TOP HONOUR: After working her way up the Toastmasters ranks for the past nine years, Gabriele Barsing was proud to receive Distinguished Toastmaster Award - the highest achievement for a club member.
TOP HONOUR: After working her way up the Toastmasters ranks for the past nine years, Gabriele Barsing was proud to receive Distinguished Toastmaster Award - the highest achievement for a club member. KERRIE ALEXANDER

BECOME A BETTER YOU: Get the job you've always wanted

THERE was a time when Gabriele Barsing had no self confidence and found it difficult to talk in front of a crowd.

Now, after nine years with the Hervey Bay Toastmasters Club, the retired 68-year-old has grown so much that not only is public speaking a breeze, she was recently awarded the Distinguished Toastmaster Award - the highest achievement for a club member.

The Hervey Bay resident was dragged along to the first meeting by an insistent friend who wouldn't take no for answer.

Gabriele's toastmaster journey started at that meeting.

"I got there and knew it was just what I needed... I felt really comfortable, I enjoyed it and I could see that there was a lot of opportunity to learn things. So I signed up," Gabriele said.

"I had no self-confidence whatsoever and this is an atmosphere in which my self confidence could grow."

There are seven Toastmasters Clubs on the Fraser Coast and each has the same goal; to empower members to develop communication and leadership skills, resulting in greater self-confidence and personal growth.

Members work through a series of online educational programs, at their own pace, designed to improve their ability to write speeches, design presentations and deliver them.

Gabriele said the most positive and supportive audience in the world is a Toastmasters Club audience.

"They have a saying actually, that toastmasters is the safest place to fail, because there's no such thing as failing. They only build on their skills and learn."

Gabriele said many people who have a desire to go into the armed forces, migrant doctors who need to improve their English speaking skills or business professionals who want to learn to MC or better their public speaking skills, often turn to the club for help.

The Hervey Bay Toastmasters will host a free public speaking seminar on February 12 in the Kawungan State School resources building from 5.40pm.

Phone 4194 1367 or email gbarsing@hotmail.com for more details.

WHAT'S ON AT TOASTMASTERS

  • Mondays: Speak Easy Toastmasters, Masonic Hall, Watson St, Pialba, 11.45am for noon start. Phone Joy Ween on 4125 5489.
  • Mondays: Fraser Coast Toastmasters, Bridge Club, 17 Cypress St, Torquay 6.30pm for 7pm start. Phone Lisa Webster on 0401 529 941.
  • Tuesdays: Hervey Bay Toastmasters, Kawungun School Resources Building, Grevillia St, Kawungun from 6.30pm. Phone Gabriele Barsing 4194 1367.
  • First Wednesday of the month: Dinner Club at alternate venues, 6.30pm. Phone Dawn on 4129 6529 or 0413 179 698
  • First Wednesday of the month: Wine & Dine Toastmasters Dinner Club. You can wine and dine and be entertained at alternate venues, including the Maryborough and Hervey Bay RSL, from 6.30pm. Phone Dawn on 4129 6529 or 0413 179 698.


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