Group wants to offer a toast

Published 11:56 pm Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Toastmasters Club has given thousands the confidence to speak in front of others and lead their peers. Soon, the nonprofit organization plans to make a toast in Selma.

Wallace Community College-Selma English and Quality Enhancement Plan instructor Maxine Sturdivant said she believes something like this is necessary for Selma.

“It’s just needed,” Sturdivant said. “I think we can all benefit from it. We can all stand to benefit from better communication.”

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Created in 1924 as a way to develop public speaking and leadership skills through practice and feedback, Toastmasters has locations throughout the U.S. and internationally in colleges and cities.

Sturdivant said the idea came after reading a book from someone who was formally involved in the organization.

“I was reading a book, ‘Taking the Stairs’ (and) the author is a member of Toastmasters,” Sturdivant said. “He talked about how Toastmasters changed his life and gave him the communication and skills that benefited him. It made me wonder, ‘what is Toastmasters and how can I benefit from it?”

In order for a club to be established in Selma, Sturdivant said she needs at least 20 people to sign up.

“Once we get 20 people, we can move forward from there,” Sturdivant said concerning the location and meeting times.

Sturdivant, who said she wants to be a better leader, said the organization would encourage students to be better communicators.

“As an educator, having top-notch communication skills will help our community — help it grow,” Sturdivant said. “I think Toastmasters will benefit our community and our students.

Those interested can call 876-9331.