Stephen and Pauline Dix, two of our longstanding Waverley Communicators members, are in the news.
The article below, apart from focusing on the benefits of Toastmasters International, also highlights Stephen’s personal story and how Toastmasters is helping him gain control of his stammer.
Livingston couple offer help with public speaking
A Livingston couple are offering help to people who are nervous about speaking in public.
Stephen Dix, who has suffered from a severe stammer all his life, and his wife Pauline set up and run the Livingston Speakers Club – a Toastmasters International Club.
The not-for-profit organisation offers help not only to those with speech impediments but also those who are just nervous about speaking in front of an audience or group.
After attending a similar club in Edinburgh, 51-year-old Stephen helped gain the confidence to get through a HND in Business Studies at West Lothian College and plans to go back next year and study for a degree.
Stephen, 51, explained: “I first went along to a speakers club in Edinburgh about three years ago.
“I was at college at that time and I had to do presentations in front of the class and I was really nervous about it.
“I just found that the club and the meetings helped me so much. I found I could actually look forward to and enjoy doing presentations instead of dreading the thought of standing up and speaking to the class.
“I’ve always had a stammer and it can be a struggle but I found the meetings improved my confidence in speaking in front of a group.
“My stammer was quite severe when I joined Toastmasters but thanks to all the help and encouragement I have received from club members I am now able to communicate my ideas to the audience clearly and assertively.”
The Livingston club, which meets fortnightly, offers structured meetings to help people communicate effectively and achieve the confidence to lead others.
Stephen said: “It’s open to anyone aged 18 and over. Everyone helps each other out. The good thing is everyone is evaluated by the other members who tell them what they think they did well and identify areas for improvement.”
Livingston Speakers Club meet on alternate Thursdays in a conference room in Livingston’s Asda supermarket between 7.15 and 9.30pm. Their next meeting is today (Thursday, July 18).
Everyone is welcome to attend three free meetings. For more information contact Steven or Pauline on 01506 431571 or visit http://www.livingstonspeakers.org.uk/
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