It has been said that many people have more fear of public speaking than the fear of death
In 1924 Dr. Ralph Smedley created Toastmasters. The purpose was to provide a positive and mutual learning experience where people could practice and improve their communication and leadership skills.
The basic format of a Toastmaster meeting presents 5 to 7 minute speeches with 2 to 3 minute evaluations. There are 1 to 2 minute impromptu speeches called Table Topics. There are also contests for Humor and an annual International Speech Contest.
Originally women could not participate. Then in 1973 Helen Blanchard from San Diego joined. In order to participate she identified herself as Homer Blanchard (After the Greek Poet Homer). She got to be president of her club and Toastmasters International. Now women are welcome.
Today there are 325,000 Toastmasters in the world. There are 20,000 clubs in 142 nations including China. In 2017 the International Convention was held in August in Vancouver, Canada.
There are many Toastmaster clubs in this area. One Ventura club is Sandpipers. It meets every Wednesday 6:30 to 7:45am at the Ventura County Human Services Agency, 855 Partridge Dr.
The President is Dave Culton 983-1327. The Vice President for Membership is Wayne Choate at 750-3121 for more information.