Key West Toastmasters


Wanna be a Toastmaster? As in, give the best toast at your next dinner party? Without even a tiny bit of insecurity?

Toastmasters International, an educational organization, is the solution to all of your public speaking fears. That’s right, the terror you experience when faced with the task of speaking to a large group is something that can be a thing of the past! And, believe us, you are not alone!

The organization teaches public speaking, as well as leadership skills through a network of worldwide clubs, that all practice within the same skillset. Having been active since 1924, Toastmasters International has over 300,000 members, in more than 15,800 clubs in 149 countries. 

We in Key West are lucky enough to feature the ‘Southernmost’ Toastmasters Club in the United States! The club meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday at noon at The Gato Building, 1100 Simonton. The organization helps people to become more confident and competent during public speaking, while also fostering relationships between attendees. In the words of Phyllis May, the Vice President Education of our Toastmasters Club, “Nobody should feel intimidated when they come in. We were all in the same boat at one time, having been fearful of public speaking and lacking confidence.” May herself is President of the Florida Speakers Association, and a member of the National Speakers Association. She speaks highly of the group’s ability to cultivate a non-threatening, comfortable, and encouraging environment in which members are able to practice their speech skills while making friends with others. 

May emphasizes the importance of the educational process that takes place over the course of each member’s journey within the club. Being in education for 34 years herself, May’s whole career has been centered around watching people grow educationally. As the VP Education of the club, May is responsible for crafting agendas for each meeting, and making sure that everything is prepared before members show up, such as assigning certain people to certain roles, and keeping track of the records of members as they move along in the educational program. The program not only provides members with a reasonably priced educational course on public speaking and leadership roles, for just about $10 per meeting, but it is also a small-knit group, one that becomes family to members once they are accustomed to everything. May herself found close friends through her experience with Toastmasters, and says, “I moved to Key West 24 years ago, not knowing a single person. As I began to take part in various organizations, I met people that were interested in similar things that I was interested in. But once I joined Toastmasters, it became a different world. I met so many people who became dear friends to me, ones that I never would have crossed paths with otherwise, since we have such different circles outside of Toastmasters.” May describes her experiences with Toastmasters as incredibly special, and admires the interesting and unique people she became friends with over her years with the club. If you’re interested in attending a meeting, head to, and to find out more information about the overall agenda of the organization, head to

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