ST. MARYS — Elk County Toastmasters recently inducted DuBois resident Manda Shaw as a new member. Shaw is extremely involved with her community, serving on the DuBois Chamber of Commerce, the Winkler Art Gallery and as a Youth Leader at Tri County Church. One might wonder how this busy individual could jump on board yet another community organization.
“My career and community work have often required me to speak to many groups. I originally overcame my fear by joining the Reitz Theatre in DuBois. This helped incredibly, but I felt that by joining Toastmasters I would be more formally educated in the art of public speaking and communications, as well as having opportunities for steady practice,” explained Shaw.
Toastmasters is a supportive group of individuals that enable members to move past their fears and improve upon the design and delivery of speeches and presentations. The organization provides a wealth of guidance and supporting materials, but the “rubber meets the road” when members stand up to deliver speeches that are usually six to ten minutes long.
“Speakers always receive an evaluation that focuses on what they did well, and where they need to improve,” explained President Dale Fox. “In my nine-years as a Toastmaster, I have never seen an individual that did not greatly improve their speaking ability.”
Elk County Toastmasters invites members of the public to visit. The group meets every first and third Thursday at the Community Education Center in downtown St. Marys at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit the group on Facebook or search for “Elk County Toastmasters” on the web.