by Sharon, Marketing Department
three out of every four individuals suffer from speech anxiety (or fear of talking in front of a crowd). During San Diego International Airport’s Employee Appreciation Event this year, under cheers and loud applause, Amiel, the newly awarded President’s Award of Excellence (Employee of the Year) recipient and SANMasters member, stood before a large crowd to deliver his acceptance speech.
The ability to have the courage to stand and deliver a well-organized speech is extremely important to airport employees. Many employees might stay away from taking on a task, leadership position, or asking a critical question because they don’t want to speak out in front of a crowd or deliver a speech.
In 2008, the airport brought in Toastmasters International, an organization dedicated to help people become more confident public speakers. A chartered chapter of the club was formed at the airport, called SANMasters. SANMasters is part of Toast Masters District 5.
Club members attend meetings with the common goals of growing in their ability to deliver quality speeches and encouraging other members to do the same.
Each meeting has a theme and features two speeches, as well as “Table Topics” – that’s when a group of questions related to the meeting’s theme are asked, and different club members are then encouraged to spontaneously answer. This teaches members to think on their feet, often producing a variety of answers, some of which are pretty funny.
Meetings also includes rotating leadership roles, which allows each member to take on a different responsibility at each meeting. New members start with the smaller roles and then progress to eventually take on the role of Toast Master, the meeting’s Master of Ceremonies. Don’t worry though if this seems scary, as the progression usually takes a while and you’re never forced into a role until you feel ready – you’re only encouraged.
SANMasters is very proud to have this year’s President’s Award of Excellence recipient, Amiel, as a member. I recently spoke with him about his participation in SANMasters. Amiel became a member of of the club because he wanted to become a more effective oral communicator. Since joining in January 2010, he feels he has grown in his confidence when talking in front of large groups.
“What I like most about SANMasters is the way you become part of a team, and that each member encourages other members to improve and succeed,” said Amiel, who works in the Airport Authority’s Landside Operations Department. When asked what he felt airport employees would gain by joining SANMasters, Amiel said “they’d develop and improve their speaking skills, for every occasion, and being a member also helps you become a better listener.”
SANMasters is open to all employees and also non-employee San Diego County residents. The group meets every other Thursday during lunch, from Noon – 1 pm. If you’re interested in learning more about the club, please join us at our next meeting. Or, for more info or to attend a meeting as a welcomed guest, please contact me, SANMasters Vice President of Public Relations, at 619-400-2873.
We look forward to hearing from you soon!