ST. MARYS – Elk County Toastmasters enjoyed a significant turnout of members and guests at their annual dinner meeting in October.
It was a banner year for the group, which gained many new members from Elk, Jefferson and Clearfield counties.
Toastmasters has been the premier public speaking and leadership organization around the globe for nearly a century.
The key to its success lies in teaching presentation and leadership skills and providing constant opportunities to practice.
Every year the Elk County Toastmasters Club recognizes an outstanding member with the “Earl Buchheit award.”
The founder of the local club 25 years ago, Earl was steadfast in his determination to bring these benefits to the rural region he lived in. He is remembered by the profound impact he made on countless individuals whose lives he touched.
The 2017 winner of the Earl Buchheit award is Ridgway resident, Dale Fox. Fox has been a member of Toastmasters since 2010, and she is an “Advanced Communicator Bronze,” having delivered 20 official speeches.
She was chosen based upon her outstanding efforts as past-President in 2016 and her focus on public relations that resulted in many new members.
Fox explained what motivates her.
“Before joining Toastmasters, I had considerable experience with public speaking. But it only took one Toastmasters meeting to humble me. During my first ‘Icebreaker’ speech, the members stopped counting my ‘ums and ah’s’ after 40,” she said.
“These filler words detract from your message, and it took time to beat them out of me. I also learned skills related to organizing a speech, body language, vocal variety and keeping your audience attentive through eye contact.
“Toastmasters is a 100 percent positive place to expand your horizons and gain skills that can change your life. And the bonus is it’s really fun!”
Elk County Toastmasters meets on the first and third Thursdays of each month, at the Shiloh Presbyterian Church annex in downtown St. Marys at 7:15 p.m. Visitors are always welcome.
For more information, please visit Elk County Toastmasters on Facebook and on the web.