Zoom has become a household word for many in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The online video conferencing tool has helped several businesses and clubs stay and touch and maintain their regular scheduled meetings.
Vernon’s Hi Noon Toastmasters is just one of those groups.
Now, the Zoom aficionados have used their time in quarantine harness their craft: public speaking.
The Hi Noon Toastmaster club jumped on the Zoom wagon, meeting online Wednesdays between 12-1 p.m. and they’re extending their invitation to others who wish to learn more about public speaking and improve their Zoom skills.
“By joining our club, you will receive helpful tips to speak with confidence, clarity and conviction using this new technology,” the club members said in a statement. “You will learn how to reduce visual distractions, move with purpose and connect with your audience. Why not use this time to develop your most important asset — speaking.”
Toastmaster Heidi Thompson was inspired by motivational speaker Darren Jacklin eight years ago. Thompson, who had just written a book and wanted to share it, asked Jacklin for advice.
“Without hesitation, he said that the best path to becoming a public speaker is to join Toastmasters,” she wrote. “So I did and have attended meetings ever since. My club members have helped me prepare for a TED Talk, speak on radio and television and even participate in speech competitions.”
This fall, Thompson has been invited to present an online workshop to BC School Counsellors.
Thompson said the Toastmasters’ programs have changed “radically” since its inception.
“Some people still believe it’s a stuff old club; listening to speeches that put you to sleep,” she wrote. “Things have changed.”
And now, with the focus on video conferencing and Zoom, Thompson said improving these skills could land new employment opportunities, sell products and deliver clear and concise messages to a worldwide audience.
“Staying at home can be isolating,” Thompson wrote. “But the world is waiting to hear from you. You have an amazing story to tell. Toastmasters can help you tell it well.”
Contact Hi Noon Toastmasters to learn more about the summer and fall specials and the club will send a Zoom invitation to the next meeting. For more information, contact Heidi Thompson at email@example.com or visit the website hinoon.toastmastersclub.org.