Four Toastmasters Clubs, Sault College Communicators, OLG Lotto Talkers, Algoma Toastmasters &Dr.Roberta Bondar Toastmaster club celebrated Toastmasters Month by holding an Open House. Judging by the size of the crowd on a frigid February evening, Sault College, there is alot of interest in The Sault and area for public speaking skill development
The comedian Jerry Seinfeld was quoted as saying “Public speaking is feared, even more than death. Death came in second to public speaking.” All fears aside, a person wanting to grow into a confident public speaker could look to one of the local Toastmasters clubs.
‘Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of helping members improve their communication, public speaking, and leadership skills.
Without getting into all of the graduated levels a person can achieve within the Toastmasters organization, suffice it to say that members of each club support the ongoing development for proficiency in public speaking for each member. A Toastmaster would employ techniques called ‘pause’ ‘pace’ and ‘practice’. They would also build a speech that to be critiqued for impact, areas for improvement, and include positive feedback by other members of the club. “Speeches get evaluated, constructive criticism is shared as well as the positive aspects” (of the speech)shared John Clement,ACB. adding “It is called, the sandwich method. Developing speaking skills through Toastmasters is a holistic process.”
‘Table topics’ is an opportunity for individual speakers to hone skills as they think on their feet. Topics are randomly selected from a pool and are as varied as Bon Soo is to home renovation.
SSM Toastmasters Area Governor Shelli Donofrio Ubriaco has embraced and excelled at Toastmasters skill building techniques. She was the featured speaker for the evening,Feb.26th at Sault College B1170 Multi Media Room. There were well over 100 people in attendance, with a wide cross-section representation of ages, professions, interests, and most importantly, personality. ” Public speaking skills, are transferable skills. They are applicable in every aspect of our lives.” said Shelli.
A good speech will start with impact, engage the audience, interact with the audience.” further “Speak to the audience, not the flip chart, or the slides. The magic of a good speech comes from practice, and from being yourself. You are the show.” Shelli went on to encourage members of the audience to think about ways that developing public speaking skills could impact a persons’ personal and professional life.
During the table topics segment of the evening, various individuals took up the challenge to choose a topic, think on their feet for 2 minutes, formulate and deliver a speech on the fly. Topics included, favourite Bon Soo activity, home renovation, favourite TV show, fashion sense, and more.
“Toastmasters is a program of continuous learning.” said Shelli “It is a safe place to fail, and a place that teaches members the value of constructive feedback.”
Toastmasters Clubs encourage new members to come out and discover this vehicle for nurturing the public speaker in you.
What do you have to lose? Only your fear of public speaking.