September 21st, 2018

Toastmasters conference in Medicine Hat this weekend

By Jeremy Appel on November 11, 2017.

Rosetta Sanders, District 42 Fall conference chair, speaks the Toastmasters conference in the Hat on Friday.--PHOTO COURTESY RYAN RUPCHAN

Toastmasters District 42, which includes southern Alberta and southern Saskatchewan, is holding its annual conference in Medicine Hat this weekend.

The three-day affair began on Friday and includes a humorous speech competition, which occurs today at 3 p.m. at the Clarion Hotel, as well as a table topics contest, where participants must provide an improvised speech on a given topic, Sunday at 7:45 a.m.

District 42 Toastmasters spokesperson Ryan Rupchan described the two contests as “the main highlights” of the weekend.

“The competitors have gone through several layers of competition,” he said. “They’ve competed from right at their club level … into their area, which consists of five clubs, and then into their division, which consists of approximately 25 different clubs in that area.

“Now they’re competing at the district level.”

The weekend also includes events for Toastmasters members “to get together, exchange ideas and learn.”

Toastmasters International was founded more than 90 years ago “in the basement of a YMCA, where just a few people wanted to get together and practise their leadership and communication skills,” said Rupchan.

The club provides “a safe learning environment where you can be mentored and develop those skills.”

Skills cultivated at Toastmasters are important to have, regardless of one’s professional background, he added.

“It’s important to learn how to communicate with everyone.

“It’s not only about learning how to speak. It’s also about learning how to listen. At Toastmasters, we also learn how to give feedback.

“Those are good skills to have in the workplace.”

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