24 Students to Participate in Youth Leadership Program

24 students from grades 10-12 will be taking part in the 8- week Toastmasters Youth Leadership program at Elphinstone beginning January 28th this year.

Toastmasters Youth Leadership Program
Teacher Ms. Sarah Mani preps student as chair

Public speaking was introduced to the Elphi Youth Leadership Program by teacher Ms. Sarah Mani in collaboration with Morningstars Toastmaster Kay Wotton in 2012. The program has evolved over the years to allow students to polish their speaking and listening skills. Meeting weekly over eight weeks, students present two prepared speeches as well as undertaking various meeting roles including the chair, general evaluator, word master, and table topics.

Telling Your Story
Telling Your Story

A key to the success of the program lies in many students taking part during all three years they are at Elphinstone. The older students jump right into making speeches and role models for younger students allowing for seamless, interactive learning.

By noticing strengths in each other’s speeches and suggesting areas for improvement, students soon develop skills in providing positive feedback while learning how to ensure a message comes across more effectively. The Table Topics exercise during each meeting creates an opportunity for students to pull together on-the-spot responses to a current topic, thus preparing them for job interviews, impromptu meetings, and conversations.

Convincing Others
Convincing Others

Graduates of the program say it has provided them with confidence as well as effective tools in public speaking. This year, Jessica Carroll was appointed as student trustee on the SD 46 School Board while Gravity Guignard was selected as a Youth Councilor of the Town of Gibsons.

This year Toastmasters Sandy Wrightman, Darcy Davis-Case, and Kay Wotton will be assisting with the program.

The New Retirement Project

Contributed by Michael Worsfold

When I joined Toastmasters in 2014, I was a retired management consultant, still doing coaching, mostly with business people. My motivation for joining was to expand my local community and grow my ability to speak about my coaching work in public. I used my speeches to clarify my thinking and practice communicating parts of what I was doing. I also learned to get out of my comfort zone by doing humorous speeches and learning to tell stories.

I never expected that five years later Toastmasters would be the incubator for a new venture I call The New Retirement Project.

The New Retirement Project and the New Retirement blog are about exploring new perspectives and new strategies for well-being in retirement; finding order, meaning, purpose and adventure.

Read more about the project in an eight-part series beginning here. 

The Wall, the Wobble, and the Wilderness

a wall with a door in it. Toastmasters are always improving their craft. However, that doesn’t mean we don’t sometimes wonder ‘what was I thinking’ when we committed to giving a particular speech. Especially when it’s the night before and we’re panicking and hitting a wall.


Maybe it’s not coming together and we’re worried we’ll look like idiots.

Or maybe it’s the wrong topic that has us in a panic.

Maybe it’s just not quite the right fit. Recently, someone had one speech ready and then when the moment came, she felt inspired, and delivered a completely different speech that what she’d planned.


What if it’s about taking a bigger risk and stepping on to a new learning edge? What if feeling unprepared just means the process for creating speeches has changed from the first moment we stand behind the lectern and deliver (or read!) our Icebreaker speech?

This idea was brought home to me in my recent experience giving a speech about the Wall, the Wobble, and the Wilderness..

And one other W too. You can read more about it here.