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Life in Chiang Mai


Toasting success in public speaking

Every other Saturday evening, an enthusiastic and welcoming group meets in Chiang Mai, to help each other to develop their skills in public speaking in the English language. Their gatherings are open to guests and new members, so if better public speaking is one of your goals, why not give them a try and join them?
This merry international and mixed-age group consists of Thais and farang; some of the young Thai participants see it as a way to help to enhance their fluency in speaking English – which, indeed, it is. This local branch of the international club was founded in 2006. They have so far only about a dozen members, so trainee presenters need not be worried about addressing a frighteningly-large audience!
Effective public speaking is a refined skill, which - like all higher level skills - can be greatly enhanced by regular practice; particularly when (as here) concrete and constructive feedback is given, to help you to do even better the next time round. The feedback given here covers such areas as timing, voice control, the structure of your talk, any hesitations, clarity of message delivery, concreteness, the speaker’s eye-contact with the audience, the use of visual aids and much else besides, and is generally regarded as being very supportive and encouraging.
Finding opportunities to address a live audience is not always easy to achieve, and so these twice-monthly gatherings, where each participant gets a chance to address the audience at least once each session, are to be welcomed.
The friendly and co-operative atmosphere at these meetings does much to reduce any nervous feelings that the participants might have about public speaking. That, of itself, helps to boost the confidence of the trainee presenters. Newcomers are invited to say something about themselves.
The proceedings include making two-minute impromptu talks on given topics, as well as longer pre-prepared addresses. A delicious mini-buffet is kindly provided in the mid-session break, for which a nominal THB 100 fee is collected, and these meetings generally finish by 8:30 pm.
They meet from 6 pm on alternate Saturdays, such as on July 12th and 26th; August 9th and 23rd and September 13th and 27th. The venue is a Chiang Mai Uniserve building, which is not far from the busy Nimmahaemin Road. One of the first speakers, each time, explains the planned agenda for that session.
You can look at www. thattoastmasters, or go to to find out more about this First Northern Thai Toastmasters Club. Their President Khun Ratana can be contacted at 081 431 7105, or contact Vice-President Nad on 081 530 1888, or via [email protected]
I hope you will think to attend, and enjoy joining them as much as I recently did.

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Toasting success in public speaking