East Mountain Toastmasters invites residents to an open house to meet members and experience (and participate in) a Toastmaster meeting. The event is free to the public.

“Toastmasters provides a supportive and positive environment where members can develop their communication and leadership skills,” said club president Mary Ellen Burns.

Meetings center around short prepared speeches, on-the-spot evaluations, and opportunities for members to practice impromptu speaking in a segment called Table Topics. While meetings are always professionally run, they are also informal. There will time for questions and answers about the program.

The open house speeches will share some of the benefits Toastmasters can provide anyone who is seeking to improve their public speaking skills.

In an entertaining speech titled “Getting your Butterflies to Fly in Formation,” division director Marianne Bjelke will relate ideas on harnessing your fears about public speaking.

Also speaking will be area director Karen Fausnaugh, with a humorous talk about stepping out of her comfort zone.

Club vice president Steve Grabiel, who has served in various club leadership positions over the years, will lead the Table Topics portion of the meeting.

“Table Topics is one of my favorite parts of the meeting,” Grabiel said. “This is where members are randomly selected to speak for one to two minutes, in response to a prompt. It helps people to think and speak clearly on their feet.” Guests are welcomed to participate, if they are interested to try.

The open house will be held Sept. 18 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Los Vecinos Community Center in Tijeras.

For more information, call Mary Ellen Burns at 862-216-5891.

East Mountain Toastmasters meets regularly on the first and third Mondays of the month from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Los Vecinos. Guests are always welcomed.

Toastmasters International is a worldwide nonprofit educational organization that empowers individuals to become more effective communicators and leaders. Headquartered in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., the organization’s membership exceeds 352,000 in more than 16,400 clubs in 141 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators and leaders. For information about local Toastmasters clubs, visit toastmasters.org, or follow @Toastmasters on Twitter.

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at [email protected]