Share the Toastmasters Mission with Rotary International

We’re not alone.

That sounds like the start to a story about an alien invasion.  While I would enjoy writing that story, what I mean is this:   Toastmasters is dedicated to making the world a better place – through good communication and leadership.   We’re not alone in this dedication.   Rotary International is also working to make this world a better place, and Rotary uses many of the same tools as Toastmasters.  Here’s how this story ought to continue.   We ought to be working together.  We can help each other.

Like Toastmasters, Rotary is an international organization founded in the US in the early 20th Century.  At one time, only men could join. A Rotary club in California admitted women contrary to the Rotary Board of Directors – and took their case to the Supreme Court (Rotary Int’l v. Rotary Club of Duarte, 481 U.S. 537, 1987). Today, everyone is welcome regardless of gender or sexual orientation, skin color, or religious faith.  Like Toastmasters, Rotary has had a good idea and has grown and adapted with the times.  While Toastmasters focuses on education to better the world, Rotary emphasizes service and action.   I believe we can learn from this approach!


Rotary InternationalIn 2019, the president of Toastmasters International, Deepak Menon DTM announced an alliance with Rotary International. “Both of our organizations have a track record of transforming lives, though in very different ways,” said Deepak Menon, DTM, Toastmasters’ 2019–2020 International President. “When we put our two organizations together, we can make an even bigger impact on the world” (Toastmasters Magazine, May 2020).

Even though most of us keep our focus on our families and careers, both Toastmasters and Rotarians can make a cumulative effect on our world.  Do you believe in creating a better way?  I hear Toastmasters talk about what they are doing in the world all the time.   The Rotarians have some of those same conversations.  They’re making their communities stronger, supporting programs for youth, and raising money for international programs.  Both of our members are doing things that make a difference – even if those efforts are small in scale.  We both have courage to dream of big futures.   We both step forward to make a difference.


Invite Rotarians to visit your club.  Let the members of Rotary see how we change lives.  Share our Toastmasters mission and vision.  And then, accept an invitation to visit a Rotary club near you.   Offer to give a speech, if they are interested. Look for opportunities to help a Rotary project, if it makes sense to do so. And please, make this an open-door experience – NOT an attempt to sign up new members.  Be grateful for what you can learn and share with others.  Keep the invitation open to invite others to visit your club, and your club is certain to grow organically.

Trust in this idea:  Toastmasters has a proven method for building speakers and leaders. When we confidently show off our method, we are certain to grow.   The Rotary organization has virtuous and meaningful objectives – and there are many similarities to our Toastmasters programs.  We’re not alone.  We should be working together.   I believe that we will be growing together for many generations. Visit a Rotary club and become an agent for an amazing force in history.

Steve Broe is a club officer for Payson Toastmasters and Paradise Valley Toastmasters.   He is a Distinguished Toastmaster and the author of LEADERS IN TRANSITION, available on Amazon.

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