LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
Members of the 47th Flying Training Wing gather in anticipation to hear a guest speaker. After a brief summary of events, Maj. Joy Spillers, a 47th Medical Group administrator, begins speaking and the room falls silent in attention.
As part of the Toastmasters chapter on base Airmen take turns giving practiced and ad-libbed speeches to improve their speaking abilities and self-confidence in public settings.
“I have seen a noticeable difference in the way I speak,” said Capt. Eduardo Artiga, the Bioenvironmental Engineering flight commander at the 47th Operational Medical Readiness Squadron at the 47th Medical Group. “When I talk to my peers I notice my ‘crutch words’ and I’ll stop or pause instead of saying them. It’s helped me with that and I’m able to talk to people easier. It made me more aware of how I speak.”
Toastmasters offers a variety of topics, including the daily subject, a prepared speech with visuals and more, ranging from two minutes for beginners to almost 24 minutes or more for higher levels of training.
Many installations offer Toastmasters for members with base access who are interested in participating.
“Something I like about Toastmasters is we’re able to go anywhere internationally and plug into any club and speak there and access their experiences, stories and resources,” Artiga said. “I went to Dayton, Ohio for training and I was able to participate in their Toastmasters. Some of these people are CEOs or retired military and you get to hear their perspectives.”
Currently the Laughlin Air Force Base chapter is seeking new members interested in learning how to become better communicators in an open and friendly environment.
“We are definitely looking for new members and anyone interested in filling a club officer position,” Artiga said. “Civilian, military, anyone who has base access is welcome to join.”
If you would like to become a better speaker, the Laughlin Toastmasters club meets every second and fourth Wednesday in the 47th Medical Group’s Education and Training room (building 375) at 11:30 a.m.