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Patuxent Toastmasters leadership and communication skills meeting.


The mission of the Patuxent Toastmasters Club is to provide a mutually supportive and positive learning environment in which every member has the opportunity to develop both communication and leadership skills, which in turn foster self-confidence and personal grow


Patuxent Toastmasters Club meets on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of every month. Regular meetings start promptly at 7:30 PM at the historic Oliver's Carriage House in downtown Columbia.

Oliver's Carriage house is located at 5410 Leaf Treader Way, Columbia, MD.


All are welcome.  Our club offers a diverse learning environment.  We have members from many different walks of life, ethnicities, religions and nationalities. Although we meet in a community church, our club has no religious affiliations.

Member Experience

Being a member of Toastmasters International involves more than just showing up at meetings and giving a speech now and then.

Toastmasters membership is about being part of a supportive group of individuals in your local area who share the common goal of improving their communication and leadership skills.

From meeting roles and mentoring to speech contests and satellite programs, Toastmasters International offers a host of ways for members to progress and thrive.

Whether you’re a beginner or a long-standing member, the resources listed to the left will help make the most of the Toastmasters program

Member Experience


Holiday 2012 Club photo

Tips for Perfect Toasts from Toastmasters

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif., July 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Summer is wedding season, and with weddings come opportunities for the best man and others to honor the happy couple with a traditional toast. Toastmasters International, the global organization devoted to communication and leadership skills development, offers proven tips for delivering a memorable toast with confidence and finesse.

The most important piece of advice: Keep it personal and be sincere. "Speaking from the heart is the key to a great toast," says John Lau, president of Toastmasters International. Consider sharing a personal anecdote or story that highlights the bond between the blissfully wedded couple. The toast should focus on the newlyweds, not on the speaker.

Weddings aren't the only opportunity for a toast; here are some proven pointers onhow to give a memorable toast for any special occasion:

Be prepared. The best toasts include an opening, a body and conclusion.Get personal. A toast should be original, heartfelt and customized for the occasion.Practice makes perfect. Rehearseyour message in advance in front of a friend or group.Use humor, but make it tasteful and appropriate. Don't use potentially offensive or embarrassing language.Be creative. Avoidcliches and consider using a relevant quote to illustrate your words.Be brief. A toast should last no longer than three minutes.Stand, lift your filled glass by the stem and say, "I'd like to propose a toast." Pause to allow guests to shift their attention toward you and give them time to lift their glasses. When you start speaking, lower your glass to about waist height.Limit alcohol consumption.The toast sets the tone for the wedding, so you want to be in top form when delivering it.Toastmasters Offers Valentine's Day Tips for Speaking From the Heart


Improve your relationships with better communication

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif., Feb. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The best Valentine's Day gift isn't a box of chocolates, a dozen roses or a candlelit dinner - it's the gift of loving communication. Talking and listening effectively to our loved ones creates emotional rewards much sweeter than any heart-shaped candy.

Toastmasters International, a thriving organization with more than 260,000 members in 113 countries, not only benefits one's career but can help people improve their personal relationships, as well. Dorothy Cottingham can certainly speak to that. She and her husband, Carl, met through Toastmasters and have been members for 30 years, honing their communication and leadership skills week after week in club meetings. That comes in handy when you're negotiating the give-and-take of marriage, she says.

"Carl and I try to incorporate aspects of Toastmasters that tend to be forgotten in a real close personal relationship," says Cottingham, a former member of the Toastmasters Board of Directors.

When giving speeches, making eye contact with audience members is an important quality. When the audience is your wife and you're telling her how much you love her, eye contact is imperative! Listening skills are also crucial in Toastmasters. To offer valuable feedback to other speakers - and benefit when you're the one getting tips - you must make a focused effort to hear what other people say. Toastmaster Elliott Katz found these practices deeply relevant in his role as a parent of two daughters.

"I listened intently to them," he says. "I also asked them questions. It showed I was listening and that I cared. When they saw I was listening, they were more willing to listen to my advice."

The ability to listen and evaluate are also key qualities for a husband and wife. "One thing Carl and I have learned, partly from being married so long and partly from being in Toastmasters, is not to take our arguments real personally," says Cottingham. "When the storm clouds are gone, we can kind of debrief and talk to each other about how we could have handled this situation better than we did."

So come Valentine's Day, ditch the flowers and candy, and instead give some sweet talk to the loved ones in your life.

About Toastmasters

Toastmasters International is a nonprofit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. The organization currently has more than 260,000 members in over 12,500 clubs in 113 countries. Since its founding in October 1924, the organization has helped more than 4 million men and women give presentations with poise and confidence. For information about local Toastmasters clubs, please visit

SOURCE Toastmasters International

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  • Ken S.

    I echo Hugh's sentiments. The warmth and positive energy at our meetings and among members is something I look forward to receiving every two weeks. Patuxent Toastmasters provides a welcome respite from the competitive "outside" world.

    And, our visitors are always welcome to enjoy that energy field, as well as the after-meeting festivities.

    June 13, 2014

  • Chris D.

    I especially love two things about Toastmasters: One is Icebreakers -- that very first speech when "all" one has to do is just the very hardest thing in the world, when they stand before the group and speak for 4-6 minutes telling us anything they like about themselves. The other thing I love is witnessing the moment when a speaker goes from good to GREAT, and I've had the pleasure of seeing that happen several times in my 3 years with this group.

    Last night there were two Icebreakers, a second speech, and an Advanced speech -- what a lineup! We also inducted quite a few new members, heard 4 extemporaneous speakers, introduced the new Area Governor, and had lots of really nice guests. "Wine at nine" was lovely; it's always nice to decompress and chat after a fun-filled meeting.

    1 · June 13, 2014

    • Hugh T.

      Chris - I couldn't agree more! We have an amazing group, and Thursday nights at our club are among the most fun and rewarding things I ever do.

      2 · June 13, 2014

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