February is Toastmasters month

Most of us have had the palm sweating, heart pounding, red faced experience of speaking before an audience.

  • Jan. 30, 2015 4:00 p.m.

Most of us have had the palm sweating, heart pounding, red faced experience of speaking before an audience. Maybe we have been asked to speak at a family function, or to deliver a presentation at our work place, or maybe we just experience discomfort in our daily interaction with people unfamiliar to us. We may feel uncertain at how to introduce new people into a gathering or maybe we fumble when we have to give a heartfelt thank you speech.

We are not always prepared to handle these everyday occurrences with poise and confidence because most of us do not get enough opportunities to practice these skills. A golfer goes to the driving range to practice his swings, but where can we go to practice our speaking skills? A Toastmasters club is the perfect place where one can develop speaking skills in a supportive environment.

Toastmasters International have just celebrated their 90th anniversary. The organization was started by Dr. Ralph C. Smedley to help a group of young men who had problems talking and meeting other people. The organization has since grown to having 14,650 clubs in 126 countries with 313,000 worldwide members.

Saanich Peninsula Toastmasters Club was chartered April 1, 1979 and is a club that has served people of all ages and all walks of life. Many have moved on to reach their career goals and others have just become more comfortable with public appearances.

Whatever your goals are, Toastmasters can help you achieve them.

Our club meets every Tuesday night 7:30 p.m. at the library on Resthaven Drive in Sidney.

One of our members moved to Sidney in the fall of last year. He has been around longer than Toastmasters, but felt that he needed an activity to keep his mind active.

His words carry weight.

“The clubs do have an age restriction of minimum age of 18 and currently the club covers the range from early 20s, middle age retirees and even beyond the three score years and ten. As a member of the latter group, I would recommend joining the group because the fellowship is good — the interaction between the ages is part of the enjoyment.

“The aim of Toastmasters to improve your speaking skills is very worthwhile. Even in later years one is never quite sure when you may be asked to speak, possibly at your granddaughter’s wedding or a graduation toast. In everyday activities good speech is a great help in shopping and so I would suggest that those of mature years join Toastmasters for a very enjoyable and informative evening away from the TV set.”

Visit the club website at: 1288.toastmastersclubs.org for more information.

Gerry J. McQuade is president of Saanich Peninsula Toastmasters

Just Posted

Local cadets gain acceptance to RMC

Military careers one step closer

New Star Cinema project approved

Cameo development gets unanimous council thumbs up

Stelly’s sidewalk gets green light

Federal funding brings project to fruition

Witnesses sought for alleged drunk driver crash in Sidney

Crash happened June 16 on East Saanich Rd. and Canora Dr.

Fake crash warns students about real consequences

Saanich Peninsula emergency crews warn against distracted driving

Victoria Ska and Reggae Fest fills harbour with music

Music festival wraps with free party Sunday at Ship Point

5 fun things to do this weekend in Greater Victoria

Victoria Ska and Reggae Fest, Ride Don’t Hide, Cordova Bay Day and more

Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna suspended for 75 games

23-year-old pitcher faces assault charge

Vancouver Canucks tab Quinn Hughes with No. 7 overall pick in NHL draft

University of Michigan standout was second defenceman picked in first round

Jogger spent two weeks in U.S. detention centre after accidentally crossing B.C. border

Cedella Roman, 19, crossed the border while out for a run

B.C. woman with severely disabled son keeps getting parking tickets

‘There has to be something they could do’

Man brandishes axe during robbery

Mounties were able to locate the suspect within two hours of the incident

‘Creep off’ reporting system aims to track street harassment in Metro Vancouver

Text-based hotline launches to collect public reports on where and when harassment occurs

Happy ending for orphaned bear cubs

Two orphaned bear cubs were captured in Castlegar and sent for rehabilitation.

Most Read