Hey, students! Boost your speaking skills at Toastmasters
By Daniel Pereira
I know many students who are afraid to give presentations. If left unchecked, a person can go their entire lives without developing strong public speaking skills. Others are naturally gifted with public speaking skills, but this talent only gets us so far. Being consistently good takes practice.
If you are like most students who dislike public speaking, or even if you already feel confident giving presentations but want to polish your skills, then Toastmasters HMC is for you.
Toastmasters is a not-for-profit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of promoting communication, public speaking and leadership.
I felt I had strong public speaking skills before joining. After my first meeting, I quickly realized I had a lot to learn.
How did a speaker at the club keep my attention for seven minutes during his speech? I had no idea. Over the next six months, Toastmasters showed me how body language, eye contact, vocal variety, effective pauses and hand gestures, just to name a few techniques, are all as important as the words that come out of our mouths when speaking in public.
As I attend the weekly sessions, I made it a goal to speak up at every meeting. Continually speaking in front of others, while benefiting from constructive feedback, enabled me to stretch my presentation skills. I used Toastmasters as a training ground. I found that it provided a low-risk, high-reward atmosphere.
I credit my training at Toastmasters for getting job offers for my co-op, participating in global speech contests and representing my class as the 2019 Pilon School of Business Valedictorian. Toastmasters can help everyone elevate their public speaking skills. And what you learn there can be applied to so many other aspects of your life.
“It has improved my speaking, leadership and listening skills. Also, taking on a role in the executive team has helped improve my work in a group setting.“
James Kluge, President, Sheridan HMC Toastmasters
“Joining Toastmasters was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I have become an effective communicator through chairing a meeting and a great listener when I had to do an evaluation. I have learned to give better feedback. Toastmasters strengthens your confidence while encouraging others, and it builds life-long friendships.”
Sanjana Thoguru , VP of Membership, Sheridan HMC Toastmasters
“Through the supporting instructional material, I learned critical aspects of speech theory, the art of persuasion and how to be an overall public speaking sensation. Practicing my speeches with the club allowed me to hone my public speaking ability with valuable feedback being provided by the members every time leading to continuous improvement.”
Sammy Sous, Member, Sheridan HMC Toastmasters
“The club continues to play a pivotal role in developing students’ sense of empowerment, as well as their communication, presentation and leadership skills. The development of these soft skills will certainly ensure they have the enabling competencies and readiness for the Canadian workplace. To this end, I would please like to encourage all professors to spread the word about the HMC Toastmasters club to all their students.”
Lenny Dinanath, Part-time Accounting professor, PSB, Sheridan College
Daniel Pereira was the 2019 Pilon School of Business Valedictorian and past President Sheridan HMC Toastmasters.