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Tandridge Communicating Champions

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We are starting a new community-based club to enable people in the Tandridge District to improve their communication skills. This includes public speaking, listening and evaluating, and organisational and leadership development.

We held our first meeting and launch event on Wednesday 30th October, the event consisted of an introduction to the club and some of the benefits for people that are interested in getting involved.  Following on from the launch event this club will meet on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month from 7:15 PM to 9:15 PM.

The club will be part of the Toastmaster Group with some guidance and documentation provided by the organisation.  However, each club is an entity in its own right, with its own vision direction and purpose created by its members.

This is an exciting opportunity for people to get involved at the start, practice their public speaking and impromptu speaking in a safe friendly and fun environment.

The club is being organised by Fran Nguyen and Tom Thompson who are both members of a nearby Toastmaster club in Gatwick. However, Fran lives on the outskirts of Oxted and Tom in Smallfield. They are keen to create this new club close to where they live for the benefit of local people who want to improve their communication skills.

Fran is currently setting up a coaching business helping people overcome post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Tom has his own business in tree consultancy promoting the value and benefits of trees and the urban forest.  They both know the benefit of communicating well and speaking to large audiences having attended numerous public speaking courses prior to discovering Toastmaster’s.

Attending Toastmaster clubs regularly at Gatwick and others in the surrounding areas has enabled them both to improve their public speaking whilst learning a lot about innovative and exciting ideas developed by other groups. This new club will allow them to share some of these ideas and to see if they will work within the club culture that will emerge within the new club.

Increasingly these are valuable skills in the workplace as well as socially and even at home. People are increasingly becoming less communicative. As tasks jobs and activities are being automated the ability to communicate will become an increasingly important work and life skill.  The growth that members experience at the club will increase their confidence for projects, presentations and briefings at work, delivering appraisals and dealing with people in day to day encounters.

Each meeting will involve members giving prepared speeches, with other members providing positive feedback or evaluations indicating areas for improvement, with a section at the end of the meeting for impromptu speaking on a range of topics.  There will be additional optional opportunities for competitions and workshops.

There is online support to guide members on their personal development journeys, in the form of speech ideas, techniques and training and members are able to track their progress with targets goals and awards to celebrate success.

It is a very informal meeting with no dress code and a relaxed atmosphere. There will be a short break around halfway through the evening with drinks and snacks provided. This will also allow time for guests to chat to the organisers and one another and allow people to ask any relevant questions.

We will be meeting in the Hurst Green Methodist church, which is located at 4 Hurstlands, next to Hurst Green train station.  The club is called Tandridge Communicating Champions.

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