The University of Illinois Springfield Career Development Center is working to improve the public speaking skills of students. The center has started a Toastmasters Club to bring in professional mentors from the community to work with students.
Employee Relations Recruitment Coordinator Rachel Hasenyager started the club. She says the skills that students are learning are key in job interviews. During the meeting students are called on to perform impromptu “table top” speeches. Students have a limited amount of time to talk about a subject they may know little about.
The Toastmasters Club also teaches students how to participate in the setting of a formal meeting. Every participant is introduced to the audience before they begin speaking.
Hasenyager says she hopes the club will also help teach leadership skills, which in turn foster self-confidence and personal growth.
Students also get the chance to network with the professional mentors brought in from the community. Hasenyager hopes that will pay off once they’ve graduated and are looking for a job.
The club meets every other Friday at Noon in the Student Affairs Building (SAB) Room 50. The next meeting will be on October 9th, followed by October 23rd.
Toastmasters will welcome Springfield native Ed Hearn, who was crowned the 2006 World Champion of Public Speaking by Toastmasters International. Hearn will present his award-winning speech on Wednesday, October 28, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. in the Public Affairs Center Restaurant.