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Toastmasters Fights People’s #1 Fear

Updated: Aug 29, 2020

By Dr. Regina Flores Tercero, EdD, Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM), Past PWUAASC President

Do you know what is the number one fear people have? Would you believe that the fear of public speaking is number one, ahead of the fear of death which ranks as the second fear. Toastmasters is the perfect antidote to people's number one fear!

Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. The organization currently has in excess of 358,000 members in more than 16,800 clubs in 143 countries. Since its founding in 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators, and leaders.

Who are the members of Toastmasters? A survey conducted worldwide in November 2015 revealed the following demographics.

Toastmasters International Demographics, Worldwide Survey November 2015

Characteristic and category

Here are the results of the demographics survey of the Toastmasters population worldwide in an online survey conducted by Toastmasters International in November 2015 of its members in 101 countries, with a 21.6% survey response rate using a simple random sampling method for a representative sample. In total, 6,150 members completed the survey, with a +/-1.2% margin of error with a 95% confidence interval.

The demographic data revealed the following:

(a) age: 18 to 24 = 5.2%, 25 to 34 = 20.8%, 35 to 44 = 20.6%, 45 to 54 = 21.8%, 55 to 64 = 20.7%, 65+ = 10.9% (n = 6,361);

(b) gender: female = 51.5%, male = 48.5% (n = 6,369);

(c) education: less than high school = 0.9%, high school = 4.1%, some college = 12.5%, associate’s = 5.7%, bachelor’s = 38.0%, master’s = 29.9%, professional = 4.6%, doctorate = 4.3%;

(d) income: <$20,000 = 16.1%, $20,000 to $34,000 = 12.5%, $35,000 to $49,000 = 11.8%, $50,000 to $74,000 = 18.5%, $75,000 to $99,000 = 14.4%, $100,000 to $149,000 = 16.6%, $150,000 to $199,000 = 5.6%, >$200,000 = 4.5% (n = 5,793);

(e) employment positions: assistant = 10.6%, specialist = 40.1%, manager = 24.4%, senior leadership = 7.2%, executive = 4.9%, sole proprietor = 12.8%;

(f) languages: English = 83.7%, Spanish = 5.6%, Mandarin Chinese = 4.9%, Hindi = 4.6%, French = 4.4% (n = 6,108); 24.1% of the respondents spoke more than one language fluently

(Source: Toastmasters Magazine, 2017)

Dr. Regina Tercero has been an active Toastmasters for seven years. She served as a Toastmasters area director, a volunteer officer position, from July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2016 in Area E2. As an area director, she visited and provided guidance to six clubs in the area.

She currently serves as the charter president of the La Mirada Toastmasters Club from its charter date to June 30, 2021.

Dr. Tercero formed and co-sponsored the La Mirada Toastmasters Club, which was newly-charted by Toastmasters International in August 2020. She received the “Leader of the Pack Award” for successfully forming the new club, especially during this challenging time.

On August 21, 2020 Dr. Tercero achieved the Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM), the highest educational and leadership award in Toastmasters.

In addition to workshop-style meetings, Toastmasters conducts speech contests at the various levels of the club, area, district, and internationally. Dr. Tercero had won speech awards as 1st and 2nd place winners at the area and district levels, respectively. The world champion speaker is selected at the annual Toastmasters International Convention where the best speakers from various countries compete for the world championship as the best speaker in the world. You may watch some of the international world champions when you Google Toastmasters speakers world champions.

Dr. Tercero invites everyone to get the Toastmasters experience. You are welcome to visit as guests at the La Mirada Toastmasters Club. The club meets on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month from 2:00 PM to 3:15 PM (Pacific Time). The La Mirada Toastmasters Club has 21 charter members, including five Doctors of Education, who are alumni of Pepperdine University, including a professor and 2019 graduate classmates of Dr. Tercero, and the 2020 mayor pro-tem and incoming mayor of La Mirada for 2021. The members include seasoned Toastmasters and new Toastmasters, with racial diversity and generational diversity of baby boomers, a millennial, and GenXer, thriving professionals, entrepreneurs, and retirees from successful careers. Members come from near and far, including Southern California (San Diego County, Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, Orange County) and out-of-state Atlanta, Georgia. The La Mirada demographics reflects the demographics of the global Toastmasters membership. All guests are welcome to visit the club's Zoom meeting. To inquire, please send an email to or send text to 562-500-7064.

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