Public speaking is the biggest fear for many, but Warkworth Toastmasters vice president education, Murray Chapman, is encouraging people to join and overcome that fear.
The group meets at the RSA each Monday at 7.30pm with new members always welcome.
Murray says it’s nerve-racking for most people to come along the first time, but that no one gets ‘dropped in cold’ to start with.
“I remember being terrified of getting called up when I joined Toastmasters over 30 years ago, but we don’t make anyone speak at their first couple of sessions,” Murray says.
“The only way to get comfortable with public speaking, though, is to do it, so toastmasters is a way to push through any nerves.”
He says people join for a number of reasons, such as practising for work presentations, ceremony speeches and leadership roles.
“What Toastmasters can teach you is how to structure a speech, speak to a time frame and talk without preparation.
“Everything is evaluated so you get constructive feedback on what you did well and where you could improve.”
A number of different speeches are tackled, ranging between two and 15 minutes in length, with some written and others improvised.
“It’s an open environment where people speak about everything from funny stories to religion and problems with alcohol.” There are also opportunities to progress to national and international
Toastmaster competitions and events such as The Great Debate during Warkworth’s Kowhai Festival, which has raised more than $20,000 for Hospice to date.
The Warkworth club has around 20 members and welcomes anyone to join.
Info: Murray 027 4966 550