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Toastmasters International Makes History at North Carolina Central University
Published: Wednesday, October 01, 2014

North Carolina Central University (NCCU) students will make history by participating in one of the first student-professional chapters of Toastmasters International.

The NC Project Managers Chapter will combine professional project managers and undergraduate students to promote excellence in communication and leadership.

This new student-professional chapter is among the first of its kind for the 90-year organization.  NCCU’s School of Business will host the chapter’s Charter and Banner ceremony at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2 at NCCU’s C.T. Willis Commerce Building (School of Business), Room 315.

Lucious Clayton and Denis Abankwah, both seniors majoring in computer information systems, will be among the first group of students to join.  As Cisco interns, they are required to take part in Toastmasters. 

“Toastmasters is unique because it provides different ways to learn how to be a better communicator, from how to answer spontaneous questions within a short period of time, to taking the time to prepare your own speech and deliver it to your audience,” Abankwah said.

Toastmasters International emphasizes 10 core competencies for better communication, including effective use of icebreakers, appropriate body language, power of persuasive sentence structures, and other techniques. 

“Toastmasters provides an opportunity to help develop leaders,” Clayton said.  “As we continue to attend and participate in the program, we become better communicators.” 

Dr. Donna Grant, associate professor of information systems and co-advisor for the chapter, said studies have demonstrated that advanced presentation and communications skills give young professionals an advantage as they leave college and enter the workplace.

 “Students with this opportunity will develop interpersonal abilities in ways that will propel their preparation for corporate careers,” Grant said.

While Toastmasters International is nearly a century old, the model of combining professionals and students in the same chapter is new.

Deborah Brame, director of Professional Student Development at NCCU and a co-advisor for the chapter, called the new Toastmasters approach “a perfect marriage” between students and working professionals 

 “Our professional members provide real-world insight and approaches to practical communication techniques while continuing to engage in activities that promote and elevate their own skills,” Brame said.  “Students, in turn, learn and practice their abilities in a safe, non-judgmental environment with their peers and professionals.”

About Toastmasters:
For more information about the event and Toastmasters please visit: http://www.nccu.edu/academics/sc/business/index.cfm or http://www.toastmasters.org/
Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of meeting locations. Toastmasters meets at NCCU’s School of Business from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. each first and third Thursday of the month.  For more information please contact: Deborah Brame (919)530-6138.

About NCCU School of Business:
Management education has been underway at NCCU since 1910, when the institution first opened its doors to students. Plans were drafted during the 1926-27 academic year for the establishment of a professional School of Commerce. In 1972, the Department of Business and Economics separated from the undergraduate School of Arts and Sciences and became the School of Business.

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