Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Local Students Complete Leadership and Public Speaking Training

Surrounded by library staff, volunteers, and cheering parents, twelve Forsyth County students will complete the Youth Leadership Program in public speaking hosted by Toastmasters International at the Post Road Library on March 15 at 6:30 p.m.

Volunteers Francis Chidambaram (far left) and Barbara Wallace (far right)
 pictured with several Youth Leadership Program participants at the Post Road Library.

This is the second year that Toastmasters International members have volunteered their time to host the Youth Leadership Program. Toastmasters International is a non-profit organization that helps people develop communication and leadership skills.

The Youth Leadership Program provides a supportive and positive experience for students in elementary, middle, and high school to overcome the nervousness they feel when asked to speak before an audience. Distinguished Toastmaster Lana McFarlane of the Healthy Voice Toastmasters Club in Alpharetta led the program this year.

Toastmasters International volunteer Barbara Wallace
listens as Vihaan Kesharwani delivers a practice
presentation at the Post Road Library last week.
These students will be honored for completing
the Youth Leadership Program at 6:30 p.m. on March 15:
Anvitha Mandli, Dharshan Rajan, Hari Rajan,
Lucas Chidambaram, Manny Batlle, Michael George,
Mitali Bidkar, Raqeeb Rahman, Tucker Lesperance,
Victor DaSilva, Vihaan Kesharwani, and Raymond Qin.
“It’s an honor and a delight working with these students, seeing their progressive growth and development both individually and as a group,” says McFarlane. “We’ve seen each one of the students make a tremendous leap in confidence and growth from where they started in the program.”

Throughout the Youth Leadership Program, students learn to organize their ideas logically and practice presenting those ideas convincingly. They also learn to listen carefully to ideas presented by others.

“Each student comes to the program with a different level of comfort in speaking publicly. Their skill sets varied from those who spoke confidently with less use of notes to those who were overcome by nervousness and mumbled through reading their notes. But they all supported one another with valuable feedback during the program,” explains McFarlane.

The results of the Program and the students’ practice will be evident at the completion ceremony, adds McFarlane.

“Even the ones that were nervous and shy at the beginning eagerly volunteered to speak before the audience at the last session.”

For more information on local Toastmasters organizations and public speaking training for adults, please visit toastmasters.org/Find-a-Club. For more information on library programs and resources for students and adults, please visit www.forsythpl.org.