Saturday, August 1, 2015

Toastmasters out to resume here

Whether it’s making a business presentation, a speech at a wedding, or going for a job interview, public-speaking skills are important—and public speaking is what Toastmasters is all about.
Toastmasters will hold an informational meeting today (May 8) from 7-9 p.m. at Zion Lutheran Church, which will be the perfect time for anyone interested in improving their speaking skills to get involved.

Cathy Kellar, public relations officer for Toastmasters District 64 (Manitoba-Northwestern Ontario), said the organization is interested in starting a new Toastmasters group here.
She is bringing in Sylvia Nilsson-Barkman, Toastmasters’ incoming lieutenant of education and training, to hold a demo meeting and show people what Toastmasters is all about.
Kellar said there was a Toastmasters group in Fort Frances several years ago—and District 64 would like to restart it.
“I think it’s something that’s very, very important to a community,” she stressed.
She said Toastmasters in Sioux Lookout, for example, has become the go-to source for businesses that want their management to learn about mentoring and job evaluation, and has been called on to do workshops on subjects such as youth leadership.
“There’s lots of opportunities and lots of important things it can help the community with,” Kellar added.
Toastmasters is the world-leading organization in communication and leadership, with clubs “literally all over the world,” said Kellar.
It believes in constructive, positive, and informative evaluation, which Kellar said helps the membership grow in their personal speaking or leadership roles.
Everything is evaluated in a very positive way, she noted.
“It’s very helpful for people that are making transitions into new jobs,” Kellar reasoned. “It’s a self-directing program, so it’s as much as you want or as little as you want. . . .
“We’ve have people that have gone for a while, life has taken over . . . and then they come back,” she noted.
“And that’s not a problem. You can pick up where you want.”
Kellar said everyone is welcome to join, no matter one’s age or occupation.
“Seniors love it because it gives them an opportunity to get out and talk to people,” she explained. “They can talk about their life, what they’ve done, what they’d like to do.
“You can talk about anything.”
Tonight’s demo meeting will involve a prepared speech, a speech evaluation, and table topics.
“Table topics is probably one of the best things about Toastmasters,” Kellar enthused.
“It’s useful for social gatherings, for job interviews, for small talk just to start up a conversation because it’s a two- to three-minute talk.
“It’s helpful for a lot of business people when they do their ‘elevator’ speech, which is kind of their introduction—‘I do this for a living. This is what I do,’” Kellar added.
“They have an opportunity to practice that at Toastmasters.”
Kellar noted District 64 also has a virtual Toastmasters club, where members can get on their computer and go to Toastmaster meetings from the comfort of their home.
As well, Toastmasters has all sorts of resources available, and is able to help members out with everything from business presentations to interviews.
For more info, contact Kirsty Sinclair at 275-7550 or via e-mail at

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