Our club meets

Every Wednesday evening except holidays and summer.

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Kings Way Care Centre, 8 Squire Drive in Quispamsis, NB (it's the seniors home on the Gondola Point Arterial) - in the Boardroom.

We'd love to meet you.

There are no meetings on storm days.

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Contact a member.

It's Official ... We are All Officials!

by Alistair MacKinnon

As soon as you paid your dues to become a member of Toastmasters, you unofficially became a member of … the speech police! I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that since I joined our club, I can’t listen to any speaker without evaluating them - whether they know it or not!

I had a busy week at an industry tradeshow and I had an opportunity to walk the aisles and listen to professionals present their best to customers and prospective customers. If I was able to fine everyone who was guilty of using the famous, but notorious, filler words (er, umm, and huh), I could retire! It is amazing how many professional people making presentations sound, well, unprofessional. What is really funny though, is the fact that had I not joined Toastmasters, I would still be listening to all those presentations and speeches thinking that this person is a good speaker.

Instead, I start listening intently, and usually within 30 seconds, I’m not paying any attention to the content of the speech, as much as I am of the delivery of the message. But after you hear umm, huh, and er so many times that you can’t count any more - you just feel like shouting, “STOP! You’re under speaker’s arrest! I’m a member of Toastmasters International, and have I got a message for you!”

Wednesday morning of last week, I was attending a meeting at the Delta in Moncton. There were nine persons sitting around this beautifully set table, plenty of great food, and beverages. The purpose of the meeting was to update the Maritime staff on our performance year to date, as well as to bring us up to speed on new products and programs to be implemented this year. The gentleman from Toronto who led the meeting and his executive assistant presented slide after slide of facts and figures. Unfortunately for me, all I could think about was the fact that both of these presenters, who have just crossed Canada giving this presentation, could definitely use Toastmasters. After every sentence they spoke, you would hear err, umm, or huh. Talk about distracting.

I guess that calling ourselves the speech patrol is a little much. But it always amazes me at how many speakers at all levels could take a lesson from Dr. Smedley. If nothing else, the next time you find yourself in a room listening to a speaker, listen closely to hear if they are using filler words. If you do not hear any, I bet there is a good chance you could start a conversation with that speaker - with Toastmasters as the Icebreaker.

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