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Toastmasters club speaks out on improving possibilities

HURLBURT FIELD, Fla -- The ability to speak well in front of a group can be the key to a successful career, and possibly, a happier life.

Those who are naturally fluent have an unfair advantage; but for the inarticulate there is help.
The Hurlburt Toastmasters Club is celebrating the start of its fourth year of providing Hurlburt Field members the opportunity to improve their public speaking, meeting management and leadership skills. It is open to anyone 18 years of age or older who has access to Hurlburt Field.

The club's treasurer, Marty Mears, reminds prospects that "our Toastmasters club has members from all walks of life here," including officers, enlisted, civil service, dependents and retiree's.

The mission of a Toastmasters club is to provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every member has the opportunity to develop communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster self-confidence and personal growth.

This is done primarily through the completion of the Basic Communication and Leadership Manual, which consists of 10 speech projects – each designed to develop communication skills one step at a time, building upon what is learned in each preceding speech.

Some of the projects include such goals as organizing thoughts, understanding the value of body language and visual aids, and learning how to persuade and inspire your audience. However, the program also emphasizes the importance of good listening skills and provides everyone involved the opportunity to contribute in different aspects of the critiquing process.

The curriculum also includes the use of role-playing for the purpose of navigating several problem-solving scenarios.

Club members then move on to more advanced projects designed to increasingly evolve the participant into a more eloquent spokesperson. This provides more chances to network no matter what member's overall objectives are.

Toastmasters is a useful tool for anyone who needs help becoming a better public speaker in all types of situations, from humorous speeches and special occasions to technical presentations or just 'breaking the ice.'

Using the skills developed in Toastmasters, people have become more active in business, churches, and service and charity organizations.

Those interested are invited to drop in on a meeting to see what Toastmasters is about and what it can do for them. Meetings are held every Wednesday from 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. in Room J of the base education center.

For additional information, contact Marty Mears at 884-3050, e-mail marty.mears.ctr@hurlburt.af.mil, or visit the Hurlburt Toastmasters website at hurlburt.freetoasthost.org.