Toastmasters Club of Union now at Kean University
By Keanu Austin
Toastmasters International is an educational organization with clubs in many places all around the world including Kean University. Kean’s “Toastmasters Club of Union” is a relatively new club on campus, and though most people don’t know about it, members at the university claim that the club offers an abundance of things that people—especially students—can benefit from.
Among the people at Kean making and supporting these claims were Janice Johnson of Kean’s career development department and Dr. Lynch, the head of the communication department.
According to Johnson, the program was brought to Kean to help its students. When asked what it could help with, Johnson brought up fears of public speaking and interviewing; common fears plenty of students anywhere struggle with.
Johnson also stressed the importance of practicing to develop these skills, something that the program at Kean will help students with, should they wish to become a member. Testament to this is the program’s slogan, “Where leaders are made,” and its mission statement to provide an opportunity for its members to develop communication and leadership skills.
“It’s a win-win situation for everybody,” Lynch said on the topic of membership. He also claimed that joining requires a small fee, which according to Johnson, is a much more reasonable cost compared to other programs out there.
Both Lynch and Johnson had much to say when asked for more details on how the program and club meetings function. According to Lynch, the meetings are attended by business professionals who participate in workshops, which include giving speeches and critiquing them as a method to help each other improve.
Johnson said that the meetings are lively and well-structured and that one of the things she likes about them is how people can work with each other one-on-one. She gave one of the club’s meeting activities as an example. The activity, which they call an “icebreaker,” consists of members engaging in a two-way dialogue as a method of fostering communication skills.
Club meetings are held every second and fourth Tuesday of the month in room 118 on the first floor of CAS. According to both Lynch and Johnson, joining won’t only provide you with the opportunity to develop your communication skills, but a chance to develop your resume and advance professionally too.