Toastmasters Club explained at Rotary

Published 6:23 pm Tuesday, February 10, 2015

What does it take to form a Toastmasters Club? Lauren Harrell, who has an interest in starting one in Bainbridge, brought Walter Marria and his wife Andre of Thomasville, to Rotary this week to talk about their experiences with Toastmasters International.

Walter Marria is a club coach, mentor, district level officer and a recipient of a distinguished award in 2013 from Toastmasters International. That is the same year he started the Rose City Toastmasters Club in Thomasville.

He gave a broad description of Toastmasters, saying it is much more than public speaking. It is a self-improvement organization that gives opportunity to grow personally and professionally.

Email newsletter signup

He challenged the audience to ask themselves if they work as hard on themselves as they do on their jobs, and suggested that the vast majority of people never become “great” because they are satisfied with being “good.”

He said 75 percent of a person’s income depends on one’s ability to communicate effectively, adding, “Communication is not optional.”

He continued by saying he has always read a lot and tried to improve, but he never had a laboratory to practice what he was learning.

He describes Toastmasters as being that laboratory where you can practice what you learn.

Growth in the organization is accomplished at each individual’s speed in working at the three basic components; 1) preparing and giving speeches and presentations, where you learn to formulate and organize thinking; 2) learning to improvise where you are given a question or a sentence and required to respond in two minutes (a skill much needed in job interviews) and 3) evaluation, where each speaker has a chance to give and receive constructive feedback.

Anyone wishing to know more or having an interest in Toastmasters may contact Lauren Harrell, Executive Director of Institutional Advancement at Bainbridge State College  by email, or cell phone 229-220-5475.