For over 95 years, Toastmasters International has served as a tool to help people around the world build upon their communication, leadership and public speaking skills. The program has over 358,000 members across 143 countries. There’s a Toastmasters group, called The Everett Pacesetters, located in Everett in which EvCC faculty, staff and students can join.
Toastmasters strives to improve communication skills by allowing people to participate in activities that help with their interpersonal expertises. For example, a psychology instructor could benefit from this program by keeping their class engaged with lectures, due to their increased awareness and tone of speaking to a small group of students.
With Toastmasters, people are given the opportunity to speak in front of a group, which challenges someone to get out of their comfort zone. People who join Toastmasters can find themselves discovering potential that they never thought they had.
A prime example of this is Daniel Murphy, a strategist and marketing communications consultant in Seattle. He specifically stated that his affiliation with Toastmasters allowed him to practice in real time. “We struggle to be objective with ourselves,” said Murphy. Meaning that people tend to be detached when it comes to their styles of interpersonal competence.
Being involved with this organization gave him the platform to utilize his voice wherever he goes. “One must be able to think on their feet and be poised, but with this comes pressure,” says Murphy. His skills landed him a gig as the commentator for the EvCC basketball teams. He is also a member of The Everett Pacesetters.
There are also annual speaking engagements around the nation, such as their annual international convention and The World Championship of Public Speaking. These events have helped people find greater success in their professional careers.
McKayla Daniels, an art major student at EvCC, has never heard of Toastmasters; however, she has found a new interest in the program. Her goal is to become an art teacher for high school students. “I want to be an art teacher, so leadership skills are a must,” said Daniels. “I would love to use any tool to help prepare me for the next level.”
Daniels heard about Toastmasters through work, and instantly gained interest. Toastmasters could potentially help Daniels with public speaking, communicating and finding confidence when being faced with students from different backgrounds.
Faculty, staff and students may benefit from joining Toastmasters because the group gives opportunities for real-life practice with public speaking. This can help to boost confidence and improve communication competency.
Toastmasters membership applications are available on their website. Members pay $45 every six months, which equates to $7.50 per month. New members pay a one-time fee of $20 to join. For more information, visit https://www.toastmasters.org/ or https://www.everettpacesetters.org/