“Congratulations to all the newly elected District leaders for 2016-2017. Their term starts July 1, 2016.”

-District Director Ivory Gwin

We are a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of meeting locations. District 30 provides a variety of programming to support its membership and mission. The district’s mission is to enhance the performance and extend the network of clubs, thereby offering greater numbers of people the opportunity to benefit from the Toastmasters’ educational program. From club meetings to speak-a-thons, leadership institutes, conferences, and contests – District 30 is making a difference!

Latest News

Review our latest news in this section.

Ivory Gwin, District Director

I am honored to start the 2016-2017 Toastmasters year as your District Director.

This year, as one Team, with one concerted vision, we will target one collective goal –

“…to empower every member to become more effective communicators and leaders.”

As we begin our year on July 1st, you will hear more about the specific events the District has planned.

Watch for information about your Area and Division Directors and the District 30 calendar for empowering every member to fulfill the mission.

Happy New Toastmasters Year, Happy New You!


The International Convention is coming! Vancouver, Canada:  August 23 – 26, 2017.  And the first ever Toastmasters Cruise after the Convention.  Click Here to learn more.

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Toastmaster event provide outstanding leadership learning opportunities.  Optimize your experience and volunteer today!


In an effort to offer members improved opportunities to learn and grow, Toastmasters is revitalizing our education program.  Read More here.

District 30 provides a variety of programming to support its membership and mission.

The district’s mission is to enhance the performance and extend the network of clubs, thereby offering greater numbers of people the opportunity to benefit from the Toastmasters’ educational program. From club meetings to speak-a-thons, leadership institutes, conferences, and contests – District 30 is making a difference!

Long before the official beginning of Toastmasters International in California, Illinois was at the heart of Toastmasters. In Bloomington, Illinois, on March 24, 1905, Ralph Smedley introduced the concept of Toastmasters as Educational Director at the Bloomington YMCA. Several years later, in 1936, the Lincoln-Douglas Club #51 in Springfield became the first charted Illinois club. Club #96 was the first Chicagoland area charter club.

District 30 was formed in 1950 and originally encompassed northern half of Illinois. Emmet Holmes became the first District 30 Governor. In 1956, the lines were redrawn to make District 30 to what it is today – Cook, DuPage, Lake, and McHenry counties. Today, the oldest District 30 club in existence is Club #169 Long Grove / Lake Zurich.

At the close of the 2014 Toastmaster year, District 30 had 243 clubs and was ranked 28th worldwide.


The mission of the District is to enhance the performance and extend the network of Clubs, thereby offering greater numbers of people the opportunity to benefit from the Toastmasters educational program by:

Focusing on the critical success factors as specified by the District educational and membership goals.
Ensuring that each Club effectively fulfills its responsibilities to its members.
Providing effective training and leadership development opportunities for Club and District officers.

Frequently Asked Questions
Is your meeting accessible?

If you need special accommodations such as handicapped parking or a ramp to access the building, please call the club ahead of time so that they can be sure to arrange for assistance. Other accommodations such as printed material formatted in Braille or for low vision should be requested at least a week in advance to make sure it can be secured from Toastmasters International.

What do Toastmasters do?

Toastmasters meet regularly to practice speaking and to evaluate each other’s skills. At a local club, besides gaining confidence in many aspects of both speaking and leadership, Toastmasters often gain new friends. There is no instructors at a meeting. Instead, each speech and meeting is critiqued by a member in a positive manner, focusing on what was done right and what could be improved.

Who are the District 30 Toastmasters?

There are approximately 4,000 Toastmasters in District 30. Our members belong to one or more of the nearly 200 clubs within our geographic location.

Can I just show up to a meeting?

Guests are always welcome to visit a Toastmaster meeting! Some clubs due to their location or security policies require advanced notice that you are going to visit, and other clubs do not. It’s best to contact a club by phone or email ahead of your visit to make arrangements. We do ask that you be on time and stay for the entire meeting.

Can I bring someone to a meeting?

Sure! Guests are always welcome at Toastmasters meetings. Sometimes its easier to meet new people when you bring a friend along.

What will happen when I visit?

You will be warmly greeted and provided with a meeting agenda. All of us remember what it was like attending a meeting for the first time so we will explain what is happening and invite you to relax and enjoy the presentations. You may be asked if you’d like to participate in the meeting (which you may simply decline). You may also be asked at the close of the meeting to share your thoughts (again, you may simply decline). You will be invited to attend the next meeting!

What happens at a meeting?

