The Solana Beach Branch of the San Diego County Library and the North Coast Toastmasters Club will host an after-school public speaking course for local middle school students beginning Feb. 8. A series of eight meetings are offered from 2:20 to 3:20 p.m. on consecutive Tuesdays. The students will run the Youth Leadership Program under the direction of John Murphy, president of North Coast Toastmasters. Other experienced North Coast Club members will also assist with the program.
This Youth Leadership Program is modeled after the popular Toastmaster program for adults. With nearly a quarter-million members in over 10,000 clubs, Toastmasters International is the world’s largest nonprofit educational organization devoted to communication and leadership development. In the youth program, the leaders of tomorrow learn essential communication skills. The eight-week course focuses on speech organization and delivery. Its student-run meetings build student confidence and develop critical leadership skills including listening, delegating, and providing constructive feedback.
The student-run meetings follow a format similar to adult Toastmaster meetings. They use the proven Toastmaster approach of learning by doing, and make the doing fun! Each meeting has an announced order of business and a detailed agenda. Meeting roles and leadership positions rotate among the students. In each meeting, participants practice the arts of listening, thinking and speaking. Meetings include both short impromptu speeches and longer prepared speeches emphasizing specific speaking skills. All students speak multiple times over the course of the program.
This program is offered free-of-charge to the future leaders of America. Interested middle school age students should contact the Solana Beach Library, attention Ms. Tirona at 858-350-7877 to enroll. Space is limited, so please call early. Adults interested in the Toastmasters Leadership and Communication Program can contact John Murphy at 619-226-2591.