Members of Oamaru Toastmasters are charging their glasses to the success of the group, which was revitalised in 2016 after a long absence.
Toastmasters is an international organisation that focuses on providing a platform for people who want to develop their public speaking skills.
There are hundreds of Toastmasters clubs around the world, and several well-established groups in New Zealand.
Oamaru had been without a club for about a decade until the early part of last year, when Jolin Liou got the local arm of the group back up and running.
Oamaru Toastmasters president Robyn Francis said since its most recent inception, the club’s membership had grown to about 20, the figure required for it to become a chartered club, which it achieved in November.
She said that was encouraging for all involved.
“We’re a really strong group and we’re growing. Whether they joined six months ago or, like me, at the beginning, we have all improved and really excelled.”
The group meets every second Wednesday at the Oamaru Library, where it will host an open night this Wednesday at 7.30pm.
At each meeting, two prepared speeches are given, as well as impromptu speeches, which Mrs Francis described as “table topics”.
Each meeting has a theme. Recent themes have included the general election and the spring season.
“Everyone else has a role there,” she said.
“They are an evaluator or an “um and ah” counter, and we have a timekeeper. There are lots of different roles.”
Mrs Francis, who was named the club’s toastmaster of the year for 2016-17, wanted to see the group grow further and hoped to see a good number at the open night.
“We’d like to. It’s such a fun and supportive group to be a member of. It supports people with all manner of communication and you become really confident, so it builds confidence and self-esteem.
“Just having a conversation is really hard for some people to do. It’s also about leadership, so it’s really good.”