Sharon Sullivanssullivan@gjfreepress.comGrand Junction Free PressStaff Writer

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February 14, 2013
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Become a better public speaker

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Do you dread speaking in front of others?If so, you're not alone.Or, maybe you enjoy the rush, but know your public speaking could use some polishing. And couldn't we all be better listeners?Grand Junction Sayre Toastmasters is sponsoring SpeechCraft, a six-week workshop that can help people speak effectively in front of a group, and with communication skills in general.In an informative and nurturing format, local certified Toastmasters show participants how to deliver three- to five-minute prepared speeches, give on-the-spot verbal evaluations, and speak extemporaneously. And past attendees say it's fun!The workshop is limited to 12 participants, and will be held at the Crossroads Building, 2754 Compass Drive, suite 370. Cost is $25.Founded in 1924, Toastmasters International is a nonprofit organization with 280,000 members belonging to 13,500 clubs in 116 countries.Penny Alleman of Grand Junction joined Toastmasters last year after attending a six-week SpeechCraft course organized by a local club.Alleman was a senior branch office administrator for Edward Jones Investments at the time. She had volunteered to organize and emcee a regional meeting of 50 other administrators and signed up for SpeechCraft to prepare herself for the task."It made me a much better speaker, and I learned how to conduct an effective meeting and awards banquet," Alleman said.She decided to continue the practice by joining the Grand Junction Sayre Toastmaster Club. The group meets Tuesdays at 7:10 a.m. at St. Mary's Life Center, 2686 Patterson Road. "In the past year, I have competed in two speech competitions, and performed as emcee at the Avalon Theatre for a world premier auto race film, which I never would have considered before taking the SpeechCraft workshop," Alleman said.Another local Toastmaster club, Talk of the Town, meets Thursdays at noon, at the Business Incubator Center on Orchard Mesa. A third club, Wild Mustangs Toastmasters meets Mondays at 4:45 p.m. at the VA Medical Center, 2121 North Ave. SpeechCraft will be held Feb. 21, 28 and March 7, 14, 21 and 28.To register or for more information, contact Alleman at 970-255-6712 or email

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The Post Independent Updated Feb 14, 2013 07:30PM Published Feb 14, 2013 07:29PM Copyright 2013 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.