• Yiling Zhao : Graduate Student, Economics

    Toastmaster gathers a diverse and fun group of Northwestern students population. It's a voluntary meeting, but members commit and invest a great deal in both the content and the quality of speeches. Besides the practical purpose of improving public speaking, I keep coming back to Toastmaster because I learn and am constantly inspired by the speakers. There's no better way to TGIF!
  • Lynn Emily Meissner: Graduate Student, HDSP

    Shortly after I joined Northwestern Toastmasters I started looking forward to our Friday meetings every week. The people are so friendly and you get a chance to get to know each other on a deep level by hearing stories about other people's thoughts, opinions, and life experiences. I really appreciate the public speaking practice and feedback. As someone who has always been comfortable with public speaking, it has been interesting to become more critical of myself and figure out ways to keep getting better. Everyone can learn a lot from Toastmasters, about yourself and about other people!
  • Arindam Paul : Doctoral Candidate, Computer Science

    Northwestern is an amazing school with many opportunities, but Toastmasters is the icing on the cake. My first meeting was in February 2015 and I was seriously scared of public speaking. During high school and college, I had avoided any position or opportunity where I had to speak publicly. I used to literally shiver at the thought of public speaking. But a few days before my first Toastmasters meeting, I had heard this quote by Eleanor Roosevelt "You must do the things that you think you cannot do”. I decided I am going to speak and not care about anything. In my ice-breaker speech, I had a lot of filler words and grammar mistakes and I got stuck few times. But, I found the club members to be veru encouraging and supportive that I decided that I will keep coming. Over the last 20 months, I have completed my Competent Communicator and Competent Leadership tracks at Toastmasters. I became Treasurer in 2015 and this year took office as the President. I felt most proud when my advisor sat when I was TAing this Spring and said later: "You are a great communicator” and asked me to share my secret with my lab-mates. Toastmasters teaches us what you cannot learn in the classroom.
  • Emily Harburg

    Toastmasters has been an incredible community of encouragement and support for me as a graduate student at Northwestern. Through participating in meetings I have felt a significant shift in my comfort and confidence as a public speaker. I am also more aware of the filler words I use, which has helped me to use less of them. Overall, participating in Toastmasters has been a fantastic experience and I feel fortunate to be a part of this diverse, collaborative, supportive community!
  • Ari Benjamin: Doctoral Candidate, Mechanical Engineering

    NU Toastmasters is a welcoming, and inspiring, place to learn and practice the skills of public speaking. It's great for meeting people, too - I met a good number of my closest Northwestern friends through the group in my first year.
  • Eraince Wang: Masters Student, Electrical Engineering

    The reason why I first came to Toastmasters is that as an international student, I found it difficult to communicate with others fluently and confidently in English. The best thing about Toastmasters is that you will meet really nice and helpful people here. I received not only encouragement but also advice for improvement. I felt nervous during the first three meetings since I was worried about speaking in awkward English in front of many people. However, everyone smiled at me and, they nodded often to express their agreement on my idea. After a few meetings, I felt really safe and relaxed. That’s when I really started to make progress. Now, I really feel comfortable and confident speaking in front of people, no matter whether they are friends or strangers. I also made a lot of friends here with whom I felt a personal connection and became friends. I have to say that Toastmasters not just provides a platform for public speaking, but also a supportive and helpful community, which I feel is very important for international students like me.
  • Robin Brewer: Doctoral Candidate, Technology and Social Behavior

    Toastmasters helped me become more comfortable speaking in front of small groups as I tend to speak quickly when I'm nervous or have a lot to say. I am seeing that going to meetings has really paid off! After participating in Toastmasters for a little over a year, I presented at a conference in front of ~200 people. Many people approached me after my presentation, complimented me on how clearly I spoke. Their comments helped to validate that Toastmasters is 100% worth it! Also, I'm in a PhD program and I admit I spend a lot of my time with students in my lab and program. Therefore an additional perk is getting to meet and make friends with people in other departments.