Marking its one-year anniversary, Melanie Greig, Jad Pamment and Alice Chu review how Assurity Testmasters has advanced their public speaking skills
What do you think of when you hear the word ‘Toastmasters’? We were somewhat trepidatious at the mere thought of public speaking – and we weren’t alone as it is often regarded as the most terrifying thing on the planet. However we shared a common goal: to improve our public speaking. So when Toastmasters was made available to all Assurity staff, our goal was in sight. ‘Assurity Testmasters’ was formed providing a platform for everyone to realise their public speaking goals.
Why join and what are some of the benefits?
Mel: “When I first started Toastmasters, I dreaded public speaking. I would feel extremely nervous standing in front of a group of people giving a speech. The ‘Testmasters’ meetings have given me many opportunities to practice. With each attempt, I get more and more comfortable at speaking in front of a crowd. The supportive feedback we get through the evaluations of our speeches means that I have learnt new techniques and tools that make it easier each time. I also get the chance to not only speak, but also to chair meetings, give feedback, plus a wide range of other roles. It’s also a great chance to get to know an awesome group of people better.”
Alice: “Like most people, I joined Toastmasters to improve my public speaking. I didn’t anticipate Assurity Testmasters would give me much more than that. Regular meetings provided members the opportunity to talk in front of a group of people. Through regular practice, my fear of public speaking subsided and I was then free to develop different areas to help me become a better communicator. Additionally, since joining the executive team, I am able to appreciate the amount of work that is put into running a successful club. I had the opportunity to work closely with the other executive officers, influence how the club is operated and develop my leadership skills. It was also very rewarding to mentor a new member and see your mentee grow in confidence as they develop their skills!”
Jad: “I joined Assurity Testmasters about a month after joining the company as part of the July 2013 Graduate Programme. As a nervous public speaker, I signed up to improve my confidence and skills as a speaker knowing it would come in useful. The meetings were brilliant as they provided the chance to speak and slowly build my ability in front of a warm, friendly atmosphere where you are allowed to make mistakes. In addition to this, helping run meetings and serving on the club’s executive board provided a chance for members such as myself to develop organisational skills.”
The club has recently celebrated its one-year anniversary and, looking back, we can appreciate our accomplishments. These include:
- The club transitioned effortlessly to our new location and new environment when Assurity moved to the Todd Building
- We also succeeded in chartering the club in April 2013 – not an easy feat as we had to have 20 registered members
- As a new club, we also ran our first Speechcraft course last year, obtaining a positive response from the attendees which probably helped us obtain our chartered membership requirement
- The club has also successfully run three contests and some members have even attended other clubs in the area offering support in contest roles
- Recently, Katrina Clokie and Aaron Hodder represented the club in the local Area contest, competing with four experienced club winners. Katrina competed in the International Speech contest delivering a speech about her Brownies experience and Aaron competed in the Evaluation contest and was second placed
Our successes could not have happened without the commitment of its members, executive officers, club mentors and the support of Assurity.
For more information on Assurity Testmasters and how to join, go to the website.