Toastmasters does more than just improve public speaking and ‘everyone’ should give it a try, club member says
VANESSA LAURIE / Stuff
Pukekura toastmasters committee members Julia Collins, Marcella Volino and Reuben Doyle will all be part of the club’s 50th anniversary this weekend.
In high school, Reuben Doyle hated speeches, but thanks to the skills he learned at Toastmasters, he’s now called upon to host weddings.
And Doyle, a board member at the Pukekura Toastmasters Club in New Plymouth, said joining a club is something everyone should do.
“Whether they’re high-flying business people or not, it’s something everyone should try, whether you’re a lawyer or you work in the supermarket.”
Doyle, a real estate agent, said the Pukekura club, which turns 50 this weekend, often helps people who have a public speaking commitment coming up or for whom English is a second language.
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But as club member Jenny Ransley discovered, the program, which is run internationally, does more than just improve public speaking.
Ransley, originally from South Africa, worked as an actress and musician before retiring and joining club New Plymouth.
She said it not only helped her to meet people in Taranaki, but also to struggle with attention deficit disorder.
“Being in front of people was not something that made me nervous.
“I am dyslexic and I have ADD [Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder]so it helped me focus.
Ransley said that as she got older, the club’s meeting structure helped her plan her weeks.
“It’s a completely different challenge.
“It allows me to concentrate during the fortnight before the next meeting. Especially for retirees, sometimes you need this concentration.
Ransley and Doyle are both proud to see the club celebrate its 50th anniversary.
An anniversary dinner was held this weekend, reflecting the work done by club members, said Pukekura’s vice president of education, Julia Collins.
“For 50 years we’ve had people who have represented this club and worked hard to make the club work, so it’s a celebration of them and their hard work.”