About Toastmasters International – 1

For those who are uninitiated to the world of toastmasters, I wanted to start this section of my blog by describing this amazing organization. Toastmasters International (TMI) is a non-profit international organization which provides a platform to the people world over to improve on their public speaking and leadership qualities.

<Skeptics – Yet another run of the mill organization – yawn – yawn.
Me – Is it really? Just join one, wait and watch :)>

TMI is a huge organization. In terms of size, scale, depth, impact and so on. So, this is going to be the first post of a series. A brief of the series is given below:

1 – This Post. Here I shall explain the organization structure of TMI
2 – I shall talk about organization structure of a typical club and its meeting.
3 – Roles in a typical meeting
4 – Roles in the TM domain
5 – Contests
6 – Conferences

Now, without any further ado, here we go!

The organizational hierarchy of TMI goes like this –


Source: http://www.toastmasters.org/Members/MembersFunctionalCategories/AboutTI/ServiceChart.aspx

The main functioning unit which any member would be concerned about is the club.
For example, I belonged to Deloitte Hyderabad Toastmasters Club. (DHTM)
A club can be open or closed (meaning any one can join or membership is limited to a specific group of people, such as employees of a particular organization). In my case, DHTM was a closed group with membership open only to Deloitte Hyderabad employees. However, whether the club is open or closed, any Toastmaster (TM) from anywhere in the world is free to attend a meeting in any club worldwide. So, even though I was a member of DHTM, I could and did attend meetings of other clubs in Hyderabad, Chennai and Pittsburgh!
A club holds its meeting every one or two weeks depending on the feasibility and convenience. Each meeting has a defined structure (Coming up in a different post).

A group of clubs from a given geographical area (typically part of a city or town) form an area.  For example, my club, DHTM, was a part of Area F1 in Hyderabad. To give an idea, Hyderabad had a total of 4-5 areas at the time I was a member there.

A group of areas form a division. A city is typically one division.
For example, my area, F1 was a part of Division F (which explains the area name, F1, not that I would mind it being after the racing event!!)

A group of divisions forms a District. One country or more typically fall under one district.
For example, my Division, F was a part of district 82 (which at that time comprised of India and Sri Lanka, but owing to our population (of the clubs) we have since been divided into two separate districts – District 82N and 82S (North and South respectively)

A group of districts forms a Region and all the regions combined form the Toastmasters International!

Coming up next, a typical club meeting!


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