Toastmasters visits USM
Published: Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 00:11
Delta Sigma Pi, a business fraternity in the University of Southern Mississippi College of Business, received a visit from Toastmasters International on Thursday, and participants at the event got a quick lesson in thinking on their feet and public speaking.
Toastmasters International is an organization of leaders who aim to help others become confident, timely communicators. According to the Toastmasters website, the organization is 280,000 strong with 13,500 clubs in 16 countries across the world.
Darryl Harris, a senior business administration and marketing double major, is a three-year member of Toastmasters and spoke to the 30 or so people at the recruiting meeting.
“Toastmasters International has granted me the opportunity to travel and compete in speaking competitions and network with professionals from all over,” Harris said. “Being a Toastmaster has really helped me develop my interviewing skills, which afforded me the opportunity to acquire a managerial position with Target Corporation.”
The Toastmasters meeting, which follows a similar format each time, was filled with clapping, cheering and words of encouragement. The members of the organization spoke about different topics, all of which were totally impromptu. Timed discussions and events brought the meeting to life when members were placed on the spot to create a commercial for the “Table Topics” section of the meeting.
Becca Tharp, a newer member of Toastmasters, said she has noticed a change in her ability to communicate and speak in front of crowds thanks to the organization.
“Toastmasters is wonderful for all involved,” Tharp said. “You can move as quickly through the project booklet as you would like or as slowly as you may need. It’s strictly at your own comfort level, but it teaches you to get out of your comfort zone at the same time.”
The Hattiesburg chapter of Toastmasters meets every Tuesday at 7 a.m. in the conference room next to the cafeteria in Wesley Medical Center, and everyone is welcome to join. Harris said talks of a chapter on the Hattiesburg campus of USM are currently in the works. Harris said he hopes to release more information about this project in the near future.
“We invite all to participate in Toastmasters International,” Harris said. To learn more about Toastmaster International, visit the group’s Facebook page, or visit www.toastmasters.org.