By Kathleen Rake
For 26 years, Mission Toastmasters has been making its mark helping members grow both personally and professionally. It is one of the most established International Toastmasters clubs in the Fraser Valley and is proud to have a founding member who still attends meetings regularly.
“Really, at the risk of sounding cliché, there is something for everyone here,” said 30-year-old Sean McStay, president of Mission Toastmasters.
Every Toastmaster gets what he or she needs from the club. Some members come to improve their public speaking by overcoming stage fright, erasing the ums, ahs and likes, increasing voice projection, sharpening listening skills, and developing the ability to speak spontaneously.
Other members come to compete as well as sharpen skills. Jo Priestley, artist and past president of the Mission club, recently won the District 21 (comprised of at least 285 clubs throughout B.C.) Table Topics competition.
“Then there are those who come to Toastmasters to take full advantage of the educational opportunities,” added McStay. “But at the end, we all come for the fun. It’s not always about standing up in front of a crowd and giving a speech. Some members use the speaking skills they learn to give persuasive presentations at work.”
Laura Midan, an eight-year veteran of Toastmasters, credits the organization and the public speaking and leadership skills she learned there with her successful bid to secure her current position as an education coordinator with the Abbotsford/Mission Recycling Program.
“This position involves conducting workshops, providing presentations and liaising with community representatives,” she said. “I highly recommend Toastmasters for individuals wanting to advance in their careers and further their educational goals.”
The club meets Tuesdays, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., at Cedarbrooke Chateau on Seventh Avenue. Guests are welcome. For more information, call 604-217-1173 or visit them on Facebook or at MissionToastmasters.com.