Youth Leadership Program – Toastmasters Magazine August 2014

Student 1:

Over the past few weeks, I have learned a lot from these classes at Zoom. Within the span of only a few classes, I have learned so much more than what any of my other English teachers have taught me. In these classes, the coach taught me not only how I could expand upon my skills in giving speeches, but also how to improve upon my writing. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much from online classes, but I was extremely surprised at how well put together each class was and how well the coach taught us. I am definitely looking forward to taking more classes in the future.boy-1454054_1280

Student 2:

I really liked the  Speech classes. At first, I was kind of hesitant, because we had to write a speech every week, but it became really fun for me. The evaluations that my TA and Coach Juliette gave me were really helpful and helped me write better speeches. If you compare my speeches today, to my first ones, you can see the difference very clearly.  One thing that I would like change, is that I think that it would be better if, when the coach showed the PowerPoint, he/she could make the lesson more interactive. I think that it would make the class more fun, and we could learn more that way. I think that we could play small games that would help us remember. That way, it will be easier for us to pay attention, and not to doze off during class.


Student 3:

Thank you for giving me a great experience! I am really looking forward to the next session. It will be a lot of fun! 😉

Student 4 about the inspirational speech by guest speaker, Patrick Schwerdtfeger:


Patrick did a great job with his speech today. I was really impressed by the way that he was able to communicate very smoothly and articulately through technology, because it’s not the same as talking in person. I liked the content that he discussed: his story and advice/tips for us. Overall, it was concise and well made. The only thing I would say to improve would be to have a longer Q&A session because there were lots of us but we only had the opportunity to have 3 questions. I had a question that I really wanted to ask Patrick but was unable to do so. Nevertheless, it was still a great experience!




Parent 1: Rebecca, the Mom:

My daughter, Angie, was a shy kid. She did not feel comfortable speaking in front of her class. She hardly raised her hand to answer questions in school. Every year when I have parent conferences with her teachers, they point out this weakness. Every teacher pointed this out from pre-k all the way through 6th grade.

This semester I signed her up to Coach Mike’s public speech lesson to try to let her speak more in public. During her first class, Coach Mike asked her why she chose to come to this class. My daughter’s answer was “Because my mom said I am bad at public speech”. Coach Mike arranged the lesson very efficiently and works very hard for each lesson. My daughter gave a speech in every lesson. Coach Mike and the kids in the class gave her feedback every time. Gradually, my daughter got out of her shell. At the beginning, she didn’t have any confidence and couldn’t speak for 3 minutes because she talked very fast. At the end, she comfortably spoke for 5 minutes. Her improvement is dramatic.

Last week, we watched the 6 grade perform Seussical Jr., a Broadway show, in her school. My daughter played a main role in the show. I was afraid she would be nervous in front of hundreds of parents and students. Surprisingly, she acted and sung really well. She did not show even a tiny bit of nervousness. She surprised us as parents and she surprised her teachers as well. After the show, she told me she didn’t know why she didn’t have stage fright on stage anymore. I think it was because she went to Coach Mike’s speech class every week and got used to speaking in public. It is unbelievable that after one semester’s training, my daughter totally changed. She didn’t only learn the speech techniques, but she gained lots of confidence and that will benefit her for her whole life.

Parent 2, Amy, the mom:

For this week, my son is running President for Student Association at Churchill Elementary School. He surprised us by his independent decision to run and practiced his speech last night at home. I believe Coach Mike’s constant encouragement to my son and consistent exposure to the public speeches indeed influenced him. Thanks!