Overcome fear of public speaking with Toastmasters


“Self-confidence and discovering your true authenticity is one of the side effects of being a member of Toastmasters,” said Mike Irvin, founding member and Vice president of Education of the Canyon Lake Chamber of Commerce Toastmasters Club.

Toastmasters is a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs.  Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people of all backgrounds build confidence as speakers and leaders.

Its mission is to provide a supportive and positive learning experience in which members are empowered to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth.

Toastmasters is the way for anyone, whether a working professional, student, stay-at-home parent or retiree, to improve his or her communication and leadership skills. “Members overcome the fear of public speaking and learn skills that aid them in becoming more successful. Toastmasters create better listeners and stronger team members and leaders who can comfortably give and receive constructive evaluations,” said Mike.

“Regardless of your age or experience, Toastmasters benefits anyone who is looking to be a more effective communicator and leader”

Mike said anyone looking for a positive change in their life will find it in Toastmasters. “I have witnessed people who were so nervous they could barely put two words together and others who stuttered badly, overcome their fears to become very competent communicators,” said Mike

Many attend Toastmasters with the ability to speak well but admit that they are scared and extremely nervous. “By participating in Toastmasters the nervousness and fear eventually go away and are replaced by a sense of self confidence, it’s an amazing transformation in the lives of many who show up and participate,” Mike said.

The Canyon Lake Toastmasters Club meets every Tuesday from 12:05 to 1:05 p.m. in the Council Chambers at city hall. The fast paced agenda is led by the Toastmaster of the day.

The meeting starts off with a joke followed by three prepared speeches (usually five to seven minutes in duration), a session of impromptu speeches, known as Table Topics, led by the Table Topics master of the day, followed by the Evaluation session (two to three minutes for each evaluator) where the speakers get feedback, both positive and areas that can be improved.

The overall meeting is evaluated by the General Evaluator of the day. Every week the roles change affording each member the opportunity to participate in the leadership portion of Toastmasters.

Toastmasters is free to visit. The cost to join is $45.00 every six months. “That’s less than $1.75 a meeting,” said Mike. “Not a bad price to pay for a greater sense of self-confidence and improved leadership skills.”

The Canyon Lake Canyon Chamber of Commerce Toastmasters club consists of three published authors, two doctors, one scientist, two real estate agents, one mortgage broker, two homemakers, two retired high ranking law enforcement officials and a few new members who the group will learn more about as they share their stories through their participation in Toastmasters.

To learn more about the Canyon Lake Chamber of Commerce Toastmasters, visit canyonlaketoastmastersclubs.org.