FROM READERS: Columbia Toastmasters Club invites you to visit

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 | 9:00 a.m. CDT
Michele Hall, Genevieve Howard and Charlene Jayamanne hold up their certificates after the Toastmasters Club Speech Contest.

Genevieve Howard is the vice president of education for the Downtown Toastmasters Club #1119527. 

The Downtown Toastmasters Club #1119527 meets every Thursday from noon until 1 p.m. at the Missouri United Methodist church on 9th St. in room CLC 108.

We're a group of around 20-25 members with diverse backgrounds. We include people from all industries and ages, from their 20s to their 60s. What we have in common is our desire to enhance our skills in speaking and leadership.

We are an open membership club and welcome everyone to come and visit as many times as desired to see if our club is a good fit. We follow an established Toastmaster format so each meeting has three parts: prepared speeches, table topics when we practice extemporaneous speaking and evaluation.

To become a member, each person pays membership dues — which are around $60 every six months. This will include speech manuals. Each member works at his or her own pace — the first 10 speeches help teach us the components of public speaking. New members choose or are assigned a mentor who will help with the first three speeches.

Toastmasters has helped me in my personal life as well as my professional life. Everyone knows Toastmasters for improving speaking skills, but it also increases listening skills. With active listening skills, I can be a better employee, communicator, teacher, friend, mom and wife.

In our club you will hear interesting speeches. We’ve had educational speeches about Aikido and self-defense with items someone would have in her purse, international speeches about becoming an American citizen and a childhood in the Middle East, and humorous speeches about losing kids on a hiking trail and getting wedding photos taken.

Visit us and find out why more than a quarter of a million people attend Toastmasters each week!

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising Editor is Joy Mayer.

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