Improve your confidence and speech,
Toastmasters offers Lincoln opportunity
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[October 01, 2014]
LINCOLN - Toastmasters International
wants to make you a better speaker, someone who feels confident in
giving a well crafted speech.
Mike Starasta, a librarian at the McKinstry Library at Lincoln
College, wants to bring this opportunity to Lincoln by forming a
local Toastmasters club at Lincoln College. It will be open to
everyone in the community.
Mike and his wife Leslie were members of the Springfield
Toastmasters before moving to Lincoln in 2008. Mike speaks highly of
Toastmasters International was formed in 1924 and currently has over
300,000 members in 126 countries.
In order to form a club in Lincoln, Starasta needs to recruit a
minimum of twenty people to become members. A onetime initiation fee
of $25 is required along with dues of $36 every six months. Once the
required number of members is met to form the local club,
application is made to Toastmasters International headquarters in
California. An area club then would be assigned to help start the
Toastmasters meet weekly with Lincoln College providing the space
for the local club. The members would decide when to meet, either
over the noon hour or in the evening, depending on busy schedules.
Each meeting starts with a word of the day, and members are
recognized if they use it in an extemporaneous speech, called “table
topics.” Each member has two minutes to craft a speech on current
news, community events, or personal experiences.
The next levels of speeches are more formal. Each member starts out
at the beginning level known as a “competent communicator.” Members
receive a manual from Toastmasters that guides them on how to craft
ten different types of speeches such as humorous or persuasive. Once
these are mastered, then one can move up to the “advanced
communicator” level, and finally to the “distinguished toastmaster.”
Guidance is provided for each level.
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Mike Starasta points out that the feedback to speeches is very
non-judgmental and always polite. A person is encouraged to develop
speaking skills at their own pace, but Toastmasters provides the
path to improve speaking ability, a path to self-confidence and
organizational skills when writing and presenting a speech.
Mike speaks highly of the Toastmasters’ method. “I saw people in our
Springfield club go from shy to confident speakers, and I developed
many new friends in the club. It was a great experience,” he said.
If you are interested in forming a Lincoln Toastmasters club,
contact Mike Starasta at the McKinstry Library on the Lincoln
College campus. His phone number is 217-732-3155 extension 7290.
Visit the website for the international organization