Toastmasters can help you improve your presentation skills

By Lindsay Advocate

The Kawartha Lakes Toastmasters Club has operated in Lindsay since 2006 and meets online weekly on Wednesdays at noon.

If you are a college student looking to improve your presentation skills or an adult looking for speaking and leadership improvement, you can attend a meeting as a guest and learn more about the program.

Toastmasters helps you learn to use your voice, organize your thoughts for impromptu speaking, develop critical thinking skills and even has tips for conducting online meetings.

By providing a friendly learning environment at the club level, members deliver speech projects and receive constructive feedback that help build speaking skills and self-confidence.

The online education program called Pathways guides you through projects that you prepare at home then present back to the club during regular meetings.

Karen Ryan, vice president public relations at the Kawartha Lakes Toastmasters Club says she joined Toastmasters in 2005 to overcome her fear of speaking. “In school, I was extremely scared to speak in front of others,” she says.

“As an adult I did not feel comfortable using my voice and my career suffered from not knowing how to speak up. Toastmasters gave me a way forward. I was even comfortable two years ago when I was asked to step in quickly as a panel moderator at a large supplier industry conference. I have also initiated a podcast on work stress and even achieved the Distinguished Toastmaster designation, the highest level in the Toastmasters program. I would not have been able to do this without the Toastmasters club meeting experience.”

The club is open to adult members and there is also a youth leadership program in the works.

They hope to resume in-person meetings soon at the Boys and Girls Clubs in Lindsay and will also continue to offer online meetings.

Toastmasters International is a non-profit organization and has been promoting improved public speaking, communication, and leadership skills since 1924.

More information can be found at  Karen Ryan can be contacted about attending a meeting at .

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