Toastmasters teaches students public speaking skills – The Tropolitan
by Libby Thornton
For Troy University students who stutter and stumble in their presentations, speeches, and interviews, Toastmasters International is here to help.
“Toastmasters is not designed to be stressful,” said Mithzi Bharucha, a senior Indian economics student and original founding member of the club. “Our meetings are a place where people can calm down and be with family.
“We consider our advisor as our friend, and we can share all our opinions in our speeches, whether controversial or simple.”
The club presents several ways for members to practice their public speaking skills, including tabletop topics, an exercise where a question is posed on the board, and members volunteer to answer in front of the group. The level can range from laid back and fun to slightly philosophical, a variety that allows students to practice at all levels.
“I found out about the meeting from a tent on the quad,” said Sarah Bai, a graduate student from China, who participated in a Table Topic question even though it was her first meeting. “I like talking to people and sharing my opinions.
“Language is everything. I wanted to find a place to practice and become a better English speaker.
After each exercise, a timekeeper’s report is given to the participants. The meeting timer changes, but their responsibility is to compliment the speaker on their strengths and, as the name suggests, time the speaker.
Each meeting also includes a longer form speech that can be given by any club member following a pathway, which is an outline that guides members through different topics and speech lengths.
“I’m not the best at public speaking, but since I arrived I’m not as anxious or overwhelmed as I used to be,” said Erica Kercher, senior data analyst from Fairhope, Alabama, and Staff Sgt. club arms. .
Toastmasters International meets Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. at John Robert Lewis Hall and is open to anyone interested in joining.
For more information on how to get involved, students can find Toastmasters on Instagram, @toastmasterstroy.