Speaking out in public
PORT HARDY—Some of the North Island’s most talented speakers will get a chance to prove their mettle this weekend as the local chapter of Toastmasters hosts its inaugural club speech competition and charter party in Port Hardy.
A selection of the recently formed club’s members will give a short speech, with the highest-scoring speaker progressing to represent the club at the next tier of the competition.
After club, area, division and district finals, the finest speakers move on to the organization’s international finals, to be held this year in Cincinnati.
Other members will take part in the evaluation competition, taking turns to critique a test speaker coming from Campbell River for the event, judging the content and delivery of the speech, and offering recommendations to speakers.
The evaluators are then judged on their critical skills.
The local branch of the club was founded by Brian Scott, who now serves as the VP Education for the chapter.
Toastmasters provides a forum for members to improve their public speaking, confidence, leadership and critical thinking skills in a supportive and friendly environment, and Scott explained that it can have other benefits too.
“The communication and leadership skills I’ve gained rank near the top for me,” said Scott of his Toastmasters experiences. “I’ve found that my confidence in front of an audience has improved a lot, but most important are the friends I’ve made in Port Hardy.”
Scott was a member of the Campbell River branch of the club before moving to the North Island and will be the only member with prior competition experience.
“Personally, it is a competition with myself,” he explained. “I’ve found that the biggest steps in my speaking skills have come from preparing for competitions. I like the excitement of these events too. It feels official and there are tangible results for the winners since they move onto the next round of competitions. No matter where you place in these competitions it always feels like you are a winner.”
Scott explained that, while the speeches at regular meetings offer a chance for members to improve their skills, the annual competition often drives huge jumps in individual ability.
“Competitions can be a major opportunity for growth in public speaking skills,” said Scott.
The free event will take place in Port Hardy’s North Island College on March 16 from 1-4 p.m. and refreshments will be provided.
The club meets each Wednesday in the college from 7- 8:30 p.m. and guests are welcome. For more information on the club or the competition contact scott at email@example.com or 250-288-3664.