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Chance to better your public speaking skills

By Calum MacLeod

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Ann Fallow is among the group's award-winning members.
Ann Fallow is among the group's award-winning members.

A group which helps people build confidence for public speaking will hold an online open evening next week.

The Inverness branch of Toastmasters International has been meeting via digital platform Zoom throughout the pandemic.

It is ideal for people who want to improve their communication and leadership skills.

“We know that although people have been doing business online for months now, some are still uncomfortable with the format,” said Ann Fallow, vice president of the Inverness club.

“Toastmasters has always offered a great opportunity to rehearse presentations, practice interview skills or try out teaching modules in a safe and supportive environment, whether in person or online.

“Evaluation of speeches is central to how we develop our skills in Toastmasters and we are very fortunate in the Inverness club to have a wide range of professions represented, from lawyers, doctors and teachers, to bankers, builders and engineers, so the feedback we can offer can cover lots of areas.”

The group held its first online meeting on March 25 – two days after the official start of the first national lockdown.

“We stumbled around a bit in our first couple of meetings,” Mrs Fallow admitted.

“But our members soon learned to adapt to speaking to a camera, and we very quickly had technical support from Toastmasters headquarters.

“We have had a very successful year online, with several speakers making their first speeches and one of our members taking second place in the Scottish national Humorous Speech contest.”

n The open evening starts at 6.30pm on Wednesday. For information about the club and joining the meeting, visit its Facebook page or send a text message to 07512 639678.

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