Toastmasters – makers of leaders

Dianne St. Jean

On Tuesday, Oct. 2 the Robson Valley chapter of Toastmasters International (TMI) held an Open House at the Valemount Public Library. TMI members and directors from Prince George joined the local group.

Discussions were held on an ongoing challenge – how to acquire and maintain new memberships. The local chapter has seen successes in the past, but is currently flailing in maintaining memberships and attendance.

This includes finding the best time and place for meetings. Up to this time, meetings have been held on Tuesdays, which unfortunately conflicts at times with other community meetings.

Finding a suitable replacement for their former long-standing venue at the Best Western that provided a stable and professional atmosphere and which made meetings appealing, has also become an issue. The group has been trying to find a venue that is consistent, with a welcoming and professional appeal, but that also can easily accommodate the room they need for meetings.

Eighty-three-year-old John Baragar was one of the TMI members who visited from Prince George. In fact Baragar holds membership in three Toastmaster chapters.
Eighty-three-year-old John Baragar was one of the TMI members who visited from Prince George. In fact Baragar holds membership in three Toastmaster chapters.
Dianne St. Jean photo

It’s about making leaders

One of the other points of discussion was how the public views Toastmasters in general. Many presume it’s all about public speaking, a topic in itself that often raises terror in some people when they hear those words.

And while Toastmasters obviously is about speaking, the group wants to stress that it is more about developing or improving leadership skills, which of course, involves confidence in communication.

Whether it’s going for an important job interview, being able to effectively express concerns with teachers at a Parent/Teacher meeting, or advocating on behalf of others, we all need to be able to effectively communicate at some time or another.

TMI provides the opportunity to hone those skills in an unintimidating environment. In fact, their motto is “Where Leaders Are Made.”

If you’re interested and would like more information visit www.toastmasters.org or call Marion Farquharson at 250-566-0013, or Stephanie (Area Director) at 250-612-7206 or email stephpg25@gmail.com

The Robson Valley Toastmasters meet every second and fourth Monday at the Library Meeting Room. Next meeting is October 22 at 7:00 pm.