Toastmasters club resumes in-person meetings at new location in Hudson

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The Landing at Hudson Mills is the new home of Hudson’s Toastmasters club. (Photo/Ben Domaingue)

HUDSON – After two years of meeting virtually, the local 3Talkers Toastmaster Club has resumed public meetings, moving from the Marlborough Corporate Center to the Landing at Hudson Mills.

3Talkers, which is a club in the Toastmasters International organization, gives members an opportunity to gain confidence and experience with public speaking and leadership.

“We’re just breaking out of our shell of doing virtual and getting back into live meetings,” Educational Vice President Gary Budiansky said in a recent interview with the Community Advocate. “Live meetings are important because, in the real world, people have to stand in front of a lot of people sometimes to give presentations, and that’s what Toastmasters is all about.”

Budiansky said that the Toastmasters focus is on improving members’ public speaking by giving them well documented speeches out of a workbook.

The speeches are initially easy for new members, but become progressively more difficult as they spend more time in the club and improve.

He added that the club also teaches vocalizations, eye contact and speech structure to improve members’ public speaking.

Every speech is assigned an evaluator who helps give feedback.

“You have the benefit of having the captive audience of the entire Toastmasters club to work your speech, which makes it more like the environment that you might undertake when you go into business and have to do a customer-facing meeting,” Budiansky said.

Toastmasters is a nonprofit focused on improving public speaking skills.

He added that those who wish to become officers in the club also have to learn leadership skills, and they have to keep in touch with members to make sure they meet their personal goals.

The club strives to teach people how to work in teams and make sure that they are empowered to reach deliverable goals.

Budiansky has been involved in Toastmasters since the 1970s when he graduated college as an engineer. He joined when his then new boss told him he was also expected to lead and talk to customers.

“That really helped me with my career,” Budiansky said of the club. “I went from being an engineer to a supervisor to a manager to a senior manager.”

He said that most people’s confidence improves with an increased ability to speak in front of other people.

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