Orangeville woman advances in Toastmasters competition

November 30, 2023   ·   0 Comments

By Zachary Roman, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

An Orangeville woman is being recognized for her public speaking skills. 

Emma Howlett, a transportation engineer for the Town of Caledon and member of the Bolton Banter Toastmasters club, recently won the area level of the Toastmasters International Table Topics Competition.

She’s advancing to the division level of the contest which is going to be held on Dec. 2.

There, she’ll compete for a coveted spot in Toastmasters’ annual district competition. The popular district competition is held at an annual convention.

Susan Mather of the Bolton Banter Toastmasters said Table Topics competitors have to develop their ability to organize their thoughts quickly in order to respond to an impromptu question or topic.

“This contest challenges contestants by giving them a topic only a few seconds before they start speaking,” said Mather. “Contestants are expected to speak on the surprise topic for one to two minutes.”

Mather said Howlett had some fierce competition to defeat in order to win the area Table Topics competition. She won over the judges with her topic, “What inspires you?”

Howlett’s speech included themes of family, Toastmasters, and even her dog’s positive attitude.

She said the key to connecting with an audience is to have a storyline that is relatable and compelling.

Howlett said participating in the Table Topics competition has been a great way for her to build confidence, sharpen her public speaking skills, and present to a variety of different audiences.

“I look forward to competing against new competitors and hopefully advancing to the district level,” said Howlett, who joined Toastmasters with the goal of becoming a better speaker and leader at work and in the community.

A non-profit educational organization, Toastmasters International’s goal is to build confidence and teach public speaking skills through its worldwide network of clubs. Toastmasters club members meet in a supportive environment to prepare and deliver speeches, respond to questions on the spot, and give and receive constructive feedback to each other.

Toastmasters International was founded in 1924 and has grown to have around 270,000 members in more than 14,200 clubs worldwide.

Those interested in learning more about the Bolton Banter Toastmasters can visit

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.