Wednesday, 07 October 2009 17:20

Toastmasters Do the Scariest Thing in the World

Written by  Elyse Van Breemen
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Toastmasters do the scariest thing in the world - public speakingToastmasters isn’t about toast as in bread and butter. It’s an international non profit organization that helps people do the scariest thing in the world – competently speak to an audience.

"The idea of making a presentation in public is the number one fear reported by people in the U. S.," says Paul L. Witt, PhD, assistant professor of communication studies at Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas. When Jerry Seinfold heard about a survey that put fear of public speaking above fear of death, he said, "In other words, at a funeral, the average person would rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy."

"If it’s not fun, it’s not Toastmasters." says Rick Furbish, Director of Marketing in the Tampa Bay area. With nearly 250,000 members and over 12,000 clubs in 106 countries, Toastmasters is a very popular group that know how to make speaking fun.

Well-known Toastmaster alumni include Peter Coors of Coors Brewing Company, Debbi Fields, founder of Mrs. Fields Cookies, and Linda Lingle, Governor of Hawaii.

Here are some of the people locally who have benefitted and experienced the fun of Toastmasters, all members of Renaissance Speakers of Clearwater Florida which meets Mondays at 6:00 p.m. at Jim Warren Art Gallery, across from the Post Office in downtown Clearwater.

Arney Miles, a local business owner, used to shiver and shake before a group. Now his speeches get lots of laughs!

Sharon Hillestad, grandmother of four, joined Toastmasters to improve her ability to communicate about her lifelong cause – literacy. She is the Lead Supervisor and Trainer for Volunteers at the Community Learning Center in Clearwater.

Debra Lynn Dadd has been called "the queen of green," by the New York Times. She is the author of Home Safe Home, and Better Basics for the Home: Simple Solutions for Non-Toxic Living. Though she had been a public speaker, she lacked the skill that comes from doing the assignments and guidance that are part of Toastmaster meetings.

Her husband, Larry Redalia, is also a member. He’s an inventor who joined Toastmasters to promote his car that runs on vegetable oil.

Jay Reckenwald owns his own business, Pinellas Home Solutions. Joining Toastmasters inspired him to take up acting as well, and he has already landed a few jobs.

Readers are invited to visit Renaissance Toastmasters in Clearwater (727 538-9701) and/or they can contact a club near their home or office by going to and clicking on "Meeting locations Find a location near you." Whatever you club you visit, you will be welcome.

Read 1595 times Last modified on Wednesday, 07 October 2009 17:20

Community News

Hands Across the Sand Spreads Message "Love Tourists, Not Drilling"
Hands Across the Sand, a statewide, peaceful protest against offshore…
NASA's WISE Telescope Returns Images and More Information from Our Universe
As technology progresses, we are able to know more about…
To Haiti with Love: Hometown Help for Haiti
On January 12th, at approximately 5:00 in the afternoon, the…
East-West Shrine Game Players Visit Shriners Hospital for Children
On January 17th, more than 100 of the nation’s finest…
Building a Better World with Education
The world has changed over the last 20 years. Jobs…
Green Car Detailing
Traditionally, auto detailing has employed a range of not-so-green-friendly products…
NASA Discovery: Moon Holds Water
Scientists have long speculated about significant quantities of hydrogen detected…
Tampa Teens Pledge Not to Text and Drive
Nearly 300 teenagers from Tampa Bay Technical High School made…
Hyenas - The Hunted Predator
Among the most intelligent animals on Earth, three species of…