Fourteen staff and parents of St James Primary School completed an eight-week Speechcraft programme presented by the Kalk Bay St James SRA Social Development team and the Two Oceans Toastmasters Club.The course was coordinated and presented by Distinguished Toastmaster and SRA social worker, Marion Thomas. “Many people can identify with a feeling of crippling nervousness when faced with public speaking. As you stand to speak, your heart begins to race, your mouth goes dry and you wonder whether the words you rehearsed will ever make it out of your mouth. This nervousness is not unusual as there are many who are uncomfortable speaking in front of others, whether it is to a small group of co-workers or to thousands of conference delegates,” she says. The Toastmasters Speechcraft programme provides a solution to this problem by providing a safe workshop environment that teaches participants how to create and deliver dynamic speeches. “The programme allows experienced Toastmasters to present the fundamentals of public speaking, while learning about the benefits of Toastmasters. Participants are given an opportunity to present a minimum of three prepared speeches, as well as providing effective feedback through evaluations and taught how to think on their feet while mastering impromptu speaking skills,” Thomas says.The 14 participants gave up their Saturday mornings for eight weeks to invest in their own personal development. The course culminated with a dynamic showcase event held in September at the school, which was attended by Two Oceans Toastmasters Club president, Jennifer Thurow and SRA Social Development director Joanne McGilvray, as well as friends and family members who came to support the participants. Each participant received a certificate of completion for the course and a letter from Toastmasters to add to their CV. The feedback from the participants was marked by gratitude for allowing them the space in which to practise their skills.It also provided an opportunity for staff and parents to bond and get to know one another a little better as they used personal stories as the basis for their speech content. Confident communication is necessary to be able to deliver the right message to an audience.Everyone has the ability to communicate. Toastmasters allows an individual to unlock their potential and anything is possible as a result. Two Oceans Toastmasters Club meets on the first Wednesday of every month at The Daily in Sun Valley Mall at 18:00. Contact Desilu Crossman at firstname.lastname@example.org.