Laugh With the Toastmasters Club, 9/18

Toastmaster Club

Toastmaster Club members Beth Lin (left) and Margaret Foster (back) practice speaking to a group with guests (from left) Linda Dimasi, Tong Wang, and Leah Selva.

So many people are uncomfortable when they have to speak in public. Sometimes, even while talking to just a small group of coworkers, you wonder whether the information you need to share is getting through. You wonder — If you had planned to make your remarks in a different way, would more of the group “get it?”

That’s where a club like Toastmasters can help. For 20 years, BNLers have practiced talking to a group at the club, which meets twice a month to promote public speaking and communication skills. 

“Come and see how we operate,” suggests said club president Timothy Jochen. “It’s useful to get communication skills whether you are giving a science talk to a big audience or a leading a daily planning meeting of a small group in your department. Also, if you are asked to make some remarks at an off-site event, at a special dinner or even a wedding, you feel more confident. Believe it or not, you can get to enjoy speaking in front of a crowd!”

“We are all very friendly,” added Beth Lin, a founding member and now club vice-president for education. “How it works is that one or two people are picked to prepare a talk at the next meeting, and after they give their talk, the other members make suggestions about what they think were the best moments of the talk, and how it might be improved.”

“We all need to get messages across sometimes, and this is a chance to improve our speaking skills,” said Mike Costanzo, club treasurer. “We have a lot of fun at meetings as well as discussing and using the tried-and-tested ways of making sure the group around you understands and appreciates your point. We have all found that the more you practice, the better you get, and the more people will listen.”

The Toastmasters Club warmly welcomes visitors as well as new members. “We hope to see some new faces at our meeting next Tuesday,” said Jochen.

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