Toastmasters for Scenic Rim

Julia Schafer
Julia Schafer

By Caitlyn Larkin

Public speaking is a common fear for many, but Boyland resident Julia Schafer has learned to overcome the panic through Toastmasters. 

Toastmasters is an international organisation that has clubs where people can improve their communication and public speaking skills, as well as meet others. 

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“Public speaking doesn’t make my heart flutter any more or make me want to run out of the room and throw up,” says Julia.

After travelling from her home in Boyland to Nerang for Toastmasters meetings, Julia saw the need for a Scenic Rim chapter of the club. 

Julia was first drawn to Toastmasters when she responded to a guest speaker position on P&O cruise lines presenting sustainability and urban gardening workshops. 

“I didn’t want this fear to hold me back, so I put my application in and after I got accepted, I was like, holy crap, I have to figure out how to do this.

“I found Nerang Toastmasters and they were just such a supportive group of people because they all come from the same place.

“We all have the fear in us or some reason that we want to be a better speaker, so they are aware of where you are at.” 

Toastmasters draws a wide range of participants with all different ages and life experiences and is a club with very active membership. 

“We are all assigned different roles every week … and all of the skills that we learn are transferrable into everyday business life.”

Julia’s decision to become a part of the Toastmasters Nerang group has changed her life forever. 

“When my Mum turned 80 a couple of years ago … we had all these family and friends gathered around and I got up and gave an impromptu speech. 

“It was totally without preparation, and I was really proud of myself because I wasn’t nervous whilst doing it.”

Julia will hold a demonstration meeting on 17 March at 7pm at Canungra Hang Gliders Clubhouse 82 Wagonwheel Road, Boyland. 

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