Titusville Toastmasters helped Edna Wilson speak with clarity and confidence as she put together a podcast for her YouTube series, “52 Things to do in Titusville,” hosted by Frank Robb, center, and Bill Curtis.

 If everyone could speak like a Toastmaster, people would have an easier time understanding, especially the hearing impaired.

“My involvement was motivated by a disastrous public speaking experience,” said Edna Wilson, a realtor in Titusville.

Today, she reaps the benefits of her membership in Titusville Toastmasters, part of the world-wide speaking club, where people learn by doing.

Educational meetings consist of prepared speeches, impromptu speaking (table topics) and evaluation.

“I was speaking too fast and using too many ‘pause’ words, such as uh to mask silences,” she said. “People talk fast because they are nervous. They want to get their talk over with quickly.”

This is nothing unusual. Fear of public speaking (glossophobia) is estimated to affect 75% of adults.

However, words that run together become unintelligible to the hearing-impaired and can impede the understanding of those with normal hearing.

“It’s important that clients understand what is said about a property, so they can make intelligent, fact-based decisions,” she said.

After Wilson gave a talk at a church conference, a hearing-impaired audience member told her how refreshing it was to hear and understand a speaker.

“Toastmasters taught me to slow down but also that brief moments of silence in a speech can make it more understandable. People have time to catch up,” she said.

Stephanie Baker is Toastmasters Area 20 Director (Division 84.) It consists of four Brevard County groups, including one that allows virtual attendance.

“Toastmasters elevates a person’s communication, tapping into the senses, enabling a message to be fully heard and comprehended,” she said. “This involves voice inflection and tools such as audio, sound effects and graphics. A business presentation, for example, would be aided by graphic charts and PowerPoint. One person brought in a service animal to reinforce a message. The possibilities are endless.”

Titusville Toastmasters meets 6:30 p.m. the first and third Thursday of each month at The Blue Heron restaurant at the Great Outdoors at 137 Plantation Drive in Titusville.

For more information, call 321-917-6761 or visit titusvilletoastmasters.org

Find out more about Toastmasters International and its many branches throughout the United States and the world at toastmasters.org