"It's a life-changing opportunity," Miller added.
Ann Coyne, another local member of Toastmasters, said it's one of the most supportive organizations that you would ever be a part of.
"That's why it's such a success," she said. "We've all been in that environment. When you see that one person make a little bit of progress, everyone in the whole group gets very excited for them. You will never fail."
On Saturday April 21, Syracuse Mayor Matt Driscoll became the recipient of an award at the Toastmasters District Conference held at the Holiday Inn off of Carrier Circle in East Syracuse. District 65 is comprised of 93 Toastmasters clubs and approximately 1,800 members located in the cities of Syracuse, Utica, Rochester, Buffalo, Ithaca and Binghamton (28 out of the 93 clubs are located in the greater Syracuse area).
Sam Mehta, the elected district governor of the club, cited Driscoll for his strong communication and leadership skills demonstrated as mayor. In a recent Toastmasters press release, Driscoll was noted as having provided exceptional communication and decisive leadership skills in the areas of energy conservation, growth in school education, school facilities renovation and urban environmental improvements.
Toastmasters International boasts more than 11,000 clubs in 92 countries. For more information, visit toastmasters.org.
History: The organization was founded in 1924 in the Santa Ana YMCA in California by youth leader Ralph Smedley. He wanted to teach young professionals how to give after-dinner speeches and toasts at social functions.
Purpose: To make members feel more comfortable in front of an audience.
How does Toastmasters work? There are no teachers in a Toastmasters club. Members take turns giving speeches and being evaluated by peers. The program is self-paced and you choose your speech topics.