Raconteur - "a teller of anecdotes" from the French for "relate, recount"
source The New Zealand Oxford Dictionary
Why am I telling you this? The newest Toastmasters Club in New Zealand is the Rodney District Council corporate Club "RDC Raconteurs" (and it includes several Rodney Libraries staff which is why it gets a mention here). Welcome to a fabulous international organisation which promotes and helps develop communication skills for everyone to use. From the nervous father of the bride who hopes to only have to get up and speak once in his life (for each daughter) to those that need the skills every day for job interviews, business presentations and negotiations.
Never heard of Toastmasters? It all started in 1924 in America but has now spread around the world. Where public speaking is up there in the top five fears most people have, Toastmasters aims to take that fear away by giving people confidence, skills and encouragement they need to succeed. But it's not just about public speaking. So many of the skills learnt at meetings can be applied in everyday conversations and situations, from the ability to listen to being able to think on your feet and express yourself well.
Of course, there are heaps of resources in the library to help you out with this as well. But sometimes you also need to put it into practice. Do a subject search under "public speaking" or check these out.
Speak Easy: The essential guide to speaking in public (Maggie Eyre), a New Zealand author with an endorsement by former Prime Minister Helen Clark.
Presentation SOS: From perspiration to persuasion in 9 easy steps (Mark Wiskup)
The complete wedding speech guide (Andrew Byrne)
101 great answers to the toughest interview questions (Ron Fry)
There are now four Toastmasters Clubs in Rodney. In addition to the RDC Raconteurs there is also Warkworth, Hibiscus Coast and Silverdale-Orewa. Plus we have many more clubs on our borders in West Auckland and on the North Shore. If you are interested in finding out more about how Toastmasters go to the New Zealand website (http://www.toastmasters.org.nz/) and see if there is a club near you. All community clubs welcome visitors.
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