Toast to Toastmasters
November 20, 2009
The Park City Toastmasters Club is basking in its recently obtained bragging rights after two members, Jon Henry and Andy Cier, won top honors at a multi-state competition last weekend.
Toastmasters International is a service-oriented organization that promotes the development of public speaking and community leadership, explained Park City president Julio Garreaud.
Every quarter clubs hold competitions and send their best to regionals. After rising through the ranks of Salt Lake area tournaments, Henry and Cier competed against regional champions in all of Utah, southern Idaho, eastern Oregon, parts of Nevada and western Wyoming.
Henry won in a category focused on the evaluation of others’ speeches and Cier won with a humorous or entertaining speech he wrote himself.
Henry has been successful in past competitions, but Cier is a fairly new member of the club, Garreaud said.
Last year’s president Lynn Ware Peek was awarded President of the Year.
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Members are encouraged to complete speaking tasks outlined in a manual, he explained. Doing so is intended to improve people’s personal abilities while also giving them opportunities to help others and contribute to the community. To reward participation, various prestigious ranks can be achieved in the organization, Garreaud said.
The Park City club meets every Tuesday morning at 7 a.m. in the Sheldon Richins building at Kimball Junction.
It’s typical for a club to boast seven to 10 members, he said. But in Park City there are 40 official members and the early-morning meetings average an attendance exceeding 20. Gerreaud said he loves the camaraderie and stays the entire time sometimes after 9:30, and then will even get coffee with members who don’t have to run.
"People are so passionate about Toastmasters, but here they’re also passionate about what they do in life," he said. "We have an extraordinary brotherhood, if you want to call it that it speaks highly of the quality of people in Park City."
Garreaud said he’s a big fan of the Toastmasters program. Before becoming president back in July, he had started two chapters in Salt Lake City one of them for Hispanics that encouraged better communication in English.
"We live in a new era socially, politically and economically. I think it’s very, very fundamental that we’re able to communicate in a way that’s compelling," he explained.
At his job, Garreaud said he does a lot of business coaching. He said he always encourages people to tell a compelling story about themselves and about the business they’re promoting.
A quick survey of all the most influential CEO’s in America will reveal that all are compelling speakers who can inspire employees to adopt the company’s goals and missions.
"In order to rise and live more powerfully, we must speak well," he added.