NYU Toastmasters Officers Voted In

With about 80% of club members voting, the following slate of officers was elected to support and represent our club for the 2016-2017 academic year:

President – Belinda Roman
VP Education – Mary Lou Atkinson
VP Membership – Queen Walker
VP Public Relations – Kattia Tan
Secretary – Yolanda Rayside
Treasurer – Kyle Wright

New officers will start their roles on July 1st. We wish them a rewarding year.

And we wish to thank, once again, our outgoing officers for their ongoing commitment to our club. Thanks, too, to Yolanda Rayside and Cassandra Bizarro for serving on the nomination committee with club founder, Sophie Oberstein, and to all of our members for voting.

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Meeting Times and Rooms for Summer 2016

This summer, NYU staff, faculty, students, and alumni are welcome to join us for a Toastmasters meeting. Because we know many people take time off during the summer, we’ll be hosting two meetings a month instead of our usual four for June, July, and August. The meeting schedule is as follows:

June 9 from 12:00 to 1pm
June 16 from 5:15 to 6:15pm

July 14 from 12:00 to 1pm
July 21 from 5:15 to 6:15pm

August 11 from 12:00 to 1pm
August 18 from 5:15 to 6:15pm

Please note that all 12:00pm meetings will be held at the Kauffman Management Center at 44 West 4th Street, room 3-55. All 5:15pm meetings will be held at 105 East 17th Street, room 191.

If you have any questions or comments, please email us at nyutoastmastersclub@gmail.com. We look forward to meeting you soon!

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Become an NYU Toastmasters Officer

We’re officially opening our call for 2016-2017 NYU Toastmasters officers! If you’re interested in becoming an officer, please contact Sophie Oberstein by May 11th. Any member can become an officer, and it’s a great way to get more involved in Toastmasters, even if you only recently joined.

What are the benefits of being an officer for NYU Toastmasters?

  • It’s an opportunity to display and develop your leadership skills (and fast-tracks your earning a Toastmasters International Competent Leader designation)
  • We’re a new group and you’ll play a significant role in shaping our club’s culture and identity
  • You can grow your professional network beyond NYU by participating in Toastmasters International events and trainings for officers
  • NYU pays your membership dues for half a year

What’s involved?

  • Officers serve for a one-year term beginning on July 1st, 2016 and ending on June 30th, 2017
  • Officers meet 3-5 times per year, depending on what’s happening and what needs doing
  • Officers are required to attend one formal training (Winter and Summer) put on by Toastmasters International, usually held on an evening or weekend
  • Other responsibilities depend on your role and are outlined below


More detailed information about all Toastmasters roles can be found at http://d4tm.org/club-administration/club-officer-roles

  • President – Calls and presides over officer meetings, makes announcements at meetings, is a liaison with other local clubs and Toastmasters International (1-4 hours per week)
  • VP Education – Ensures meeting roles are filled and ensures members are making their way through their ten prepared speeches, may help newer members find mentors within the club (2-3 hours per week)
  • VP Membership – Processes membership applications at renewal time and throughout the year (about 3 hours per week at membership renewal times (twice a year); otherwise commitment varies from 0-2 hours per week)
  • VP Public Relations – Promotes the club within the NYU community to administrators, staff and faculty (number of hours per week depends on what you want to do to promote the club)
  • Secretary – Keeps minutes at officer meetings, keeps files containing meeting agendas and other archival information (0-1 hour per week)
  • Treasurer – Keeps track of how much money we’ve submitted to Toastmasters International, how much credit our club has, and any other money matters (NOTE: Currently our club does not have a budget as we charge only what is due to Toastmasters International) (0-1 hour per week)

What’s the election process?

Any active member, including current officers and including brand new members who have just submitted an application, can self-nominate for the roles listed above. Just get in touch with any nominating committee member by Wednesday, May 11th to let us know which role(s) interest you and a sentence or two about why you are interested. Additionally, the nominating committee will be soliciting nominations between now and May 11th.

  • The nominating committee will present a slate of candidates at the May 12th and May 19th
  • A final ballot will be emailed to members on Friday, May 20th.
  • Ballots will be due back by 5pm on Tuesday, May 24th.
  • New officers will be announced on Wednesday, May 25th.

What do I need to do?

If you’d be interested in talking about becoming an NYU Toastmasters officer, please get in touch with nominating committee chair by Wednesday, May 11th at sophie.oberstein@nyu.edu.


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NYU Toastmasters Now Admits Students and Alumni!

After much consideration, NYU Toastmasters will now admit NYU alumni, graduate students, and undergraduate students who are interested in improving their public speaking and gaining confidence and skills. Students from across all the NYU schools are welcome to attend one of our meetings soon to learn more about how Toastmasters works, and whether the club is the right fit for them.

Meetings take place on the first and third Thursday of the month from 5:15 to 6:15pm at 105 East 17th Street, room 191.

