Industrial Engineering Student Masters Public Speaking
Some startling statistics show that for many, public speaking is even more feared than death, but this is not the case for George Vinoj Vincent, at least not anymore. George wasn’t always such an accomplished and passionate public speaker. In fact, he first joined Toastmasters four years ago simply at the suggestion of his supervisor who thought it might improve George’s English skills as a non-native speaker.
Founded in the 1924 by Ralf Smedley, Toastmasters International seeks to develop leadership by improving public speaking and communication skills and boasts the tagline “where leaders are made.” Famous Toastmasters include former governors of Hawaii and Colorado, U.S. astronauts, an NBA coach and player, and founders of Domino’s Pizza and Mrs. Fields cookies, among many others.
Every year, Toastmasters hosts an international convention featuring the World Championship of Public Speaking where a yearly World Champion is crowned. Becoming a World Champion contestant is grueling and requires winning at the club, area, division, district, and semi-final competitions. In 2013, George represented the state of North Carolina (District 37), which is comprised of over 200 clubs and competed at the semi-finals in Cincinnati. To get to this point in the competition is a great honor as George competed among only 89 other speakers from across the world who had advanced to this level. “Drafting and perfecting a contest-winning speech can take months,” he reports. While speakers can speak for five to seven minutes on any topic, he says, the real “crux of any speech is a personal story and message for the audience.”
In addition to taking on various speaking assignments since beginning Toastmasters in 2009, George has served in various leadership roles, most currently serving as the President of Campus Toastmasters. Outside of public speaking, George is an NC State graduate student studying industrial engineering and slated to graduate this spring. While pursuing his graduate degree, he has also completed Supply Chain certifications and a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt, which teaches techniques and tools for process improvement, in preparation for a career in the “exciting area of supply chain management.” He believes Toastmasters extends past simply improving his public speaking skills to help him better articulate thoughts, make friends, and network in the industrial engineering field.
Interested in becoming as accomplished a public speaker as George? Visit the Toastmasters International website to use a meeting locations tool and obtain information on how to join or just get involved right on campus. The Campus Toastmasters Club at NCSU meets in Kilgore Hall 103 every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., and students are free to come as guests and get involved in speaking assignments. “Campus Toastmasters,” George says, has a rich history of 25 years and is on track to becoming one of the best clubs in North Carolina!”
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