Meetings are filled with laughter, learning, listening, and, yes, speaking. One member, appointed as the Toastmasters of the Day (TMOD) or Evening (TMOE), presides over the meeting. Prepared speeches are given and evaluated by members. Impromptu speaking skills based on a question and answer format are practiced in the “Table Topics” portion of the meeting. Visitors are invited to participate in the meeting if they want to. Each prepared speech is evaluated along with he meeting itself. A meeting Timer lets everyone who spoke know how long they talked, and a meeting Grammarian gives feedback on how well people used the language. The Toastmaster of the Day wraps up the session and adjourns the meeting.

Do you just make up speeches?

You can customize the Toastmaster program to meet your needs. When you become a member, you receive the “Competent Communicator” manual. (We also call it the “Basic Manual.”) It guides you through 10 speech outlines, each of which deals with a set of skills that a speaker should learn. The topic of each speech is up to you. The completion of the manual entitles the member to receive a “Competent Communicator” (CC) award. Beyond this manual, there are many advanced manuals for your ongoing professional and personal development.

How long is a typical speech?

Speeches for the Communication and Leadership Manual are usually between 5-7 minutes in length. Advanced manuals have projects that can run as long as 15-20 minutes.

Why do you have ‘Table Topics’?

Impromptu (or extemporaneous) speaking is a valuable skill in today’s world. Table Topics is a way for us to practice thinking and speaking “on our feet.” A Table Topic Master presents participants with questions or topics “at random” and you have 1-2 minutes to give a response. There are a lot of ways to respond to impromptu situations. You won’t always “know the answer,” but you can still answer in a relaxed, effective way. Table Topics are one of the most fun parts of our meeting.

How much does it cost to join a club?

Toastmasters is a non-profit organization, so the cost of joining a club covers necessary expenses only, and is very low when compared to for-profit seminars and other training courses. Toastmasters clubs collects dues from their current members twice a year, in April and in October. $36.00 of your dues is submitted to Toastmasters International to pay for membership materials, award certificates, processing fees, conferences and training. Anything above that goes into the club treasury to pay for room rental fees, contest prizes, gifts, postal costs, and miscellaneous office supplies. New members pay a sliding fee based on the month they join, and a one-time new membership fee of $20.00 to pay for registration and the new member kit.

When I become a member, what will be expected of me?

By joining Toastmasters, you are making a commitment to your own growth. You can give speeches at your own pace. We can provide a mentor to help you get started and successfully complete your goals. We are all here because we believe in the Toastmasters concept and want to learn better speaking and leadership skills by supporting each other
What else does Toastmasters have to offer?
What do you mean by leadership skills?
Is there any training available for new Toastmasters?
Is your meeting accessible?

What else does Toastmasters have to offer?

As with many organizations, Toastmasters is what the members make it. District 30 Toastmasters have a commitment to helping each other improve our speaking and leadership skills. Involvement in the “Toastmasters Experience” can go well beyond that, though. You can compete in speech contests that, if you win at increasing levels, can name you the “World Champion of Public Speaking.” You can become a leader at the club level, or a higher level, where your leadership affects many clubs and members in the Midwest. You can attend conferences to meet and network with fellow Toastmasters from other clubs around the world.

What do you mean by leadership skills?

Toastmasters is best known for the “learn public speaking” aspect of its program, however, leadership is just as important. Leaders are not the same as managers, so what makes a great leader? Toastmasters teaches about service leadership. This viewpoint suggests that the role of a leader, no matter what type of authority is involved, is to lead by helping or enabling others, not by forcing them. You can hone your leadership skills in various ways in Toastmasters: by leading meetings, becoming an officer of the club, or taking an active leadership role at higher levels of the organization.
Is there any training available for new Toastmasters?
Is your meeting accessible?

Is there any training available for new Toastmasters?

Our district holds training sessions for Toastmasters twice a year. These sessions are broken up into training for club officers and general sessions about the program and other interesting topics. All training sessions are open to all Toastmasters and are free of charge. The locations, dates and times for training, called TLI (Toastmasters Leadership Institute) will be posted on the district Web site.

What is Toastmasters?

Toastmasters is an international organization that supports thousands of local clubs and their members. Our purpose is to provide a place where individuals can learn the skills of public speaking and leadership in a supportive environment. Most Toastmasters meetings are comprised of approximately 20 people who meet for an hour or more. Participants practice and learn skills by filling a meeting role, ranging from giving a prepared speech or an impromptu one to serving as timer, evaluator or grammarian.

Toastmaster Clubs provide a supportive and positive learning experience in which members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth.