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March 14, 2013
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Free film showing of 'Speak' at library

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - The documentary "Speak" explores humorously the fear of public speaking, and the process speakers go through as they compete in a Toastmasters World Championships in Public Speaking contest.Filmmakers Paul Galichia and Brian Weidling spent nearly two years conducting interviews about public speaking anxiety. After learning about the international speech and leadership club called Toastmasters, the filmmakers decided to attend a conference where they captured every stage of the highly competitive 2008 Toastmasters World Championship contest. The documentary has been described as "funny, inspiring, moving and utterly absorbing" as it follows the contestants who face their fear of public speaking.Three local clubs, Grand Junction Sayre Toastmasters, Talk of the Town Toastmasters and Wild Mustang Toastmasters are hosting the movie screening 6 p.m. Monday, March 18, at Mesa County Libraries, 655 N. First. St. (formerly the Ashley Furniture building).Admission is free, though attendees are asked to bring a can of food to donate to the Food Bank.In their directors' statements, Weidling said he got the idea for the documentary after learning about an extremely shy woman who surprised and impressed her co-workers when she delivered a presentation in front of 500 American Express executives. When asked by a co-worker how she did it, the woman responded: "I joined Toastmasters.""The characters we follow in the final film are some of the most compelling and inspiring people I have ever met in my life," Weidling wrote. "These contestants focused all of their efforts to be the best, not just the best speaker, but the best human they can be. They took on life's hard moments, learned from their mistakes, and dug deep inside themselves to live their dreams and share their experiences with the world."One of those contestants, Rich Hopkins of Broomfield, Colo., is featured along with the world champion, the late LaShunda Rundles of Dallas who died of Lupus in August. "The real trophy is acquiring the skills and sharing them with the world," Hopkins said. Hopkins said he joined Toastmasters 14 years ago, seeking friendly, supportive, intelligent adult conversation. He soon learned how much he enjoyed honing his speaking skills.The former salesman currently works as a speaking coach and professional speaker."It's all due to Toastmasters, and the contests," Hopkins said.The filmmakers were "astonished" to meet people from every continent - people of all backgrounds - at the Toastmasters convention in Phoenix."The point of the film is this: Every person has a voice that matters. Every person has a story to share, a story that someone needs hearing, because if you share your story, you can change somebody's life," Galichia wrote in directors' note.


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The Post Independent Updated Mar 14, 2013 01:52PM Published Mar 14, 2013 01:51PM Copyright 2013 The Post Independent. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.