Toastmasters International (TI) is a nonprofit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of helping members improve their communication, public speaking, and leadership skills. There are 14,000 affiliated clubs around the world with more than 250 clubs in Chicago area with around 100 affiliated with sponsoring organizations.The mission of a Toastmasters club is to provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every member has the opportunity to develop communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster self-confidence and personal growth. More

Northwestern Toastmasters was formed in the Fall of 2014. It is supported by the Community Building Grant of the Northwestern University Graduate School. Northwestern Toastmasters is chartered with Toastmasters International, Club# 05540391 and part of District 30.

How it Works

  • Learn-by-doing
  • No instructor, we critique each other!



Toastmasters began as a series of speaking clubs organized by Ralph C. Smedley (photo on the left) during his time working for the YMCA (Young Men's Christian Association) in Bloomington, Illinois, United States. Hence, our district (District 30) is called the Founders' District. Ralph C. Smedley died in 1965. In 1970, Toastmasters International admitted its first female member, Helen Blanchard (photo to the right), under the name Homer Blanchard. In 1973, Toastmasters began officially admitting women, and in 1985, Helen became Toastmasters' first female international president. For more detailed history, click here.



Other University Toastmasters Clubs

This is just a small sample of university clubs in US. Many universities in US and across the world have a Toastmasters club.