kory mayThree Quad Cities-area Toastmasters clubs are hosting an open house to give people an opportunity to learn more about how the organization can help hone communication and leadership skills.

Quad Cities Advanced Toastmasters, Quad Cities Executive Toastmasters, and Moline Toastmasters are co-sponsoring the event, which starts at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 20 at Newcomb Presbyterian Church in Davenport. The event will feature all the components of a typical Toastmasters meeting, including 5-7 minute speeches, evaluations, and exercises in extemporaneous speaking, known in most Toastmasters clubs as Table Topics.

“Whether you have a big presentation to give, have taken on a leadership role you don’t feel prepared for, or just want to get more comfortable talking to people in groups or one-on-one, Toastmasters can help you,” said Kristin Bruchmann, a six-year Toastmaster and one of the organizers of the open house.

“Toastmasters clubs provide a safe place to help people develop skills that can have a positive impact in many facets of their lives,” Toastmasters Area Director Betty Long said. “It’s an incredibly supportive and empowering organization, and we manage to have lots of fun, too.”

The not-for-profit Toastmasters International conducts annual speech contests at different levels for different categories of speeches, and the open house meeting will feature two veteran Toastmasters contestants — Tamra Binder of Clinton, a 4-time district-level finalist, and Kory May of Iowa City, who has won seven contests at the district level and represented his district at the international competition twice.

A lunch and networking session will follow the open house meeting. Guests may participate or simply observe.


What: Toastmasters open house meeting, lunch and networking session
When: Saturday, Feb. 20. Meeting starts at 11:30 a.m., lunch/networking session starts at 12:45
Where: Newcomb Presbyterian Church, 2619 N. Division St., Davenport
Who: Open to the public
Cost: Both the meeting and the lunch/networking session are free

Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written almost 30 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.