Posted by Anna Van Adrichem Rochon (Kemptville)
I was very happy to hear that at the 2019 Rotary Convention in Hamburg that Rotary International and Toastmasters International came together to form an alliance. I have been a Toastmasters and Rotarian for about the same length of time.  They definitely complement each other.
In 2010 I had the opportunity to lead a Group Study Exchange to India. The interview procedure is intense. I am certain that if it was not for the skill of impromptu speaking that I had practiced at each Toastmasters meeting I would not have been selected for this leadership role.  While in India for a month, the team and myself were required to do presentations to various Rotary clubs - at least 20 times and a presentation at the District conference there that had at least 1500 attendees.  Toastmaster members at my Club in Kemptville helped me learn to be comfortable in front of any audience.
What is Toastmasters International?  It is a non-profit, educational organization that helps members build communication and leadership skills in a supportive environment. There are more than 16,800 clubs in 143 countries and has existed since 1924. Members learn by doing.   Seven out of ten people say they would rather die then get in front of an audience to speak. In other words, they would rather be in the coffin then giving the eulogy.
Rotary District 7040 and Toastmasters District 61 have very similar geographic area, similar challenges with two languages, membership retention and expansion, similar structure and until recently even the same titles for the various District chairs.  There are plans underway to make the alliance work starting at the District level but all clubs are welcome to make local connection now, too.
Your local Toastmasters club can be found at They would appreciate the opportunity to do a presentation at your Rotary, Rotaract or Interact club.  As a result of this alliance Rotary members have the opportunity to take advantage of online courses that are available at no charge. Rotary has exulted the fact that being a Rotarian will provide the chance to learn, network, build fellowship and make a difference in the world.  The Toastmasters alliance has expanded this opportunity for skill building and getting to know a wider range of people and made another possibility of generating of new members.  Toastmasters has developed communication and leadership courses in the Rotary Learning Centre:
     *Speech development
    * Speech delivery
    * Inspirational speech
    * Interpersonal communication
    * Leadership basics
    * Leading a team
    * Leadership: Collaboration
    * Inclusive leadership