Toastmasters International hosts new program

Staff report


Toastmasters International is a U.S. headquartered nonprofit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of promoting communication, public speaking and leadership skills. The group has begun a new program that allows members to choose the path that most closely mirrors their personal goals and achievements while teaching everyone the same established speech techniques. In Toastmasters, the goal is to advance at one’s own pace while giving speeches to a group of members who provide an inviting environment by offering feedback and evaluations on how to improve on your next assignment. The new online curriculum is more interactive with some subjects being leadership development, dynamic leadership, motivational strategies, innovative planning, strategic relationships and more.

The local group consists of people from many walks of life and different backgrounds, but all have the same goal of wanting to become better speakers. Debbie Larson, vice president of public relations says, “One of the best things is the speech part of the meeting. You never know what you are going to hear about as members give their speeches. It can be humorous or bring you to tears, and it can be from gardening to motivation or even how to give CPR.” Many of the area’s local Toastmasters have won area and regional speaking contests.

The meetings provide several opportunities to speak, engage or lead, as the format encourages each Toastmaster to take turns running the meeting, thereby developing confidence to step into leadership roles within their organization or workplace.

The roles members step into each meeting are Toastmaster, jokemaster, wordmaster, discussion master (a chance to provide a topic for discussion and conduct a forum while maintaining a neutral position as the discussion leader), table topics master (time to ask impromptu questions to members and have them answer in 1 to 2 minutes), speaker, evaluator, timer and Ah/Um counter.

All are welcome, and attending as a guest is free with an invitation to join as a member. For information about the international organization, visit For information about the Youngstown Speaking Club, visit The Youngstown Speaking Club meets from 6:45 to 8:45 p.m. each Monday at 8381 Market St., Boardman.

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