Do your good ideas never get voiced at meetings because you feel too self-conscious to articulate them? Do you hate making presentations, even to small groups? Then Arrow Lakes Toastmasters is for you!
If you have a fear of public speaking, you’re not alone. The fear of speaking before an audience, even a very small one, is regularly ranked as one of the top fears in life. But it doesn’t have to be. For almost ninety years, Toastmasters clubs around the world have been helping people improve their communication skills in a fun, supportive, and non-intimidating environment. Even if you don’t ever aspire to be a professional speaker, effective communication is a vital skill, both in personal and career development.
How does the Toastmasters program work? There is no instructor in a Toastmasters club. Club meetings are workshops where members work at their own pace to develop and practice both communication and leadership skills.
When a club member presents a speech, everyone else is also learning a valuable skill – listening. Members give written evaluations to speakers, noting strengths and offering suggestions for improvement. With encouraging and supportive feedback, club members quickly learn to speak with confidence, enthusiasm, and clarity.
One of the most frequently asked questions by guests is “What are the speeches about?” Subject matter is your choice, as long as it’s not offensive, of course.
Over the years, Arrow Lakes Toastmasters members have been treated to speeches about environmental and local issues, the forest industry, the culture and customs of other countries, humorous childhood memories, immigration experiences, and soapmaking, to name just a few. Perhaps one of the more memorable speeches was given by a man who described his laser eye surgery – complete with up-close video images!
The Arrow Lakes Toastmasters club meets on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month from 7:15 to 9:00 p.m. at Selkirk College in Nakusp. Guests and new members are always most welcome, so come and join us!
To learn more about Toastmasters, visit http://www.toastmasters.org/ or call 265-0002 or 265-3458.