Hi Noon Toastmaster Sherry Lukey speaks at the Women in Business conference. Lukey joined Toastmasters to become a more confident presenter.

Empowered by Toastmasters

Public speaking is one of the greatest fears for many: join Toastmasters and learn to speak with confidence

Some say Toastmasters is the world’s best kept secret. At first, I found this hard to believe. In 2011, I was invited to a Toastmaster meeting. It sounded archaic, but I try everything once. I arrived and was greeted almost too warmly by a host of smiling strangers. The meeting commenced with a Sergeant at Arms startling me out of my stupor by pounding a gavel on a podium. I furtively glanced around to see if anyone else thought this was crazy. My heart pounded. “What alternate reality have I gotten myself into?”

After listening to speeches and evaluations I left the meeting resolved – never to return! Then the strangest twist happened. I finished writing my book Calm Focus Joy, a guide to helping children focus. More than anything, I wanted to spread my message to teachers, parents and eventually the world. I happened to attend a presentation by Darren Jacklin at Vernon secondary school. Darren was a dynamic and inspiring professional speaker. The students were mesmerized by his stories. When he finished the applause was deafening. I was awestruck. I wanted to be like him. But how? Later, I asked Darren, how do I learn to speak like you?” He said, “Join Toastmasters!” Inspired with new purpose to become a better speaker, I joined Toastmasters.

Four years later I am still attending weekly meetings and learning lots. My presentation skills are getting better. I have found that the more I practice the faster I progress.  I have reduced my rambling rhetoric, redundant ums and ahs, and now feel relaxed on stage. I have overcome stage jitters and by doing am able to better connect with the audience. This is a rewarding experience!  I am not alone. Almost everyone who has joined Toastmasters has expressed similar experiences. Now I know, Toastmasters is the world’s best kept secret!

You can join Toastmasters like Sherry Lukey, who joined to become a more confident presenter. If you want to be a manager of a business, work in public service, teach, be a politician or just improve your ESL skills, Toastmasters will give you the confidence to step on stage with a smile. You will meet like-minded people including authors, teachers, managers, construction workers, artists, politicians or professionals. Most important, each week you will have opportunity to share your ideas with an attentive and supportive audience.

Joining Toastmasters is easy and affordable. Find a club near you and just show up. Attend a couple of meetings and decide if public speaking is for you. We have six clubs in our area: Armstrong, Hi-Noon, Kalamalka, Monashee, Monday Night and Vernon Toastmasters.  See www.toastmasters.org for more details.

I am Heidi Thompson and belong to Hi-Noon Toastmasters Club. We are hosting an open house on Wednesday, Jan. 18 from noon to 1 p.m. at Tom’s Place Restaurant, 3906-32nd St. Contact me for more information at 250-542-1551 or htcthompson@hotmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Okanagan district updates list of sandbagging stations

Severe weather over the weekend has communities bracing for potential flooding

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan, Shuswap

Environment Canada is forecasting strong wind gusts, large hail and heavy downpours in parts of the Interior

North Okanagan farmers’ markets excited to welcome artisans back amid COVID-19

Provincial health officer announced non-food items to return to markets this weekend

WorkSafe BC conducted 70 inspections in the Okanagan amid B.C.’s reopening plan

WorkSafe BC has conducted 100 inspections at restaurants across the province since May 19

COVID-19: Coldstream district office set to open

Safety measures in place to protect staff, public upon June 1 reopening

11 new COVID-19 cases in B.C. as top doc urges caution amid ‘encouraging’ low rates

Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced that two care home outbreaks would be declared over

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

Preparations for flooding in the Shuswap accelerate

A sandbagging machine and a crew to run it have been set up in Silver Creek.

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

PHOTOS: U.S. cities brace for increasing unrest over police killing of George Floyd

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has fully mobilized the state’s National Guard

$200,000 Maybach impounded after ‘L’ driver caught excessively speeding in Vancouver

Meanwhile, the supervisor sat in the passenger seat, police said

COVID-19 cancelled their wedding plans, so they married on a B.C. mountaintop

Ceremony was live streamed to friends and family around the world

Most Read