Deborah Cureton (left) and Vicki Lander of Toastmasters.

The Toastmasters Club based at the New Covenant Church in Mount Airy has moved to the Chestnut Hill and Lovett libraries this summer to take advantage of air-conditioning. Last Wednesday, the club met at Chestnut Hill Library, 8711 Germantown Ave.

Members take turns giving speeches, often drawing on their own personal experiences, and get feedback from evaluators. These include an “Ah” counter and a grammarian. With personal performance at its core, Toastmasters bears much similarity with the story slams popular among the twenty-somethings but there are significant differences. Speakers don’t compete and whereas slammers are often irreverent, a Toastmasters evening has religious and patriotic overtones.

Before the meeting, Deborah Cureton, VP of education and Vicki Lander, VP of membership, demonstrated a “table top” speech; this is an impromptu speech on a topic one is given on the spot. The only time to prepare is the time it takes to get up from one’s seat and arrive at the podium.