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Power speakers practice leadership skills

Matt Olson, Copy Editor

Pioneer Power Speakers, a chartered Toastmasters International club, is an organization designed to help members of the TWU community to work on speaking publicly as well as interpersonal communication.

Associate director of Graduate Recruitment and Vice President of Public Relations for Pioneer Power Speakers Morgan O’Donnell said in an email: “Toastmasters is a great place to improve your public speaking and leadership skills. Plus, it helps build confidence and provides the opportunity to grow your network.”

O’Donnell continued: “An added bonus is the wonderful friendships that can develop.”

Pioneer Power Speakers began meeting in 2012 and continued for a year and a half as an independent organization before being chartered by Toastmasters International in Fall 2013. O’Donnell credited Director of Quality Enhancement Plan Dr. Kimberly Miloch and Associate Provost of Undergraduate Studies Dr. Barbara Lerner for their assistance in this accomplishment.

Describing Pioneer Power Speakers meetings, O’Donnell shared: “The typical meeting has three parts: formal speaking, impromptu speaking and feedback. We try to make them fun and lighthearted.”

She added: “Meetings can range in size from 7 to 17 depending on schedules and visitors. Our membership is roughly one-third students, one-third staff, and one-third community members. We currently have one faculty member.”

O’Donnell spoke about her previous experience with Toastmasters International: “I attended a meeting to discuss starting a club in 2002 at another university. I was impressed by the friendly [and] supportive environment, and I’ve been hooked ever since.”

She also mentioned the benefits of her experience: “It’s helped me with both public speaking and leadership skills. It has helped me land a few jobs, and I’ve been asked to give presentations. Last year I was invited to put on a workshop on using humor in communications for the TCU Nonprofit Communicators Conference.”

O’Donnell encouraged interested students, staff, faculty and community members to visit a meeting: “Come visit a meeting or two. Visitors are always welcome, and we are happy to answer questions. After you visit, then you can decide if you want to join.”

Pioneer Power Speakers meetings take place on Tuesdays from 12:30-1:30 p.m. in the Old Main Building, room 300.

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