Toastmasters clubs can help with public speaking, leadership


Two UNL-based Toastmasters clubs offer the opportunity for faculty, staff and students to improve skills in public speaking, leadership, job interviewing and communication.

The clubs are part of Toastmasters International, a world leader in communication and leadership development. It has 12,500 clubs globally with approximately 16 clubs in the Lincoln area alone.

The E.C. Speakers meet at noon Wednesdays in the East Union. The NU Toasters club meets at noon Thursdays in the Nebraska Union. Meeting rooms vary and are posted in the respective union. Membership is open to the public.

Members take active parts in the meeting that include impromptu talks on assigned topics, conduct meetings and develop presentation skills, as well as a series of speaking assignments. This is designed to instill a basic foundation of effective communication, in which public speaking is just one skill that members develop. Meetings are kept to an hour in length, and club members enjoy learning in a fun and friendly environment.

Gretchen Walker, an administrative assistant in the UNL Center of Great Plains Studies, is a charter member of the NU Toasters club and was initially hesitant about joining Toastmasters.

"I wanted to expand my speaking skills and be comfortable at the podium," Walker said. "Everyone has that terrible fear of going up in front of an audience. Toastmasters gave me the confidence to deliver my message."

Members are not required to attend every meeting. Each member participates in different assigned roles at his or her own comfortable pace. The group features no instructors. Members provide positive feedback on performances.

For more information about the City Campus club, send email to For more information on the East Campus club, send email to

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