Speak up with Toastmasters

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Do you suffer from glossophobia?

Don't be discouraged; a lot of people have a fear of speaking in public. Luckily there is a club on base that is willing to help.

The Vandenberg Toastmasters Club is designed to help people overcome their glossophobia, and become proper public speakers.

"The club is made for airmen basics to generals," said Lisa Davis, the club president. "Everyone could use help with how to properly speak in public."

The club meets at 5:15 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month at the base library.

"The sergeant-of-arms opens the meeting promptly at 5:15," Ms. Davis said. "We will then run through the agenda and talk about upcoming speech contests."

The club goes through many different aspects of public speaking in order to make each person better and more comfortable when speaking in front of people.

"After going through the agenda we begin with that meeting's speeches," Ms. Davis said. "Each person who speaks is evaluated by club members. We have one person who is a grammarian, which checks for 'ahs' and 'ums,' a time keeper, and people checking the flow and content of the speech."

Being judged by your peers is a great way to bring light to each person's strength and weaknesses when speaking. People will become more aware of their verbal pauses, as well as other people's. It is the small things that will prepare people for giving a good speech, she said.

Toastmasters' is very receptive to guests coming and participating in the club.

"We enjoy people coming out and joining us," Ms. Davis said. "At the end of the meeting we let the guests, if they are willing, give feedback about what they just witnessed. It is a way for us to make the club as a whole better."

This club is not just for entertainment; it can change a life professionally.

"No matter what your plans are long term - whether it is to make a career out of the military or not - mastering the ability to communicate is a very powerful asset," Ms. Davis said.

If you are interested in overcoming glossophobia and would like more information on Vandenberg's Toastmasters Club, call Lisa Davis at 605-8126 or Rod Board at 605-5517.