Public speaking has always been a challenge for most people; in fact, it is the number one fear for Americans. Fortunately, a local Toastmasters club offers the solution to conquering the fear of making speeches.
Last Monday, June 16, the Temple City Toastmasters Club held an open house. The purpose of the event was to invite guests to come and learn more about Toastmasters, with the hope they will return and become members of the club.
“We’re in a communication society” stated Jack Packey, a Temple City resident and a member of Toastmasters since 1970. “Toastmasters is a place you come…to improve [your speaking skills].”
A DVD presentation of Toastmasters was shown that evening to introduce the format of Toastmasters to the general audience.
Wendell Beard, another Temple City resident and also a long time member of Toastmasters, noted Toastmasters is “open to anybody that wants to be involved in improving their speaking and communicating skills.”
As the Table Topics master of the evening, Beard presented the concept of Table Topics to the general audience.
During Table Topics, the Table Topics master calls upon members to respond to a randomly chosen question or statement. Members are allocated no more than two minutes to deliver a short speech about the topic given to them.
“Toastmasters is a good social gathering [club]” said Tony Duran, during the intermission. Duran, the incoming President of the Temple City Toastmasters Club, is also a firefighter with the Los Angeles County and Temple City resident. He explained that Toastmasters has helped him in his career and it “gives an opportunity to improve [one’s] speaking ability.”
Following the break, Doug Bowers, a special guest of the club, gave a humorous speech about global warming. His speech was then evaluated by Duran, whose job as the evaluator was to give positive criticism of the speech.
Emily May, the Ah Counter and Grammarian of the evening, noted Toastmasters is a “supportive environment.” May added that club members aim to praise and offer friendly advice rather than to harshly criticize individuals for each speech performance.
The Temple City Toastmasters Club, also known as the “Friendly Club”, holds meetings on the second and fourth Mondays of each month at Live Oak Park. For more information, please contact Wendell Beard at 626-444-1482.
This article was written by Matthew Wong. It was published in the Temple City Voice on June 25, 2008.