Sean Collins

NAU Air Force ROTC cadet Sean Collins speaks to a group of his peers during a recent ROTC gathering. Students, faculty and staff can practice their public speaking skills through monthly Toastmasters meetings on campus.

Not everyone has the natural ability to effectively and comfortably speak in front of others. But those eager to improve their public speaking and leadership skills have a new resource on campus that can help.

Known internationally for its ability to transform public speakers’ nerves into confidence, Toastmasters International creates a positive environment for members to practice their speaking skills while receiving constructive feedback from peers.

It’s a model that NAU’s Air Force ROTC sees value in, to the extent that its Arnold Air Society club has teamed up with the Sunset Toastmasters Club of Flagstaff to bring monthly meetings to campus.

Maj. Brad Bugg, assistant professor of aerospace studies for NAU’s Air Force ROTC program, said partnering with Toastmasters will help his cadets be more effective and confident speakers after they graduate and are commissioned.

“These future officers lose credibility in front of airmen and possibly degrade mission success if they can’t communicate effectively,” he said.

Bugg said those same skills are expected in nearly every profession, which is why all students, faculty and staff are invited to participate.

Meetings are held at 6:30 p.m. every second Thursday of the month in the ROTC building, #47. Anyone may attend as a guest; a six-month membership with the Flagstaff Sunset Toastmasters Club is $42, which includes instructional manuals, mentoring and brief speaking opportunities at all meetings.

For information, contact Veronika Tsymbler at vt77@nau.edu.