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Toastmasters crying out for more members to train

Mar 27th, 2012 | By | Category: Latest News, News


TOASTMASTERS Hutt Valley is looking for at least six new members so the club can run smoothly.

Ideally the group should have 25 members, but there are currently only 15.

Occasional low attendances mean they can  drop to below the required numbers to operate properly.

The group is part of an international network offering certificates in developing public speaking skill and awards.

The agenda includes impromptu speeches and longer talks.

One member  in the advance stages of toastmaster training is Bill Ireland.

He won the Best Speech of the Night award this month for a fact-finding report about cowboys ripping off home owners.

Mr Ireland says he does his research on each of his topics and often uses personal experiences.

He says he learns tricks along the way and his best tip is to “write as if you are speaking”.

Toastmasters meetings last  two hours and see members put through their paces in both speaking and evaluation roles.

Duties are on a rotational basis with everyone getting many chances to practice.

Recent recruit, Amber Landall was  encouraged to join by her employer, Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce who suggested it for her personal  devlopment.

“Toastmasters is a good career move and confidence-wise will be handy to have,” says Ms Landall.

Tracey Young, whose membership will be made official at next week’s meeting, says she is a, “rubbish public speaker” and because of that she says it is the ideal place to practice under structure and guidance.

“It is really good to have so many opportunities to speak,”she says.

Speeches are prepared according to international Toastmaster guidelines.

Toastmasters try to offer a supportive and reassuring environment to feel the fear of public speaking.

“It is a good chance to practice chairing a meeting quote,” says acting chairman and long-time member Denis McCord.

“Every time you do a speech it’s a challenge.”

Nerves are never far away, however and  Beverly Wong says her legs  turned to jelly when she first started.

“After a year in the club the jelly has settled a bit,” says Ms Wong.

It took veteran Toastmaster Francis Chandrahasen, who has been involved since 1974, ages to stand up with confidence, but he now has some good advice to offer.

“Don’t wait for a perfect speech,” he says.

Hutt Valley Toastmasters meet every Monday evening at the Hutt Art Society.

Toastmasters New Zealand will celebrate its 50th birthday in May this year.

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