RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif., Oct. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Toastmasters International, a global leader in communication and leadership skills development, continues its consistent growth, announcing an increase in total memberships for the 20th year in a row. The organization—founded 89 years ago this week—added more than 10,000 members last year.
Toastmasters Chief Executive Officer Daniel Rex attributes the growth trend to a renewed focus on club quality. "We have ensured that clubs offer participants solid benefits of value in their workplace, community and personal lives," says Rex. "Speaking well face-to-face is more relevant than ever in this digital age."
In 2012–2013, Toastmasters formed 1,236 clubs, bringing the total to more than 14,350 and boosting memberships to more than 292,000 worldwide. Twenty years ago the total club count was 8,033 and the membership level was 172,447. The organization also added eight new member countries: Afghanistan, Antigua/Barbuda, Cambodia, Colombia, Dominica, Israel, Laos, and Rwanda. Toastmasters' global reach now extends to 122 nations in all—more than double the amount of member countries from two decades ago.
Evidence of transformation abounds. In 2011, Toastmasters updated its branding to better reflect its global identity and market positioning. It also improved its leadership educational component, chartered many college clubs and captured a younger demographic. According to a recent Toastmasters survey, 25.4% of members are between the ages of 18 and 34.
Plans for improvement include a revitalized education curriculum that will take advantage of technology such as mobile web applications and video. More than ever, current and prospective members use social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to engage with Toastmasters International and learn tips on how to become better communicators and leaders.
About Toastmasters International
Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of meeting locations. Headquartered in Rancho Santa Margarita, California, the organization's membership exceeds 292,000 in more than 14,350 clubs in 122 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people of all backgrounds become more confident in front of an audience. For information about local Toastmasters clubs, please visit www.toastmasters.org. Follow @Toastmasters on Twitter.
SOURCE Toastmasters International