A Youth Leadership Program paired local members of the The Golden Voice Toastmasters and Golden Secondary School students to help the students become more comfortable when speaking in public.
Diane Slater has been a member of The Golden Voice Toastmasters since its inception.
Slater said she has always been a shy person but through her time in toastmasters she has been working hard to overcome her fear of public speaking.
“It is a safe forum for people to learn how to speak in front of an audience,” she said. “It teaches the kids how to think quickly on their feet and organize their thoughts which is invaluable for job interviews.”
Students involved with the program all agreed that they took something positive away from the classes.
Naomi Carlson was the president of the group for the second half of the course.
“I think it helped me become more confident and I became better at speaking in front of people,” she said
Nathan Morris was the first half president for the class.
“It was awesome. I thought everyone improved tremendously. It helped us become more confident,” he said.
Morris went on to explain he felt it would benefit all students for presentations in high school.
“Everyone is so nervous. If you watch anyone do a presentation in English class they get up and freak out. This program would help us be more confident not only speaking in front of others but also speaking for ourselves,” he said.
International student, Aki Masato, said he hopes to take what he learned in the program to help him in his career.
“This was totally interesting to me. I am looking at a career in business. I thought by taking this class I would excel in leadership in the future,” he said. “It was challenging but I believe for everyone, and especially international students who do not speak English as a first language, once they get see to the atmosphere they will feel more confident.”
Ariana Grass is a grade 10 student at the school who said she would like to learn more in the future from Toastmasters.
“We learned a lot about public speaking and how to overcome public nervousness. There was a lot about annunciation and pronunciation of words. There was also a lot about teamwork as well,” she said.
Morris wanted to stress how great it was working with the instructors.
“The two instructors were amazing. They showed us every little mistake we were doing so we could improve on it. They were encouraging and helpful.”
Slater said the class was one of the best parts of her week.
“I looked forward to Fridays because it was the Toastmasters day with the students.”