Air Force

April 25, 2014

Toastmasters hone speaking skills

STEPHEN DELGADO
Thunderbolt staff writer

How would you like to learn to think quickly on your feet and speak in public with confidence and authority? You may say to yourself, “There is no way I could ever be a public speaker.” There is a group at Luke Air Force Base, where one of the goals is to teach people to shed or at least control their fear of public speaking and learn to feel comfortable in front of an audience.

Welcome to the Luke Toastmasters. They meet from noon to 1 p.m. Thursday in Bldg. 1150 in the Mission Support Group Conference Room, 3126.

Numerous studies have shown the vast majority of people fear public speaking, and with Toastmasters, help is on the way.

Toastmasters offers its members various speaking venues such as table topics, which is a one-to-two minute speech on a variety of topics with the goal of enabling speakers to think on their feet by speaking to the audience with no notes. Table topics are a great way for the novice to gain confidence and move on to longer speeches.

What’s more, Toastmasters not only helps with speaking abilities, but can upgrade one’s leadership skills.

“Toastmasters can improve speaking and leadership skills, as well as offer someone the confidence to speak in front of an audience,” said Lynne Nutter, Toastmasters president. “Within a few weeks, a person will notice a smoother and more confident presentation, which can help someone in a job interview or an interview with a military board. There are also several leadership opportunities within each meeting such as evaluating a speech or becoming a club officer.”

Another benefit of Toastmasters is helping someone get rid of annoying quirks such as repeating, “you know,” “ah” and “um.”

Nutter related her experience with Toastmasters and said joining the club has really helped her confidence when speaking in front of a group.

“I am an outgoing person, but since joining Toastmasters, I am much more confident speaking to a group of strangers or people I’m meeting for the first time,” she said. “My speaking abilities improved so dramatically within the first six months of joining, that I participated in a speech contest and won at the club level.”

The club at Luke is in a drive to increase membership, and it is easy and inexpensive to join. The semi-annual cost is $42, according to Nutter. Luke Toastmasters is open to active-duty military, Reserve, National Guard, dependents, retirees and anyone with base access.

There are exciting events being planned for the near future for people to learn more about Toastmasters.
For more information, call Nutter at 602-740-6124 or Bill Bristol at 480-516-9998.




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