January 12, 2018

I wanted to let you know about Toastmasters.  This organization started in 1905 and now has clubs all over the world.  And many clubs are here in Richmond Hill.

It is an organization which helps people become better speakers, and sometimes inadvertently, develops their leadership skills.

If you would like to be involved with almost anything this ability to speak your mind confidently, and well, is so important. It is really utilizing your potential. Maybe you just want to speak at a school council, condo board, a wedding or a funeral.  Maybe you could be better at your occupation, be it sales, health care, public policy, education…. Definitely lawyers need this skill and it is essential for elected officials.

Toastmasters offers a way of being able to doing this.

Members of a Toastmasters Club participate at a pace and level they are comfortable with.  There is a very well designed set of manuals to help you develop your speaking skills.

More experienced members give thoughtful feedback. This giving feedback or evaluation is a valuable skill in itself.

Roles at the meetings provide opportunities to get out of your comfort zone in a comfortable way. It’s minimally intimidating.  If you flub, there’s no consequence.

Twice a year there are speech contests that one may participate in.  Winners at a club level go onto to compete with other clubs.   These speeches are amazing.

Many new Canadians chose to be Toastmasters.  They have great stories to tell.

The people involved in Toastmasters are generally very positive engaged people - people that you want to associate with.

Grant Bouchard, a local area governor in Toastmasters has this to say about his Toastmasters experience:

“I joined Toastmasters in March 2014 thinking Toastmasters was all about public speaking. Although I heard of Toastmasters my reason for visiting a club was by invitation. On that first visit i was informed i could visit three times without obligation to join. I was also encouraged to visit other clubs to find one that was a fit for my personality, schedule and geographic location. As a trainer I was interested in being able to formulate my message in the most impactful way with as few words as possible. I quickly discovered Toastmasters offers more than just communication development it also offers leadership development; let's face it every good leader communicates well. Toastmasters has allowed me to develop my communication and leadership skills in an encouraging environment with supportive like-minded individuals. It takes courage to speak in a crowd for many and for others leadership growth is needed for professional development. Toastmasters has helped me in both these areas and as I approach my fourth year in Toastmasters I can confidently say the greatest hurdle you need conquer is to walk through the door at a Toastmasters Club."

Richmond Hill has many clubs.  Almost every day of the week there is this opportunity to learn and practice becoming confident in presenting your ideas.

Here is the list of Toastmaster clubs in Richmond Hill that are open to all.

Mondays – 7:30 Fluid Communicators & Leaders – Langstaff Community Centre
Tuesdays – 7:15 – Inclusive Toastmasters Community Room ,York Regional Police
Tuesdays – 7:30 – Hilltop Toastmasters Elgin West Community Centre
Wednesdays – 12:00 Speakers of the Hill Town Offices
Wednesdays – 7:30 – Golden Gavel Toastmasters – Elgin West Community Centre
Thursdays  10:50 – Feel Good Toastmasters Community Room, York Regional Police
Thursdays – 7:15 pm – Richmond Hill Toastmasters Club – Bayview Hill Community Centre

There is one French speaking only club, FrancoFun, that meets on the first and third Thursdays 7:30 at the Community Room, York Regional Police. There are also clubs few just for employees of a business.

You can just show up to a club and listen and meet some great people. Guests are always welcome. 

Membership dues are paid yearly. They are about $150. It’s well worth it. www.toastmasters.org

Being a good speaker is good for you, your family and community.

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