Toastmasters Club formed locally

By Frank Lewis - [email protected]

Leadership is an acquired talent. It takes dedication and hard work. Leaders must not only be accomplished, they must communicate. By regularly giving speeches, gaining feedback, leading teams and guiding others to achieve their goals in a supportive atmosphere, leaders emerge from the Toastmasters program. Every Toastmasters journey begins with a single speech. During their journey, they learn to tell their stories.

A local Toastmasters program has been formed for those who wish to hone their communication skills.

“It was formed locally just this past week,” Tim Bossart, one of the founders, said. “It’s an international organization that promotes public speaking. It’s for anyone who has to get up and give presentations, but it’s really designed for anybody because it teaches you how to become a better person of influence with other people.”

Bossart said participants listen and answer. They plan and lead. They give feedback-and accept it. Through a community of learners, they find their path to leadership.

‘What a meeting consists of is three people volunteering to give speeches, and then you have three people volunteering to be critiquers,” Bossart said. “Not only do you learn by getting up in front of people and speaking, but then you learn by also critiquing speeches. The person who is critiquing the speeches, they would get up and inform the audience on how the person did.”

Bossart said there is a grammarian at each session to count instances of the use of bad vocabulary.

The purpose of last week’s meeting was to bring together a small group of individual centers of influence in the community for a casual meeting with the re­gional director of Toastmasters International, Kathleen Donavon, so they could gather the information necessary to launch a successful club. The mini­mum number of members to start a club is twenty.

“It’s a great organization because it’s usually made up of professional people,” Bossart said. “Anyone who is wanting to self-improve.”

Bossart said, at the moment, they are striving to establish a core group of high-caliber indi­viduals to represent the club’s mission. He said they are convinced that the amount of people in this community who need to enhance their communication skills most likely exceeds twenty. Realtors, insurance professionals, sales professionals, students (high school seniors in particular), educators, community leaders, managers of any organization, financial planners, anyone who aspires to be a leader in their company or looking for a better job/career should find Toastmasters invaluable.

Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leader­ship development that enables members to improve communication skills in a safe, encouraging and supportive environment. The organization has more than 345,000 memberships. Members improve their speaking and leader­ship skills by attending one of the 15,900 clubs in 142 countries.

Anyone wishing to become involved can contact him at [email protected] or 740-464-7844.

By Frank Lewis

[email protected]

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.