CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait – For many people, the thought of standing in front of a large group and delivering a speech brings anxiety. But for Toastmasters across the world, the thought brings nothing but joy.
Calling themselves the Arifjan Articulators, service members and civilians at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, meet every Monday at the Education Center to take part in the weekly local Toastmasters meeting.
“Toastmasters is a worldwide organization. Its mission is to teach people to be able to speak in front of a large audience,” said Lester Berry, who serves as the Arifjan Articulators club president. “We do that by preparing written speeches on different subjects.”
Every week the members are given a topic to talk about. They are given a week to prepare their speech and present it at the next meeting. Once the members presents their speech to the club, they are judged and given pointers on how to improve for next week.
“We have a wide range of military personnel and civilian contractors. We use their experience to try and teach individuals how to become eloquent speakers,” said Berry. “We are not here to beat anyone up. We are here to learn from each other.”
Members of the club are able to take the advice they are given to build their own confidence.
“Toastmasters has made me a better communicator. I am able to plan and work out speeches ahead of time, as well as think quickly on my feet, and just be ready to talk about any topic,” said Avery Goss, a Lithonia, Ga., native, who serves as the senior logistics planner with Third Army, and a member of the Arifjan Articulators.
Goss, who has been a club member for two months, has been able to use this confidence in his everyday life.
“When I am prepping briefings, I often times have to go in and talk to senior leadership,” he said. “I am now able to go in there present my ideas in a clear and efficient manner.”
Building its members confidence is the main goal of the Toastmasters.
“Becoming a part of Toastmasters you will be able to speak confidently, fluently and with authority without having a fear of speaking in front of an audience,” said Berry.
As members of the Toastmasters continue to come together and build their skills and friendships, they look forward to more people coming together to take part in their meetings.
“If you are a young soldier, and you come to our meeting, you will learn how to better articulate your thoughts, and we can give you the skills that will help you in everyday life,” said Berry.
The Arifjan Articulators look forward to new members joining their club every Monday at 7 p.m. in room 112 at the Education Center at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.
This work, Arifjan Articulators build their skills, by SSG Ryan Hohman, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.