Toastmasters Club of Fishers celebrates 25th anniversary

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The Toastmasters Club of Fishers members meet over Zoom. (Submitted photo)

The Toastmasters Club of Fishers will celebrate an impressive milestone this month, although it is not as its members expected prior to March.

The club, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, meets every Friday morning on Zoom because of the coronavirus pandemic. It previously met at the Fishers YMCA.

“Toastmasters Club of Fishers has a long history of serving our community,” said Amanda Roberts, the club’s vice president of public relations. “Our club is ranked in the top 10 percent of clubs worldwide, having earned the President’s Distinguished Award for 11 consecutive years. This award requires the club to meet at least nine of 10 goals, including membership renewal and growth, member progress in their chosen Toastmasters’ curriculum path and officer training. Our club offers a supportive, fun environment to continually grow.”

Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a network of more than 16,200 clubs in 145 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International’s mission has been to help people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators and leaders.

“Each member chooses one of 11 Toastmasters Pathways designed to develop competencies in Dynamic Leadership, Persuasive Influence, Presentation Mastery, Team Collaboration, Innovative Planning and more,” Roberts said. “We provide positive encouragement as well as points to improve on. I always leave the meeting in a better mood than when I came in, which is remarkable considering we meet at 7 a.m. I leave feeling inspired to become the best version of myself that I can be, and I’ve made genuine connections with people who want to see me succeed. They are willing to guide me to get there, and it’s been a joy to see other people grow as speakers as well.”

Roberts, a 2006 Hamilton Southeastern High School graduate and Fishers resident, is an underwriter for Royal United Mortgage. She said she began to realize how important verbal skills are at work and in her personal life.

“There’s so much more that goes into communication than just the words you choose. The vocal variety, pace, facial expression and body cues all contribute to effective messaging,” Roberts said. “I didn’t realize how important eye contact is to show confidence until I joined Toastmasters (in December 2018). Eye contact and tone can convey strength and mastery in your ability or do just the opposite.”

Roberts said most of the 33 members are from Fishers, Noblesville or the surrounding area. Attendance was typically 15 to 20 each week at the YMCA. Roberts said Zoom attendance has been slightly less.

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