Toast­mas­ters to host meet-and-greet night

Irish Examiner - County - - News - Áilín Quin­lan

Want­ing to voice an opin­ion, but too afraid to use your voice?

We’ve all been there. But now a suc­cess­ful West Cork club which this year cel­e­brates its 30th an­niver­sary is call­ing on mem­bers of the pub­lic to see just how easy it is to be­come a good pub­lic speaker.

Ban­don Toast­mas­ter’s Club throws open its doors to­mor­row for a meet-and-greet open night at the town’s Mun­ster Arms Ho­tel, to give mem­bers of the pub­lic a chance to see how meet­ings run and learn about how they can ben­e­fit from mem­ber­ship of the club:

“Peo­ple can have the chance to see speeches de­liv­ered both by be­gin­ners and by ex­pe­ri­enced speak­ers,” says Imelda West­cott, club PRO and for­mer Pres­i­dent.

The club has about 20 mem­bers, a fig­ure the man- age­ment com­mit­tee ex­pects to see in­crease by about a third in the com­ing weeks.

“This is our 30th an­niver­sary year, and part of our birth­day cel­e­bra­tions in­volves our con­tin­u­ing ef­forts to spread the word about the ben­e­fits Toast­mas­ters’ mem­ber­ship of­fers ev­ery­one,” says Imelda, who adds that any­one who joins the club be­fore the end of Septem­ber can avail of a dis­counted an­nual mem­ber­ship fee at €80.

Whether you have to give a work pre­sen­ta­tion wed­ding speech, stand up at a Par­ents’ As­so­ci­a­tion meet­ing — or any­thing that in­volves stand­ing up and speak­ing in pub­lic — Toast­mas­ters will give you the con­fi­dence to speak your mind.

“When you come to one of our Ban­don Toast­mas­ter Club meet-ups, it’s the first step. You do it at your pace,” says Imelda.

“We prom­ise you that to- gether we will crack it so that in­ter­view, that wed­ding speech, that pro­mo­tion you want to go for, will be eas­ier to do.

“We all learn from each other lit­tle tech­niques and of­ten in­ter­est­ing sto­ries too ev­ery week — all over an in­for­mal tea and cof­fee — well you’ve got to wet the whis­tle.”

Many peo­ple, says Imelda, fear they might be­come tongue-tied, for­get their speech, or feel in­tim­i­dated by all those eyes watch­ing.

“That’s just plain old fear telling you that. We know be­cause many of us in our Toast­mas­ters club here in Ban­don once felt the same,” she says.

“To­gether, though, we help each other over­come that fear.”

Open night for Ban­don Toast­mas­ters takes place at Mun­ster Arms Ho­tel, Ban­don, from 8.15pm on Wed­nes­day, Septem­ber 26

Imelda West­cott, Toast­mas­ters PRO, pre­sent­ing Philip O’Brien with his cer­tifi­cate for com­mu­ni­ca­tor gold.

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