Toastmasters club comes to campus

April 28, 2016


Staff Reporter | klb072@ latech.edu




Louisiana Tech has the opportunity to add a new club called Toastmasters to the variety of groups on its campus.



Toastmasters is a nonprofit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of helping members develop their communication and leadership skills through practice and feedback. They held their first meeting Saturday at the Lincoln Parish Library, which was open to everyone, so people could learn what the club was about and see a demonstration of their future meetings.



Tomica McDonald, president of the Ruston chapter, said the meeting was to help acquaint people with the advantages and opportunities available through Toastmasters.



“Toastmasters is a nationally renowned organization that allows members to practice and improve their public speaking skills, develop leadership and improve their confidence,” McDonald said.



She said the Ruston chapter of Toastmasters will be targeting Tech and Grambling students, along with residents of the Ruston community, to join the organization.



“We really want college students going in any field to know Toastmasters is helpful and a huge benefit,” McDonald said. “They won’t suffer from low self-esteem or nervousness in job interviews.”



Garrett Hughes, a senior marketing major, said he heard about the organization on a podcast and then proceeded to get in touch with McDonald about joining.



“Since I was one of the several who wanted to start the club here in Ruston I was chosen to be the representative at Tech and help bring in new members,” Hughes said.



He said being a part of the organization helped him improve his public speaking skills and gave him a great way to network with people from CenturyLink because some CenturyLink workers are a part of the Toastmasters club in Monroe.



“Being a part of Toastmasters really makes you more valuable to employers because they will see you as an asset to their company,” Hughes said.



Nakisha Evans, a new member of Toastmasters, said she was informed of the organization by McDonald and then read more about it herself. She said she thought joining the group would be a good way for her to brush up on her communication skills.



“Toastmasters made me look at myself and endeavor to make personal changes within myself and with my peers,” Evans said.



She said if people are looking for a way to enhance themselves and want to push for self-improvement they should join Toastmasters.



“With being a member within this organization, I hope I’m able to overcome the challenge I have with communicating with my siblings and be able to dissolve a problem easily,” Evans said.



McDonald said Toastmasters is helpful because it gave her the opportunity to both lead and learn, which was the beginning of something great for her.



“I see this as a chance for people to be a part of something bigger than themselves where they can work at their own pace,” McDonald said. “Plus being in a team environment could help them build their attitude, character and help them change themselves for a better future.”


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