Skip to content

Nervous about finding a job or asking someone on a date? Toastmasters to the rescue

Toastmasters helps teach people to stay personally connected in a digital world

Is your new year’s resolution to find a new job or maybe just get up the nerve to ask someone out on a date?

Trying a Toastmasters class may help you with that.

Toastmasters is well known for giving members skills to help them overcome their fear of public speaking and communicate effectively to deliver spot-on speeches. 

But it’s so much more than that, says Steven McCoy, vice president of public relations of the Sault/Algoma Toastmasters Club.

Knowing how to communicate well and lead a group opens doors to personal and professional opportunities, he says.

“Having the ability to stand up and command the room can apply to any part of your life,” says McCoy.

“If you have to give a presentation to your boss, Toastmasters can really help with that. Or even being able to go to your boss and ask for a raise. It can help as well in your personal life – being able to get over that fear to ask your crush out on a date. There are many, different ways Toastmasters can help people become more effective leaders and communicators.”

Toastmasters was created in 1924 with a mission to empower individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders by providing a supportive and positive learning environment, increasing self-confidence and enhancing personal growth.

Today, Toastmasters has more than 300,000 members in 149 countries with clubs across the globe.  Locally, the Sault/Algoma Toastmasters Club has 15 members and has been around since 1958. They meet weekly over Zoom due to pandemic gathering restrictions.

McCoy has been a member since 2020. He joined because public speaking is a passion for him, and he wanted to keep his skills sharp. He also has his sights on pursuing the competitive side of Toastmasters.

Toastmasters provides speech competition at the club level regionally, nationally and internationally. 

But McCoy says members can get whatever they want out of their experience.

“Whether you just want to be able to give a speech at a wedding or get that big position at work, Toastmasters can help with that.”

The meetings are designed to include small and large roles for members to participate in, depending on level of comfort.

“If you’re shy and just getting into it, you can take on smaller roles like timing the speeches or giving the joke of the day,” he said.

The club also welcomes guests to their meetings where they can come and see what it’s all about.

For McCoy, being comfortable with communicating helps to make meaningful connections and there’s never been a more important time to brush up on these skills than now.

“I think a lot of people are losing their communication skills,” he said.

“We’re living in a meme world now and a digital virtual world that’s really preventing people from connecting on a personal level. That’s why I like a group like Toastmasters. It really keeps people connected. That’s why I love it. It keeps me connected and I look forward to our meetings every week.”

Toastmasters meetings are held every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. 

For more information and to join, go to the club’s Facebook page or website. You can also phone at 705-943-0089.