Meetings also take place on the second and fourth Thursday of the month from 12:00 to 1pm at the Kauffman Management Center at 44 West 4th Street, room 3-55.

There are no meetings on the 5th Thursday of any given month, or on major holidays. If you have any questions or comments, please email us at nyutoastmastersclub@gmail.com.

Please note that students and alumni who wish to join NYU Toastmasters will incur two costs: a new member fee of $20 and regular member fees of $36 twice yearly. Our club officers can explain these fees in more detail. Guests are always welcome to come to all meetings and participate in most meeting roles before officially joining.

We look forward to seeing you at a meeting soon!

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Beyond the Toast: Three Things—Besides Speaking—Toastmasters Teaches

by Brenda Mitchell, NYU Toastmasters President

With the start of the new year, many of us take stock and set new goals. Some of you may be considering joining Toastmasters as part of a commitment to improve your public speaking.  Toastmasters is known for its effective program dedicated to improving speaking skills. What you may not realise is that Toastmasters offers much more than speaking instruction and practice. In addition to speaking skills, Toastmasters teaches three things that are keys to success in any environment: leadership, teamwork and feedback.

Be a Leader

Leadership is a much touted skill, but one that is often difficult to teach and practice. When you join Toastmasters you receive not only a Competent Communicator manual with speech guidance and projects, but a Competent Leadership manual with practical instruction, tips, and projects to practice ten components of good leadership. As an all volunteer organization, Toastmasters offers many opportunities to continue developing your leadership skills through serving in various leadership positions. When I joined Toastmasters, I certainly didn’t expect to serve as club president. Taking on the role has provided an opportunity to further develop my leadership skills. You never know where your Toastmasters journey might lead you.

Build a Team

Teamwork is a critical to Toastmasters. As various people fill various roles each week, all meetings require teamwork. No matter how small or large a role, all roles contribute to the success of the meeting. The same holds true of the club and organization. There are many roles to fill giving everyone a chance to practice, develop and perfect various skills. No matter what role you fill, you will be working with others to contribute to the overall success of the meeting, the club and the organization. In this way, each meeting is a new opportunity to practice teamwork.

Give and Receive Feedback

Feedback is another key component of Toastmasters. The organization values the art of giving and receiving constructive feedback and considers such feedback essential to growth and development. It is with this understanding that all members learn the importance of being able to deliver thoughtful, intentional, and specific feedback with the goal of assisting others in their development. All members are also taught to accept feedback gratefully, in the spirit of continued self-awareness and growth. Too often, in our professional and personal lives, we avoid giving honest assessment and feedback to others and are resistant to hearing it about ourselves. Being able to evaluate carefully and critically, as well as being able to receive and integrate thoughtful feedback, are incredibly useful skills that can set you apart from the pack and further improve your leadership.

Are you considering joining Toastmasters to improve your speaking skills?  Your speaking skills will improve, and, as a bonus, so will your leadership, teamwork and feedback skills.

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NYU Toastmasters Open House

Have you made a resolution to improve your public speaking? Are you looking to make new friends across the university? NYU Toastmasters is the place for you.

We’re pleased to announce that we are having an open house on Thursday, January 21st at 5:15pm at 105 East 17th Street, room 191. Any and all NYU employees are encouraged to join us for the evening. We’ll run through a normal meeting, but with an eye to explaining how Toastmasters works and how it can be valuable to you. Please join us, and bring a friend!

If you’re interested in Toastmasters but can’t make it to our open house, we love hosting guests at our meetings, which take place on:

First and third Thursday of the month
5:15 to 6:15pm
105 East 17th Street, room 191

Second and fourth Thursday of the month
12:00 to 1pm
Kauffman Management Center at 44 West 4th Street, room 3-55.

Guests are never pressured to speak, but they’re always welcome to participate in the meetings, in any role. The only thing you can’t do as a guest is give a formal speech. If you have any questions about Toastmasters, please contact us at NYUToastmastersClub@gmail.com.

We hope to see you at our open house, or during a meeting one day soon!

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NYU Toastmaster Wins Best Table Topics in Bay Ridge

Mary Lou Atkinson, Associate Director of Grants Administration and Secretary of NYU Toastmasters, visited the Bay Ridge Toastmasters meeting last night, and won their award for Best Table Topics of the evening. Congratulations, Mary Lou!

Mary Lou Bay Ridge Toastmasters
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Meeting Times and Rooms for Spring 2016

This spring, NYU staff, faculty, and students are welcome to join us for a Toastmasters meeting. If you’d like to improve your public speaking skills, learn about interesting topics, or just meet some new colleagues, please stop by one of our Thursday meetings!

Meetings take place on the first and third Thursday of the month from 5:15 to 6:15pm at 105 East 17th Street, room 191.

