Toastmasters to host Homecoming meeting

Former Toastmasters member Allyson Marx is now back in the club. (Submitted photo)

Hot Springs Toastmasters will host a Homecoming meeting for all former members on Saturday in Gordonelle-Williams Hall at the Garland County Library.

The meeting will start at 8 a.m. There will be refreshments and a "fun agenda" is planned to welcome back past members and guests. Current members are asked to bring two friends.

Allyson Marx, originally from Ridgecrest, Calif., first attended Toastmasters in September 2015. At the time, she was a student enrolled in National Park College.

"I had taken a public speaking course and was so terrified I dropped the class the day before it started," Marx said in a news release. Once her teacher found out why she had dropped the course, she recommended Toastmasters. Toastmasters "changed my life," Marx said.

After some time, Marx wasn't able to juggle the club with her schedule. She made the decision to return after referring it to a friend.

"Recently, I had a friend who is involved in a nonprofit, which requires her to speak in front of an audience in order to secure grants," she said. As she was selling the benefits of Toastmasters to her friend, it "reignited" her own passion for the organization.

"Now, although I am still a little afraid, I am proficient in front of large audiences. In fact, I have spoken publicly in front of 500" people, she said.

Toastmasters is an international organization designed to improve leadership and public speaking skills. The Hot Springs club has been active since 1989, the release said.