Antioch University Midwest Students Launch Toastmasters Chapter in Yellow Springs
Adult Students say Effective Communication is Essential to Success in the Classroom and their Careers
Leadership and communication skills are crucial to today’s workplace and important to develop in tandem with academic studies. Antioch University Midwest (AUM) students recognized this need and became the driving force behind bringing Toastmasters, the most recognized presentation-focused organizations in the country, on campus. Open to students, faculty and the local community, this chapter provides anyone interested the tools they need stand out and reach their education and career goals.
Toastmasters International is a world leader in communication and leadership development. Members participate in a low-pressure environment where they receive feedback and collaborate with others who share a similar goal: developing on-point communication skills for job interviews, career presentations and other public speaking opportunities. Chapters are self-directed and offer leadership opportunities to those members looking to improve their skills as Chapter officers.
“It has become apparent to me that the ability to communicate comprehension and mastery of the material is critical to our academic success,” said Amy Cotterman, Human Resources Administration Student at AUM. “Public speaking skills are also critical to our professional success and Toastmasters provides a recognized and accepted methodology to improve our skills in a way that positively impacts our resume.”
The effort dovetails with AUM’s focus on empowering student to be active participants in their education and create unique and individualized opportunities in which adult learners thrive. For many, speaking in front of a live audience is a fear akin to spiders, flying, and even illness. Overcoming the fear and continuing to hone presentation skills after graduation are two of the goals that AUM students hope to achieve when the chapter is formally established.
The initial open house meeting at AUM attracted 22 students, and netted 18 applications to join the group and formally create a Dayton Ohio Toastmasters Chapter. Once the group has 20 dues-paying members, Toastmasters AUM is considered chartered by the national organization and will receive national recognition. Organizers expect to reach that goal by the end of AUM’s open enrollment period on September 27.
Students have also created an AUM Toastmasters Facebook group for the initiative. The group, and the Toastmasters meetings, are student-directed and open to the community. The group meets the second and fourth Saturday of each month from 12:30 to 1:30 pm. The next meeting is September 20 in the Antioch University Midwest campus multi-purpose room at 900 Dayton Street, Yellow Springs, Ohio.