The ability to communicate with clarity, civility, conviction, correctness, and confidence is a vital life skill. Competency in this area fosters human understanding, and advances personal and professional growth.

Locals should consider joining Aiken Toastmasters if they are interested in improving their communication and leadership skills. This organization offers a self-paced, affordable program by members who are nurturing, encouraging, friendly, and supportive.

Ancillary skills developed during Toastmasters club meetings are active listening, leadership development, impromptu speaking, and conducting meetings. Anyone 18 years or older is eligible for membership.

Toastmasters International is a network of clubs that exist worldwide with membership exceeding 210,000. Aiken Toastmasters is one of the longest-standing clubs in South Carolina (chartered more than 50 years ago).

Members of the Aiken Club have benefited from the Toastmasters International program by taking advantage of many available opportunities.

Clyde Smith participated in this year’s competitive speaking events, winning on the club level and the area level. Smith will travel to Columbia September 14 to compete on the division level.

Diana Berry currently serves as Division C Governor; she and Mary Suber served as mentors to a newly charted corporate club – The COG Toasters – whose members are employees of the Lower Savannah Council of Governments (LSCOG). Geneva Jackson serves as COG Toasters Club President, and Benella Floyd serves as the Immediate Past President.

Club officers attended the Toastmasters Leadership Institute (officer training) in Columbia on August 3, and officers and members are looking forward to the District 58 fall conference to be held October 25 in Columbia.

The Aiken Toastmasters Club meets the first and third Thursday of each month at 6:45 p.m. at the H. Odell Weeks Activities Center.

Each meeting’s agenda include various speaking opportunities: prepared speeches, table topics (impromptu speaking), jokemaster (humorous speaking) and educational moment (technical speaking). Guests are always welcomed and interested persons are encouraged to join.

To learn more about Toastmasters International, visit or or contact any of the club officers.