On March 18 at Geico’s regional office in Getzville, Toastmasters District 65 Division A Spring 2016 Speech contests were held. Two members of Rhetorical Roar (Daemen College’s Toastmasters club) finished third in the categories they competed in. This marks the second consecutive time Daemen participants have competed at the Division level; however the first time they placed since the inception of the club in 2015. Each contest earned the right to compete by finishing first at their area completion.
Becca Bley, Reference and Instruction Librarian in the Research and Information Commons, competed in the Table Topics category. Table Topics are impromptu speeches in which the contestant is given a topic and allowed only one to two minutes to speak. Bley’s topic was to link the words “tigers” and “sandwiches” together.
“I suppose I enjoy the challenge and adrenaline in the moment. Public speaking never came easy to me in college and I’ve enjoyed developing my skills with Rhetorical Roar. The club makes for a good family; we challenge one another, nurturing the skills we already have and developing new ones. And since most people are terrified of public speaking in general, I see no reason not to face that fear head on,” said Bley.
Karen Moronski-Chapman, Data Analyst in the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, competed in the International category. Internationals are speeches that are prepared speeches in which the contestant is given five to seven minute to present their speech. Moronski-Chapman presented her speech entitled “Undiagnosed: A Behind the Scenes Glimpse.” It included powerful slides and a verse from the song “Quiet” from the musical “Matilda”.
“Competing at the Division level has been such a great learning opportunity. The most meaningful part of the experience was being able to inspire the audience and share a message of acceptance for those on the autism spectrum,” said Moronski-Chapman.
“I was very proud of both Daemen, both performed phenomenally well! Of course at division level, all the contestants are the very best in Western New York, so the fact that Becca and Karen both placed third is notable,” said Hella Jacob, Rhetorical Roar club president and Project Assistant Institutional Effectiveness & Title III.
Rhetorical Roar is Daemen College’s Toastmasters club. It is open to all Daemen faculty, staff, students and alumni. They meet weekly on Friday in the Wick Center Executive board room from noon to one. Toastmasters is a nonprofit educational organization that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of helping members improve their communication, public speaking and leadership skills. Its goal is to help you to become a better communicator and leader.
According to Jacob,” It is important for us to provide an opportunity to practice public speaking skills in a safe and supportive environment. Our weekly meetings build collegiality, and are always both fun and informative.”