The Toastmaster magazine has played an important role in the Toastmasters organization. In December 1930, a small, six-page mimeographed bulletin called The Gavel was launched. It was basically just a few pages of notices and a letter from the president, Dr. Ralph C. Smedley.
In January 1933, the name was changed to the Toastmaster magazine and began being published as a quarterly (March, June, September, and December) magazine. Measuring only 6 inches by 3 inches, it was 29 pages long and consisted of news items from the 12 clubs in the federation. In 1940 the magazine changed to a bimonthly publication and grew into a 5-inch by 8-inch format. Six years later, in 1946, the Toastmaster went to its current monthly schedule.
For many years, Dr. Smedley served as editor of the magazine, eventually transitioning to writing a monthly column called “Personally Speaking.” Today, the International President continues this tradition with their monthly “Viewpoint” column.
The first web-based edition of the Toastmaster launched in October 2016, allowing articles to be further enhanced by videos, podcasts, and photo galleries.
The print edition of the magazine was suspended indefinitely in May 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. However, a replica PDF version was designed for download, and the online edition began publishing more timely articles on the magazine website.
Throughout the years, the mission of the magazine has remained the same: to provide high-quality articles that are educational and inspirational, and that empower members on their journey. A team of experienced editors and designers work with professional writers and members to produce useful content on public speaking and leadership tips, club and member profiles, and professional development articles.
Print and Online Editions
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the print edition of the Toastmaster is currently suspended. However, the online and PDF versions are still as easy to access as ever. Visit www.toastmasters.org/Magazine to view the online edition and download the PDF by clicking on the cover image at the top or bottom of the page. This will automatically download the PDF for you to print or save.
Though the print magazine isn’t arriving in your mailbox, you can receive an email in your inbox at the start of the month reminding you that the online edition is available. Be sure you’re opted into these reminders by visiting your member profile and checking your privacy and consents section.
Honors and Awards
Over the last few years, the Toastmaster magazine has been recognized by Folio's Eddie Awards for excellence in editorial content in several categories. The national competition receives thousands of entries each year, and there is an elaborate scoring system by a set of judges and Folio. The following articles were recognized:
- Honorable Mention for Profile or Q&A for an Association/Nonprofit: "From Silent Stutterer to Stand-Up Comedian" by Shannon Dewey (2022)
- Honorable Mention for Column/Blog for an Association/Nonprofit: "Using My Skills to Honor My Family" by Caren Neile (2021)
- Best Column/Blog for an Association/Nonprofit: "Fitting in as an Autistic Speaker" by Jolene Stockman (2020)
- Honorable Mention for Instructional/How-To for an Association/Nonprofit: "Master the Art of Interviewing" by Jennifer L. Blanck (2020)
- Honorable Mention for Profile or Q&A for an Association/Nonprofit: "Running with a Dream: Trailblazing Bosnian runner and speaker learns that training is everything" by Laura Amann (2020)
The Toastmaster magazine educates, inspires, and empowers individuals on their journey to become effective speakers, communicators, and leaders. It provides relevant information to advance members’ growth in Toastmasters International and develop skills that are transferable to their relationships, communities, and careers. Content is relevant to an international audience of 270,000 in 148 countries.
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The digital edition offers timely fresh content, as well as optimized articles from the print issue, such as photo galleries, video, and audio recordings.