Toastmasters is an educational non-profit organization that offers an affordable, learn-by-doing program where people can have fun while practising their leadership and communication skills in a comfortable supportive environment.
I used to have a great fear of public speaking and according to the internet as many as 75% of people suffer the same phobia. When I joined, I was told that Toastmasters would help me get my "butterflies flying in formation". This did not make me very confident that Toastmasters could help because I was sure that the feelings of fear I experienced were more likely pterodactyls than butterflies.
I've been a Toastmaster for more than 10 years and no longer have a fear speaking in public. Although I have no aspirations of becoming a professional speaker or even competing in a Toastmaster contest, I truly enjoy helping others get over their fear and helping those already good speakers become great. There are also many leadership opportunities as a Toastmaster. I am currently serving on the Divison N Council located in beautiful Northern Ontario, across the communities of North Bay, Timmins, Sudbury, Espanola, and Sault Ste. Marie. It is the largest Division in District 86 and covers over 86,000 square kilometers with 16 clubs and more than 260 members. Our Area is just as our Division Director describes our Division " not only rich in forests, minerals, lakes and landscapes, but boasts many diverse clubs that are rich in culture and history."
Toastmasters has been helping people with their communication and leadership skills for almost 100 years and now reaches around the globe. Next year the Pathways program will launch Toastmasters training into the world of technology while still keeping the traditional values of respect, excellence, service and excellence in leadership and communication.
Visit a North Bay and Area Toastmasters meeting, so you can see for yourself what the club can do for you! Please join us the first and third Wednesday of each month.
I am honoured to be North Bay and Area Toastmasters President for the 2016-2017 year and welcome all guests and new members.
Colleen Charland, DTM, President
North Bay & Area Toastmasters
Club #585369, Dist86, DivN, Area2