Everyone Belongs Toastmasters

Toastmasters Podium The DDRC’s everyone belongs™ Toastmasters Club was founded by long-time DDRC client Marilyn Wilson, who passed away in July 2014. Wilson’s views on public speaking were that “the more you do it, the better you will be.” Our club’s members have proven this repeatedly as they earn their “Competent Communicator” designations and learn the finer points of addressing a group.

Toastmasters, for those who are unfamiliar, is an international organization that allows people the opportunity to master the art of public speaking, receiving feedback from peers rather than an instructor or coach. For DDRC clients, this is a chance to speak out and be heard in a supportive environment.
Crysta Trask, the DDRC’s Creative Coordinator, oversees the club. Trask believes that Toastmasters is an ideal way to build self-esteem and confidence, while developing speaking and leadership skills. Participation also provides practice of basic conversation skills that are essential for successful social inclusion.

“We do all of this in a safe, relaxed, and non-judgmental environment,” Trask said. “We celebrate individual successes equally, and we delight in group successes.”

Part of the Toastmasters program is the International Competent Communicator Manual. To ensure the success of club members, Trask created a modified version of the document using plain language. Toastmasters’ directors have said they were impressed with this idea, and hope to adopt it for other groups where members have disabilities or are learning English as a second language.

In order to support the success of members, the club is open only to clients of the DDRC at this time. To learn more about the everyone belongs™ Toastmasters Club, please see our past articles on www.everyonebelongs.ca from April 2015 and November 2015.