Toastmasters looks to help people become better public speakers

Gord Fortin
Lakeside Leader

The Slave Lake Toastmasters program is an option for people looking to improve their public speaking.
Robin-lee Vance, of Toastmasters and the Community Futures Lesser Slave Lake community engagement co-ordinator, presented an overview of the initiative during the Jan. 30 Slave Lake Interagency meeting.
Community Futures is sponsoring the program for one year. Vance said she is looking to put an executive in charge of the program, who will administer it after the sponsorship ends.
Vance said the mission is to empower people and help them grow. When someone builds up their public speaking skills, this can lead to an increase in self confidence. Members are supportive to anyone who takes part.
“Members at the meetings are very encouraging,” Vance said.
Toastmasters is a self-paced program. Anyone who participates will get to choose what they want to focus on. You will have regular chances to speak, get honest peer evaluations, volunteer leadership opportunities and access to a mentor.
Vance said there is more than just learning public speaking. There is information on how to hold a meeting or the different roles involved.
Other learning opportunities include podcasting, speeches, and how to speak during a job interview.
Vance said it is a positive learning experience. There is no time limit on completing any of these courses.
Vance said programs like this are needed because 75 per cent of people have anxiety with regards to public speaking. This anxiety can hold someone back in their workplace but Toastmasters can help mitigate that.
“Toastmasters is where you find your voice,” she said.
Toastmasters is a non-profit organization run by volunteers. She said this is a more of a bare bones group locally but anyone can access the services. The program’s resources are available online.
There is a cost to participate in Toastmasters. Vance said it is $3 a week. The weekly meetings will take place on Tuesdays from 12:15 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. in March. The meetings may be expanded in the future.
If you have any questions about Toastmasters, you can visit toastmasters.org or reach out to Community Futures by email at cec@cflsl.ca or by phone at 780-849-3232.

Robin-lee Vance, of Toastmasters and the Community Futures Lesser Slave Lake community engagement co-ordinator, presented the Toastmasters International program during the Slave Lake Interagency meeting on Jan. 30.

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