Improv vs Toastmasters: Which is the Right Fit for You?

When it comes to improving communication and connection, there are two popular options: improv and Toastmasters. Many of our own 800+ students have confirmed this, mentioning that both local improv training and Toastmasters of San Diego were part of their searches into personal development. Deciding between the two programs can be a challenge. So, how do you know which one is right for you?

Finest City Improv is proud to have a longstanding relationship with many local Toastmasters groups (including some that we have brought training to!) so, we wanted to provide some easy answers to our similarities and differences.

Both Toastmasters and improv classes are designed to build your confidence in a safe and community-driven environment.

One of our graduates, Jim Taylor, is a long time San Diegan and found great value in both his improv and Toastmasters training. We love his Toastmaster Hardhats group that meets weekly, and even got a chance to bring improv to them directly!


According to their mission statement, “Toastmasters is a nonprofit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of helping members improve their communication, public speaking, and leadership skills. ” While they primarily focus on prepared speeches, many of their meeting times also allow for improvisation, including their famed “Table Topics” which requires speakers to not pre-plan, and speak on the fly.

Improv Classes

Improv classes are designed to get you to learn scenic improvisation using characters, physicality, pantomime, and form. However, the first three levels that any improv student takes at Finest City will mainly focus on group support, risk-taking, confidence building, and freedom of spontaneous expression. Our goal is to harness each individual student’s potential through experience and care-filled coaching.

For anyone that is looking to add a hobby to their life that will certainly change them for the better, either Toastmasters or an improv class are a great start. Here at FCI, we have had lots of students who work in professional settings that take both and find that they are extremely complimentary to each other. Where Toastmasters are some of the best groomed speakers, improvisers feel free and comfortable when the pressure is on. Everyone can benefit from both!

“Taking improv classes as a toastmaster opened new dimensions of both experiences. I was used to being in front of an audience but stretched into a new, colossally creative land with improv. And my improv made toastmasters so much easier because the terror in one arena was replaced by a confidence and trust in myself in both.” — Jill Badonsky, program graduate and San Diego Toastmaster

Interested in learning more and want to secure your free spot in an upcoming Discover Improv class? Have more questions? We are happy to help! Contact Kat Brown at or at (619) 306-6047. We would love to laugh with you!

4 Comments on “Improv vs Toastmasters: Which is the Right Fit for You?”

  1. Good morning,

    My wife and I have been a member of Toastmaster’s for years and appreciate the value to speaking ad-lib. Recently attending an improv show, we talked about taking one of your improv classes.

    That said, I am looking at giving my wife a Christmas gift of one of your intro improv classes. Since I am not the “master” of our schedule, should I sign us up for one of your classes and my wife say “bad time for me…can we change to another time?”, are you flexible where we could change our class choice to another/future? Thank you. Steve

    Steven Jaksha
    CDR, USN

    1. Hi Steven,
      Unfortunately this comment ended up in our SPAM filter.
      You can sign up for our email newsletter to find out when our classes begin for future planning.
      There’s always Valentines Day!

      FCI Crew

  2. Hello! I would love to check out your free class on Saturday but noticed the next few scheduled ones were earlier in afternoon. Unfortunately I work every Saturday until 2:30. Is there any chance of a class ever being scheduled a little later in the evening? I’ll be sure to keep an eye out on your website as it seemed like the times varied slightly.

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Elizabeth,

      These are usually Saturday afternoons but occasionally we do another night of the week.
      Sign up for our email newsletter and you’ll be notified when these happen. Thanks!

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