Today would be Dad’s 82nd birthday. He and I shared a love for words, mine is for writing them, and his was for speaking them in front of an audience.
Dad was a life-long member of Toastmasters International. Not only that, but for years he taught public speaking to teen boys and girls. Boys who were in Boy Scouts of America earned their public speaking merit badge following the course. I took his course and as an adult I have been a member of three Toastmasters chapters.
Dad taught us how to engage in effective communication, and to do so with confidence, because he knew that learning how to say what we mean was a skill that would serve us well as adults. He was proud of every one of his graduates, and concerned for the few kids who couldn’t conquer their fears and dropped out.
Learning to use words effectively to express ourselves is surprisingly difficult, even if we’re not speaking formally in front of a large group or writing for all to read. Continue reading