What Is Toastmasters?

Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. Headquartered in Englewood, Colorado, the organization's membership exceeds 357,000 in more than 16,600 clubs in 143 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators, and leaders.

The Toastmasters club meeting is the vehicle through which members become better speakers, listeners, thinkers, and leaders. There are clubs all over the world and about 100 in Northeast Ohio. There is probably one near you.

Clubs are grouped into areas, areas into divisions, divisions into districts, and districts into regions. Through these levels, clubs are provided additional support such as leadership training, club management training, marketing, and communications. There are eight regions in the USA and Canada, plus the overseas districts and clubs. Toastmasters is truly an international organization.

Toastmasters - Northeast Ohio

Anyone 18 years of age or older who wants to improve his or her communication skills is eligible for membership.

If you are interested in learning more about Toastmasters, we encourage you to visit any of our clubs. Guests are welcome!

How Toastmasters Works

Club meetings vary in personality, as people vary. All clubs, however, have the following in common in their meetings:

  • Prepared speeches: you work on projects from a proven curriculum, building real-world skills in a variety of disciplines

  • Impromptu speeches: you have the opportunity to practice your skills in speaking with no preparation

  • Peer feedback: you grow and improve through supportive peer evaluation

  • Mentoring: Experienced mentors encourage, guide, and support you in your goals and help you to achieve more than you thought possible

  • Leadership development: club members serve as club officers and run every aspect of the club

District 10 – Northeast Ohio

Visit a club in Northeast Ohio! Every club is different, so the only way you will know if a club is the “right” club for you is to visit a few in your area.

Find a Club Near You!


District 10 Leadership

Need to contact your area director, district director, or other member of the district executive committee?

District 10 Speakers Bureau


Whether it’s a 10-minute presentation or a full-day seminar, our expert speakers will add a compelling element to your gathering without subtracting from your budget.

Speaking engagements arranged through the District 10 Toastmasters Speakers Bureau are a complimentary community service. Some Speakers Bureau members may be available for future appearances on a for-fee basis. The Bureau does not schedule, negotiate, or collect fees for any paid appearances.

All Speakers Bureau presenters are currently members in good standing of Toastmasters International. They’ve met rigorous requirements of communication and leadership training, and many have earned advanced awards, held officer positions, and competed in speech contests against some of the best speakers in the world.

Toastmasters District 10 can help fill your event schedule and make you look like a hero!

Youth Leadership Program (YLP)

The Youth Leadership Program is a workshop consisting of eight one- to two-hour sessions that enable young people under the age of 18 to develop their communication and leadership skills through practical experience. The program is presented during or after school, or on weekends.

In the workshop, young people learn valuable skills including:

  • Evaluating their own speaking ability

  • Preparing and giving speeches

  • Giving impromptu talks

  • Controlling their voice, vocabulary, and gestures

  • Giving constructive feedback and more

How the program works

Participants in the Youth Leadership Program are selected by a sponsoring Toastmasters club or by a cooperating organization (such as a school). The workshops are structured for small group learning and are limited to 25 students. They are presented by a coordinator who attends each meeting. Meetings generally follow a format similar to that of a Toastmasters club meeting, with an announced agenda that includes practice in parliamentary procedure, prepared and impromptu speeches and the selection of presiding officers.

Steps to coordinate a Youth Leadership Program

How to Start a Youth Leadership Program

The Speakers of YLP—See Examples of YLP Participants in Action

District 10 History

District 10 began with the formation of Akron Toastmasters Club #151 in 1939.

Lewis (Lew) Turner, while visiting California in the 1930s, heard of an organization that promoted self-development and the “how-to’s” for more effective communication. Turner was so impressed after visiting the Toastmasters club of our founder, Ralph Smedley, that he vowed to form a club on his return to Akron. He started the first Toastmasters club in Ohio, which was chartered in Akron in December 1939. Akron became the 151st community in the world to welcome Toastmasters.

The idea spread, and by late 1941, there were seven Toastmasters clubs in Ohio. Lew Turner then set in motion the formation of the district, which required a minimum of 10 clubs in order to be officially chartered.

In early 1942, we became the tenth district in the world to be formed, and thus that is why we are known as “District 10.” Lew Turner was appointed by Dr. Smedley to serve as district governor until the first election was held in 1943.

Turner’s interest in Toastmasters energized him to become an international director in the 1940s and ultimately the 1949-50 international president, overseeing all of Toastmasters International. He is one of two District 10 members to have served as international president. The other was T. Vincent (Vince) McIntire (1956-1957). There have been 12 other members of District 10 who have gone on to become international directors.

Toastmasters - Northeast Ohio