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A toast to the most

Posted on September 9, 2014 by Sunny South News

Whether raising a glass to toast a bride and groom at a wedding or standing in front of a crowd to give a speech — it takes guts and a learned ability to succeed.

Public speaking is rated as one of the greatest fears but it’s a task most of us have to do some time in our life.

Toastmasters is one of the world’s best kept secrets dedicated to self-directed learning and self-improvement.

A membership drive is on now to attract new members to the club in Coaldale and internationally. “You work at your own pace and are able to achieve different levels on two different tracks. One is a communication track and one’s a leadership track,” said Barb Goertzen, vice-president of memberships for Coaldale Toastmasters or the Sunny South Speakers, adding the Coaldale chapter currently is 20-members strong.

One of the reasons Toastmasters does a membership drive on a regular basis, Goertzen noted, is for people who come and leave and move on to different jobs in different locations.

“People are always coming but they’re always going. One of the best things about new members, I think is, older members learn from new members. Toastmasters, itself, has a mentor program built into it but when you’re a mentor you often learn a lot from new members who introduce their own style of communication and it brings life into the club by always having a dynamic of changing in members growing at their own pace,” said Goertzen.

Coaldale Toastmasters has been in the community since 2001 and Goertzen has been a member of the club for a number of years.

An open house is being held tomorrow for new members to check out the club at 7 p.m. at the McCain Gallery, located at the Coaldale Public Library. Regular meetings are held Wednesdays at the same time and location.

There is a one-time membership fee for newcomers, Goertzen added, and monthly dues are also charged to be a member of the international club.

A typical meeting of Coaldale Toastmasters, Goertzen explained, is an organized meeting with an agenda and different rules set into place.

“One person is the toastmaster or some people call it the chairman. Each club has its own set of an agenda — usually it often includes a joke of the day. All aspects of toastmasters are timed and evaluated. We have a section where we can complete speeches or projects and we also always have a section of impromptu speaking or table topics,” said Goertzen.

Goertzen said everyone can come check out the organization and there’s no obligation to join.

“We often have a lot of fun,” she added.

“It makes learning enjoyable.”

For more information or to become a member contact Daryl at 403-332-0042 or Elizabeth at 403-892-0572 or check out the organization online at

“I think the ultimate goal of Toastmasters is to provide a supportive environment, where people can feel safe and learn at their own pace,” said Goertzen.

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