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Getting Up in Front of a Crowd to Speak Can be Terrifying

Last Word Toastmasters June 2012 NewsletterHas your boss ever told you to get prepared to do a presentation at the next managers meeting?    Is someone retiring and you have been asked to talk about them or do a toast in their honor?  These can be not uncommon requests but paralyzing to the person who needs to get up in front of the crowd

There is a solution – a support group of sorts who can help you feel comfortable in either role – Toastmasters.  If you check out the Toastmaster’s wInternational ebsite you will probably find a Club right in or fairly near your hometown.  Some meet in the morning, some at lunch, and some in the evening.   There are several in business located in Billerica (started at the encouragement of management) that meet during lunch hour.   There are also several in the neighboring communities of Bedford, Lexington, Burlington, Chelmsford, Lowell…. The list is endless.

I am proud to say that I am a member of Last Word Toastmasters in Burlington.  They meet the second and fourth Thursday of the month at the Burlington Public Library, with a little networking beginning at 6:30pm followed by a Toastmasters meeting at 7pm where members share speeches in a nurturing environment where fellow Toastmasters encourage them with both positive comments and positive suggestions to improve – called the sandwich technique.  It’s all about helping each other.

Attached is our most recent newsletter – what makes it stand out is an article reprinted from the website Magnetic Podium (Mary Cheyne)…..
Last Word Toastmasters June 2012 Newsletter

Toastmasters Provides Service in Your Community

When you move into a community you look for ways to get involved – a local Lions Club, a Rotary Club, your children’s PTO, a sports team, town meeting member, or perhaps a member of Toastmasters.  Why would you join Toastmasters?  Aren’t they all about giving speeches?

According to the Toastmasters International website, Toastmasters create a benefit in communities by hosting the following types of programs:

  • Youth Leadership– public speaking training for junior and high school students.  This helps the students prepare for college and their careers where they may be called on to do a variety of things, including speaking before an audience of theirs peers or others.
  • Speechcraft – a short course in public speaking for adults in business, education, industry and government.  Have you ever had your boss come to you and tell you that you have to do a presentation in front of your peers about a project you are working on?  Or perhaps you are a leader in the community and need to get up in frot of town meeting to explain why a warrant has been presented for their consideration?  What do you do>
  • Speakers Bureau – to help other nonprofit organizations and community and government groups tell their stories to the community.  These groups are always looking for speakers who can inspire audiences in a specific field or topic. 
  • Gavel Clubs – bringing Toastmasters training to prisons and other institutions. Part of  retraing of prisoners is giving them a sense of self worth and the ability to present themselves in a positive fashion.  These clubs are an incredible resource for them.
  • Success/Leadership and Success/Communication presentations – educational modules in a how-to format on topics such as conducting productive meetings, effective listening, parliamentary procedure, evaluation, creative thinking, leadership, management and training.  Be ir a town moderator, an officer in a club, the owner of a business these are all topics that we share in needing to make ourselves better.

Toastmasters Clubs are a great venue to meet other people, to network, and learn about the community in which you live, all while improving yourself.  What better investment in yourself (personally and professionally)?   In and around Billerica are several Toastmasters Clubs, each reaching out to a different audience. 

I belong to Last Word Toastmasters  They meet the 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month at 6:30pm (for networking) and 7pm (for meeting), generally at the Burlington Public Library  22 Sears Street Burlington MA.  And tell them you saw it here. 

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