By Daleth Quintanilla |Staff Writer|
CSUSB Toastmasters empowers members to develop communication and leadership skills.
Toastmasters International is a non-profit organization founded by Ralph C. Smedley in 1945.
Meetings start with impromptu table talks and guests are both welcomed and encouraged to speak.
Toastmasters meetings are an hour long and consist of workshops where members give speeches in a no-pressure atmosphere.
Members are given a week to prepare speeches.
Approximately half the meeting time is dedicated to speeches alone.
There is no instructor in Toastmasters meetings, but there is a President (Rusty Palmer), Vice President of Education (Erika Samperio), Vice President of Membership (Monica Mojarro), Vice President of Public Relations (Christopher Dustin), Secretary (Rafael Velasquez), Treasurer (Louis Fernandez), and Sargent-At-Arms (Imad Museitef).
Members evaluate each other’s presentations and provide feedback for improvements.
The evaluation process is key to the success of the club and the communication and leadership development in members.
The “Ah” counter is responsible for counting how many “likes” and “ums” are in a single speech.
The grammarian critiques word choices; the timer times each speech to make sure the speaker stays within the time constraints for a particular speech.
Lastly, the general evaluator reports on the meeting.
The evaluation process allows members to develop communication skills.
The members develop leadership skills and the support of each member gives nervous or shy students an opportunity to open up.
Grammarian Bernadette Toledo just joined the club and she really enjoys the people and atmosphere.
“This club gives me the most for my time and really makes me come out of my shell,” said Toledo.
Treasurer Louis Fernandez has been a part of the club since Fall 2013 and has similar thoughts as Toledo.
“I gained a lot of confidence out of it. I feel more comfortable every time I do a speech and I just want to do better and better and better,” said Fernandez.
The club consists of students with a common drive to be successful leaders with excellent communication skills.
“People here don’t judge you, because they’re all in the same boat,” added Toledo.
In addition to weekly meetings throughout the quarter, members are also given the opportunity to attend conferences where they are able to listen to keynote speakers.
Additionally, they are presented the opportunity to mingle with other Toastmasters members within the district.
If anyone is interested in joining the club, visit the Santos Manuel Student Union room 210/211.
They meet every Wednesday during the academic quarter; speak with the Vice President of Membership to learn more.