Public speaking is many people's greatest fear.

But it is a skill that can be learned and helps boost people's confidence, Kickstart Toastmasters Club president Jude Ebbett says.

Founded 20 years ago, the club's 25 to 30 members gather every Thursday at Alimento Cafe in First Ave from 7am.

Ebbett, who has been a member for 17 years, said the club was also a great way to network and make new friends.


"Our breakfast meetings, which go for no more than an hour, always start with lots of laughter and it's a great way to kickstart your day," she said.

Ebbett said club's members were a diverse bunch, aged from their 20s to their late 80s.

Members also included new migrants keen to develop their English language skills.

"We have several people in the club who speak lots of different languages, so Kickstart Toastmasters is really a club for everyone," Ebbett said.

People attend Kickstart Toastmasters for lots of different reasons.

"Initially, for some their motivation is to boost their self-confidence because they are nervous about giving a presentation or speaking at some sort of upcoming event," Ebbett said.

"For others, they want to improve their communication and leadership skills to help them advance in their careers."

Ebbett said joining the club was one of the best professional development experiences she had been involved in.

Public speaking was an important skill set for everyone to learn and develop. Some people were brilliant speakers right from the start and others were incredibly nervous.

"For many, public speaking is their number one fear, often more fearful than a fear of sharks or snakes, but it's amazing to see the transformation in people after a short time," Ebbett said.

"We believe in encouraging and developing our members potential and Kickstart Toastmasters are enthusiastic, fun and a positive group of learners," she said.

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