Castlebar Toastmasters Returns – Virtually
Speaking in front of an audience is something that many find challenging at the best of times, something that requires skills and confidence and requires lots of practice and feedback. Speaking in front of an audience from the comfort of your own home can be equally challenging, as many have been discovering over the past six months and something that also requires new skills.
In March of this year, Castlebar Toastmasters, like many other organisations, had to make the decision to abandon its regular meetings at Mayo Education Centre and opt for meeting online. The GAA slogan “Nothing Beats Being There”might well also be applied to Toastmasters but after the technical glitches were ironed out, and people became more comfortable in the virtual environment, there were also advantages. One of the club members who had emigrated to South America was able to participate in the club meeting online. Other members were able to attend other club meetings and events in Ireland and abroad.
Toastmasters, of course, is not just about speaking in front of an audience. When the Castlebar club was founded in 2016, Toastmaster International had started to roll out a new educational programme which helps members develop skills that are relevant to real world situations, such as the workplace and community.
The Toastmasters ‘Pathways’ programme offers members the opportunity to develop a leadership and communication course tailored to their own particular professional and personal needs and circumstances.
Toastmasters meetings are interactive. They begin with a ‘Table Topics’ session where all members are encouraged to speak off the cuff for a minute or two on a random topic – a very useful skill for anyone about to do a job interview and this is followed by 3 or 4 prepared speeches, each of which is evaluated by fellow members.
In compliance with current restrictions, Castlebar Toastmasters held their first meeting of the 2020/2021 season last Tuesday evening September 8th, online.
After introductions and a lively Table Topic Session, members were treated to speeches on ‘communication styles’, a trip down memory lane with a speech about growing up in Ireland in the 1960’s and a presentation of a video podcast, demonstrating the changing world of leadership and communication.
The club is holding its next online meeting on Tuesday October 6th 7:45pm to 10:00pm and this meeting is open to the public. If you would like to attend, you can contact the club via email at [email protected] or via the club website https://castlebartoastmasters.com and the club will forward you a link to the meeting. If you want to find out more about Castlebar Toastmasters, you can contact Club President, Bernard Joyce on (094)9067080 or via WhatsApp on (087)2254698