of life, helping restore an art that is being lost in this day and age of communicating online.
Rotary International and Toastmasters International are now collaborating to give Rotary members increased opportunities for personal and professional growth. Rotary members have access to explore public speaking tips, videos, podcasts, and more from Toastmasters.
With its first unofficial meeting held in Bloomington, Ill., in March 1905, Toastmasters is a global nonprofit organization with more than 16,800 clubs in 143 countries. Its members attend club meetings where they learn how to be more confident speakers, communicators and leaders. Toastmasters’ vision for the ongoing collaboration with Rotary is to change more lives for the better, and positively impact communities around the world.
“The strategic alliance with Rotary is exciting and allows both organizations to leverage our unique and similar strengths,” says Deepak Menon, Toastmasters' 2019-20 International President. “We look forward to providing our current and prospective members with ongoing additional offerings that meet their evolving needs.”
“Collaborating with Toastmasters will provide our members with even more opportunities to develop and improve their leadership and communication skills,” said John Hewko, general secretary and CEO of Rotary International. “In turn, members of Toastmasters can connect with more people, take advantage of new speaking and learning opportunities, and make a difference in their communities through Rotary.”
Toastmasters can benefit a Rotary club in a number of ways:
  • It can improve the quality of Rotary club's weekly programs by creating a pool of people who can deliver a better talk. Often clubs invite someone to give a program because of their topic, regardless of their skills as a speaker. Imagine having a built in means of training people to deliver better programs.
  • It can enhance your leadership training. One member of a club joined when he was selected as president-elect of his alumni advisory council. He knew he would have several speaking engagements and joined Toastmasters to practice. Toastmasters members also learn skills in running meetings.
  • It can teach Rotary club members how to better share their Rotary story with the public. We have developed some great storytellers, and Rotarians have amazing stories to tell.
  • It can introduce people to Rotary and show them why they should join. Often, when non-Rotarians join a Toastmasters club, they inevitably hear about Rotary and end up joining.
Rotary provides its members opportunities to develop professionally, gain world understanding, and make lifelong friendships – all while volunteering to improve lives and bring lasting, positive change to communities. 
Rotary International is also creating a leadership and communication curriculum for Rotary and Rotaract members that will be available in English next year, with release in all Rotary languages by 2021.
Providing members with more opportunities for personal and professional growth is at the core of the newly formed Rotary/Toastmasters strategic alliance. There is much excitement to leverage unique and similar strengths and meet the evolving needs of current and prospective members. Get behind the efforts to establish fellowship and connections, and potentially strengthen your clubs and diversify membership!
Here’s how you and your Rotary club can get involved in this collaboration:
  1. Visit a local Toastmasters club to learn more about the organization. Toastmasters has 16,800 clubs in 143 countries, so you’re likely to find one near you. Go to
  2. Ask a member of Toastmasters to visit or speak at your club.
  3. Invite a Toastmasters member to participate in a club service activity or attend a social event.
  4. Work with your local Toastmasters club to hold a joint event so your members can discuss potential collaboration opportunities.
For FAQ and to learn more about this partnership, please visit
For further information or interviews from Toastmasters International, please contact or call +1720 619 5344.
For further information or interviews from Rotary International, please contact or call +1847 866 3466
About Toastmasters International: Toastmasters International is a worldwide nonprofit educational organization that empowers individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders. Headquartered in Englewood, Colo., the organization's membership exceeds 358,000 in more than 16,800 clubs in 143 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators and leaders. For information about local Toastmasters clubs, please visit Follow @Toastmasters on Twitter.