Congratulations to Christine Althouse for launching the first WomanSpeak circle in Ontario earlier this week in Campbellford.
WomanSpeak is an international initiative founded by a former investment banking analyst, KC Baker of Arizona. “We are on a mission to support women and girls in feeling free to own the value of their ideas and perspectives, and to share them authentically and confidently”, explains the WomanSpeak website.
Loosely patterned after Toastmasters with an entirely feminine slant, WomanSpeak is designed to instill confidence in communication, whether the goal is to address a large crowd or speak up without restraint at work or in daily life.
The introductory session offered up an icebreaker, some relaxation techniques and a couple of official videos from WomanSpeak explaining their mission and methods. The women present were given a few minutes to write their thoughts on an “I believe” statement which they could then present to the others if they chose to do so. Most accepted the offer to share their thoughts.
Christine explained that the ongoing program follows an established curriculum which includes various themes on which attendees will address the group. The atmosphere is one of a safe, non-judgemental space in which everything said remains in confidence while women learn, not only to speak more confidently themselves, but to listen with full attention, support each other and accept recognition without embarassment.
The full program is 16 months, but shorter options are also available. WomanSpeak is structured on a fluid basis so women can join anytime. The basic cost of the program is $50 per month although discounts are available for long session registrations.
Christine’s WomanSpeak circles will run at 7 pm on the first and third Wednesdays of every month at the Campbellford Branch Library. Since it is still in its infancy, Christine plans to offer additional introductory sessions before the regular meeting, at 6 pm on the first Wednesday of the month for the time being.
Christine is a long-time advocate of female empowerment and is already involved in production of two live weekly videos on social media. Read her full story here.