Pep Squad


Speechcraft Program a Resounding Success
1st row are the Speechcrafters: Rebecca Winters, Paul Denny, Pam Denny, Brenda TenCate, Gay Freeman, Jan Manis and Douglas Chambers (not pictured: Lois Chambers and Ginger Stainbrook)
2nd row are the Toastmaster Advisors: David Harrower, Norm Frickey, Joyce Feustel, Randy Penn, Joann Seethaler, David Lampe, and Brenda Penn (not pictured Kathleen Graff-Serino, Robert Miller, and Larry Scantland)

"Can you transform yourself into twice as good a speaker in only 4 weeks?"

Participants in the Living Water Unity Church Speechcraft Program found themselves transforming in just that way over the course of four sessions in October of this year. One member was very nervous about speaking in public, since he had so little experience doing this. His progress was especially impressive in his final speech in which he provided powerful examples about the challenges of having a learning disability and the adaptations he has made.

Having never led a Speechcraft program of this nature, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. Would the Speechcraft members be willing and able to give short speeches three weeks in a row, as the program called for? Would I be able to recruit a sufficient number of Toastmaster helpers so that all the roles were filled each session?

Wonder of wonders, everything fell into place in ways much better than I could have scripted. The nine Speechcrafters eagerly grabbed onto each assignment, delivering strong ice breakers, followed by powerful “speaking in earnest” and "organize your speech" speaking projects. Their weekly improvement was overflowing

striking. By the last night, their confidence simply showed through as they spoke.

With minimal arm twisting, I managed to recruit nine Toastmaster Advisors. They served as the assigned evaluators for the Speechcrafters, plus took turns as timer and impromptu speaking coordinator. Several of them also gave a short educational talk, covering such matters as speech delivery, topic selection, speaking with conviction, and tips for organizing a speech.

Special thanks to Rev. David Ridge of Living Water Unity Church for supporting the Speechcraft program and opening the church to use as our meeting place. Also, heartfelt appreciation goes to the Toastmaster Advisors Norm Frickey, David Harrower, Kathleen Graff-Serino, David Lampe, Robert Miller, Brenda Penn, Randy Penn, Larry Scantland, and Joann Seethaler.

And most of all, hats off to Speechcraft participants Douglas Chambers, Lois Chambers, Pam Denny, Paul Denny, Gay Freeman, Jan Manis, Ginger Stainbrook, Brenda TenCate, and Rebecca Winters for their courage and their commitment to improving as public speakers.

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