In an address September 18, 2023 to the City Council, Vice President of Education (VPE) from Talbot Trail Toastmasters, Mark-Shane Scale, passionately appealed to the Councillors, including Mayor Joe Preston, to consider designating October as Toastmaster Month in the city of St. Thomas and to raise the Toastmasters International flag during the first week of October 2023. This request was made during a session at the City Hall set aside for deputations.
Scale began by acknowledging the distinguished members of the Council, noting his usual practice of addressing Toastmasters and guests differently but lamented that not all the Councillors were part of the Toastmasters community. He however acknowledged that two members of the Council, Mayor Joe Preston and Councillor Gibson were former members of Talbot Trail Toastmasters.
The speaker expressed his belief in what Talbot Trail Toastmasters represents: better communication and better leadership for everyone in the community. The VPE emphasized that communication is important because everyone possesses the ability to make a positive impact on their community and the world through their words and voices. Leadership, Scale noted, is not limited to a select few; every individual can contribute to positive change by sharing their stories and using their speech effectively.
Quoting the Toastmaster mission statement, which emphasizes the creation of a supportive and positive learning environment, the speaker highlighted the organization’s commitment to fostering self-confidence and personal growth.
The representative also mentioned that Talbot Trail Toastmasters has been an integral part of the St. Thomas community for 13 years. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic and the shift to virtual meetings, the club has expanded its reach, welcoming members from both within and outside the St. Thomas community, as well as international visitors from countries like Nigeria, China, and the US.
Scale dispelled the misconception that Toastmasters merely involve toasting or discussing toast. He elaborated on the various skills members acquire, including impromptu speaking, creating introductions, describing dramatic adventures, and building self-confidence to address public audiences, such as the City Council.
The primary request made by the Talbot Trail Toastmasters representative was to declare October as Toastmaster Month in the City of St. Thomas and to raise the Toastmasters International flag during the first week of October 2023. This flag-raising event would mark the second such occurrence in Ontario, highlighting the city’s commitment to fostering effective communication and leadership.
The speaker delved into the history of Toastmasters in St. Thomas, while mentioning that Talbot Trail Toastmasters has also been an active contributor to the community, empowering entrepreneurs, inspiring youth in elementary and secondary schools through its Youth Leadership Programs for grade 7 & 8 students, helping them develop public speaking skills, equipping members to run for political office, and assisting immigrants in connecting with their new community through improved communication.
In closing, the representative of Talbot Trail Toastmasters expressed his desire to share this special legacy with the community while acknowledging the City Hall’s support for Toastmasters in the past and expressed hope for continue support in the future.
You can watch the presentation starting around the 7 minute mark in the YouTube video link here to the full meeting of the city https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tl-agVzXgeI
Created by Mark-Shane Scale, Talbot Trail Toastmasters