Meetings also take place on the second and fourth Thursday of the month from 12:00 to 1pm at the Kauffman Management Center at 44 West 4th Street, room 3-55. The first fifteen minutes of this meeting are reserved for introductions and eating lunch, so if you’d like to bring a light meal, please feel free. The meeting officially begins at 12:15pm.

Please note that there are no meetings on the 5th Thursday of any given month, or on major holidays. If you have any questions or comments, please email us at nyutoastmastersclub@gmail.com. We look forward to meeting you soon!

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Meeting Cancellation – December 17, 2015

Please be aware that unfortunately, we have had to cancel next week’s meeting on December 17th.

We’ll look forward to seeing you all at our next meeting on January 7th at 5:15pm at 105 East 17th Street, Room 191.

If you’d like to sign up for a role in January, you can do so on our sign in sheet or email Yolanda Rayside and let her know when and which position you’d like to fill. Don’t forget that guests can also sign up for any role, except Speaker.

Thanks so much, and have a very happy holiday break!

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NYU Toastmasters Celebrates Its First Two “Competent Communicators”

Toastmasters members work their way through a series of ten speeches, each focused on a different aspect of public speaking. When they’ve presented all ten, they are awarded “Competent Communicator” status from Toastmasters International. NYU Toastmasters is delighted to announce its first two “Competent Communicators” since the club’s formation in May of 2014, Belinda Roman, Fiscal Affairs Analyst in Opportunity Programs, and Shirish Patel, Senior Director – Facilities Administration at the School of Professional Studies since 2012.

Belinda and Shirish both joined NYU Toastmasters as soon as it was available at the University. Below are their responses when asked why they joined, as well as what advice they have for others who are interested in improving their presentation skills.

Shirish and Belinda

Shirish Patel and Belinda Roman, NYU Toastmasters’ first Competent Communicators, after receiving their awards.

Why did you join NYU Toastmasters?

Shirish: I’d been interested in Toastmasters for a long time but did not actively look for it.  NYU brought it close to the office and made it easy to get involved.

Belinda: I joined to develop my writing and speaking skills and to overcome the anxiety that accompanied public speaking for me. These skills are vital professionally, scholastically, for interviewing, and even in social settings.

Which speech was the most fun for you to deliver and why?

Belinda: The speech I had the most fun delivering was Project #6 in which the objective is to use vocal variety. I am usually monotone so it was a pure challenge. To some degree, I had to become a character to get it done. I had a sort of out of body experience and remember hearing myself and wondering, “Is that really me?” I was so proud of myself once I finished!

Shirish: My speech about commuting to New York City by bus focused on typical human behaviors in a somewhat humorous way and was the most fun to present.

Belinda Receives Her Competent Communicator Award

Toastmaster Belinda receives her Competent Communicator award.

Which speech was the scariest?

Belinda: The scariest project was the one in which I had to use visuals. I was incredibly nervous about the technical aspect of working with PowerPoint and video. I was worried I’d be distracted in trying to make it seamless. Ironically, I found that they visuals actually helped my anxiety. All of my mental energy went to speaking and syncing my slides, which didn’t leave me any time to think about being nervous.

Shirish: I spoke about the “Pay As You Throw” model for waste disposal tax, a smelly(!) subject that involved some uninteresting information but that was intended to inspire my audience to write to their townships promoting the environmentally friendly plan. I was afraid I may lose the audience.  To my surprise, it was well received.

How has your speaking improved during this process?

Shirish: I’ve learned a multitude of the finer points for presenting that have significantly added to the effectiveness with which I can engage my audience and get my point across.

Belinda: Speeches require writing in a way that translates well verbally; that connects to an unknown audience. From presenting my writing out loud in this way, I’ve learned to adapt; to walk into any environment, become comfortable, and connect with those in the room. That’s an invaluable skill.

Shirish Receives His Competent Communicator Award

Toastmaster Shirish receives his Competent Communicator award.

What advice do you have for others working on their presentation skills?

Shirish: Speaking is a lot like taking a plunge into cold water: Just dip your toe and it will make you shiver, but jump in head-first, and you’ll have a blast. Just do it (Sorry, Nike).

What about advice for newer members who are just starting out on their speeches?

Belinda: Take full advantage of each meeting you attend – right from the start. Participate! It’s a judgement-free zone where everyone is so supportive. There is really no better place to develop yourself at your own pace!


NYU Toastmasters is proud to recognize the achievements of Belinda and Shirish. Congratulations!


NYU Toastmasters is open to all faculty and non-faculty staff at the University. We meet on Thursdays throughout the year on the following schedule: 5:15-6:15 pm on the 1st & 3rd Thursdays of a given month; 12:00-1:00pm on the 2nd & 3rd Thursdays of a given month. 5:15 meetings are at 105 East 17th Street, Room 191. Noon meetings are at (address), Room 3-155. There is no meeting on a 5th Thursday in any month, or around major holidays. Drop-ins are always welcome.

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