How it began
Toastmasters began as a series of speaking clubs organized by Ralph C. Smedley 90 years ago in Illinois, United States. Smedley saw a need in the community to learn how to speak, conduct meetings, plan programs and work on committees.
He decided to organize a club where people could learn these skills in a social environment.
The group was named the Toastmasters Club - "toastmaster" was a popular term that referred to a person who gave toasts at banquets and other occasions.