By Nikki Jamieson
Next Wednesday will be a special night for the Sugar Town Sweet Talkers. After all, it’s just not any night that your club hosts its Academy Awards.
With the much-anticipated and televised Academy Awards being a week away, the STST had found it fitting to name their own awards night after the large event.
“In toastmasters, you do table-topic sessions, where you give someone a topic, and they have to do an impromptu speech,” said Karen Ingram, STST treasurer. “They (the club members) can’t know terribly too much about (the awards), so we can keep it that they can’t prepare a speech, as a thank-you speech.”
While the club is being mum on the type of awards they will be giving out, you can bet that there will be many thank-yous going around.
The STST meet once every week on Wednesday, at the Irrigation Museum, where they take turns being the timer, toastmaster, giving two-minute impromptu speeches or the table topics master.
“You get opportunities to work in a group, and learn how to run a meeting or how to participate in a meeting. You learn how to listen as well as to talk,” said Ingram.
“We tend to stay because of the fellowship and the friendships that are developed.”
STST is the Taber chapter of Toastmasters International, a nonprofit organization with the goal of improving communication and alleviating fears of public speaking. The Taber chapter of the club has been operating for almost 30 years now. It was named after the sugar factory, since back then a sugar beet was a prominent symbol of the town.
Those interested in joining can come to a club meeting and talk to members about joining. There is a yearly membership fee of $110, but depending on their role in the club you could get credit for educational awards.
“Everybody is welcomed; people are welcome as guests anytime they want to come. If they’re curious about what toastmasters does, and maybe it’s a group they’re thinking about joining but have no idea what it is,” said Ingham. “A lot of us are writers, but we have no outlet. Well, this gives you an outlet.”
“It’s an opportunity for our members to get up and speak, and practice being comfortable in front of an audience, in preparation for if I was at an award banquet, and I would have to do the announcing at the awards banquet, I could get up there and not be terrified.”
STST’s Academy Awards night will take place on Feb. 24, from 7-8 p.m. at the Taber Irrigation Museum’s boardroom. All are welcomed.