Club Helps Members Master Speaking Skills

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Amelia Pavlik
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404-385-4142 

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Since 1987, Tech has been home to a Toastmasters chapter, known as “Techmasters,” that aims to provide the skills and confidence members need to effectively communicate in any situation.

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Since 1987, Tech has been home to a Toastmasters chapter, known as “Techmasters,” that aims to provide the skills and confidence members need to effectively communicate in any situation.

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If giving a speech in front of a group fills you with as much fear as the thought of walking across I-85 during rush hour, there is a campus resource that you should check out.   

Since 1987, Tech has been home to a Toastmasters chapter, known as “Techmasters,” that aims to provide the skills and confidence members need to effectively communicate in any situation.   

“Techmasters isn’t about perfection; it is about practicing public speaking in a no-fail atmosphere,” said Kimsey Pollard, the club’s most senior member and sergeant-at-arms who works in the Microelectronics Research Center. “There aren’t any experts — it’s just members helping members.” 

The club meets every Thursday morning from 7:30 to 9 a.m. in room 102 of the Microelectronics Research Center Building. Currently, there are 54 members, with about 20 to 30 percent of the membership being students and the rest being faculty and staff members, as well as members of the general public. 

“Being a member has helped me to become more confident and has enhanced my leadership skills,” said Edgar Jones, a 10-year member who works in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “This is a good place to work on your presentation skills, and you get a chance to network with like-minded people from all over campus.”

Gary Hulsey, a technical writer for the Georgia Tech Research Institute, has belonged to the club for five years and would recommend it to anyone interested in enhancing communication and leadership skills. 

“Techmasters has helped me build some comfort as a speaker through impromptu speaking practice, which has given me the confidence to do things like call a talk radio program,” he added. 

Meetings start with Table Topics, where members of the club are invited to give a brief speech on impromptu topics such as “Convince Hitler to Join Techmasters.” Next, there is a brief break with light refreshments, followed by prepared speeches and then evaluations of the speeches. 

So if you visit a meeting, what can you expect? 

“Visitors will be encouraged to stand and introduce themselves at the beginning of the meeting and provide their impression of the meeting at the end,” said Joe Blount, the group’s vice president of public relations who works in the Office of Information Technology. “Visitors rarely opt to participate beyond this at their first meeting.” 

To learn more about the club and membership fee information, click here

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Keywords
faculty, public speaking, staff, students, Techmasters, toastmasters
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  • Created By: Amelia Pavlik
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: May 13, 2011 - 7:11am
  • Last Updated: Oct 7, 2016 - 11:08pm