RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif., Aug. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Toastmasters International, the global organization devoted to communication and leadership skills development, announced record growth over the past year, with a 7.3 percent increase in membership, a 17.2 percent increase in new clubs and a presence in 126 countries. The results mark 21 consecutive years of growth for the nearly 90-year-old organization.
"Toastmasters' continued expansion is a reflection of people's desire for self-improvement and the demand in the marketplace for strong leaders and speakers," says George Yen, Toastmasters 2013-14 International President. "These results reflect an increased awareness of our proven programs. We are proud of our 15.6 percent growth outside North America, and we continue to expand globally, with clubs now in 126 countries."
Highlights of Toastmasters' annual growth include:
- 7.3 percent membership growth
- 17.2 percent new club growth
- Five new countries added Toastmasters clubs (Guinea, Iraq, Liberia, Uganda, Uruguay)
- The number of education awards earned by members increased in all categories
- Growth both in North America (4.5 percent) and internationally (15.6 percent)
Since October 1924, when Dr. Ralph Smedley held the first Toastmasters meeting in the basement of a YMCA in Santa Ana, Calif., millions of men and women have benefited from the Toastmasters experience, and the organization is thriving domestically and internationally.
"We have a number of initiatives underway, including expanding our presence in corporations and modernizing our education program, that will continue to make us relevant to a new generation of professionals," says Toastmasters Chief Executive Officer Daniel Rex. "These initiatives are supported by the efforts of leaders all over the world who volunteer their time and expertise."
To discuss Toastmasters' growth and future direction with CEO Daniel Rex, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To view a chart of Toastmasters' membership growth since 1990, visit http://www.toastmasters.org/membershipgrowthchart.
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 313,000 in more than 14,650 clubs in 126 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, visit www.toastmasters.org. Follow @Toastmasters on Twitter.
SOURCE Toastmasters International