Building a Better You – Softskills Development at its Best

By Terry D Kozlyk, DTM

Have you ever wanted to become a more effective communicator, an influential speaker or just proficient and confident at sharing your ideas, thoughts and opinions succinctly? Your communication skills, both verbal and written, affect your effectiveness in all facets of life, be it career, family, personal or community life. Toastmasters International can help you find your voice, be heard and become a more effective leader, not to mention building your confidence and feeling overall well about yourself. The Toastmasters Pathways program is a world leader in communication and leadership development. It is a program that everyone should consider, first to raise your abilities above, then as an on-going softskills maintenance program.

Toastmasters clubs meet throughout many cities and towns where members attend weekly meetings to gain experience through delivering speeches, giving speakers feedback on their speeches, participating in meetings, and taking steps towards achieving their speaking and leadership goals. The program is entirely self-paced. You decide if you will speak weekly or deliver a speech monthly. Member to member feedback provides motivation and meaningful suggestions, all in the safety and mutually supportive environment of a Toastmasters club.

Members plan and lead their own growth, whether they focus on speaking, leadership or both. They give feedback, and accept feedback. Through our community of learners, members find their path, meet new friends and have fun! There are scheduled meetings taking place in Rocky Ridge, Royal Oak and in the Crowfoot Area communities of Calgary, for example. There is probably a club or two in your community or choose from one of the 52 clubs in the Calgary downtown core.

The Toastmasters Pathways educational program is probably the most flexible for today’s busy person. It offers;

  1. affordability – most club memberships start at approximately $100 per year
  2. pace – you decide on the pace and schedule you will work on the Pathways educational program
  3. diverse – there is a club for you – currently numbering 16,600 clubs
  4. worldwide – currently in 143 countries
  5. global membership – membership at 357,000

Check out the Toastmasters website at, and click on the Find a Club button to find a club near you. Use your postal code (Canada) or Zip code (USA) as the search term to hone in on your area. Clubs are always open to guests, so drop in to experience a Toastmasters meeting for yourself. Once you identify yourself as a visiting guest, the club members will take it from there.

To see how you can start your journey in leadership and communication using the Toastmasters Pathways program, start by “Finding a Club” near you

Journeys is the official blog of District 42 and features success stories from its members monthly on and shared globally on social media

Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development, with over 352,000 members in 16,400 clubs in 141 countries. The world needs leaders. Leaders head families, coach teams, run businesses and mentor others. These leaders must not only accomplish, they must communicate. By regularly giving speeches, gaining feedback, leading teams and guiding others to achieve their goals in a supportive atmosphere, leaders emerge from the Toastmasters program

Toastmasters International – “Where Leaders Are Made”


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