Toastmasters is helping prepare St. Petersburg College cadets to become better speakers and leaders.
The Law Enforcement Academy at SPC has provided quality training programs for law enforcement officers for more than 25 years. As current cadets from the Police Recruit Classes 202 and 203 and Corrections Recruit Class 92 complete the academic and defensive tactics curriculum, their coordinators have also encouraged participation in the recent Toastmasters “Better Speaker” workshop.
Before graduation from the academy, this type of training is important for job interview preparation. The training also is important because, once hired, law enforcement officers are perceived as community leaders and are often called upon to speak in court, as well as at government meetings and local events.
Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organization that allows members to practice public speaking and develop leadership skills.
Ellen Holtzman served as the program’s emcee and provided an overview of how a Toastmaster meeting is conducted by engaging students to practice impromptu speaking and participate in the meeting roles. The timer serves to monitor the presenter’s adherence to time. An “ah-counter” keeps track of how many times the presenter uses filler words. Plus a grammarian is responsible to monitor grammar and use of the selected word of the day.
The word for this workshop was “listen.” Active listening skills are equally important in learning to become a better speaker.
The first segment of the workshop was presented by Rebecca Thornton. She outlined the three “P”s of public speaking: Preparation, Practice and Pride. Cathy Naabe shared the Toastmasters Speechcraft condensed program on how to overcome fear and learn the basics. Gil Penny shared how SPC Seminole Campus students participate regularly in a 10-week Speechcraft Boot Camp.
For more information or to find a Toastmasters club near you, please visit the Toastmasters website!