Toastmaster promotes leadership and communication skills

2018-07-03 06:01
Toastmasters member Sally Bosch. PHOTO: supplied

Toastmasters member Sally Bosch. PHOTO: supplied

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TOASTMASTERS International, an organisation which has clubs around the world, is dedicated to teaching people leadership and communication skills.

According to the Toastmasters International website, the organisation began as a series of speaking clubs, organised by Ralph C. Smedley during his time working for the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) in the United States.

As a director of education at the YMCA, Smedley saw a need for the men in the community to learn how to speak, conduct meetings, plan programmes and work on committees, and he wanted to help them.

Smedley decided to organise a club where they could learn these skills in a social environment, and the men responded well to the concept.

He named the group the Toastmasters Club. Toastmaster was a popular term that referred to a person who gave toasts at banquets and other occasions. The organisations mission is to empower individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders while it builds new clubs and support all clubs in achieving excellence.

The club provides a supportive and positive learning experience in which members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth. The clubs values are integrity, respect, service and excellence.These clubs have dominated around the world.

Local resident Sally Bosch is a member of three local clubs. She says that belonging to these clubs has helped her grow her confidence.

Bosch said: “I have been a member of Highway Club in Pinetown for three years, and I am a member of two other clubs as well, namely the Forest Hills Club and Pinnacle Advanced Club.

“The clubs offer speaking and leadership opportunities.

“I am currently secretary and vice president of public relations for the Highway Club.

“Toastmasters has helped me to grow in confidence, and has empowered me to be able to do what I am now doing.

“I no longer pass up opportunities which, in the past, I would have. I lacked confidence and leadership skills so I would often refuse opportunities to grow and, in turn, was unable to help others as much as I can now,” she said.

For more information on Toastmasters visit their website www.toastmasters.org

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