|Jon-Paul McGowan of the Office of Information Resources is a member of the University Toastmasters of Dallas and a director of 27 area clubs.|
Toastmasters is an international organization that helps members improve their speaking and leadership skills by regularly giving speeches, gaining feedback and serving in club roles.
University Toastmasters is one of three Toastmaster clubs at UT Dallas, but is the only one that is open to faculty and staff.
One of the club’s members, Jon-Paul McGowan, recently was elected to serve as a division director and lead 27 Toastmaster clubs in Collin County. McGowan said he believes Toastmasters can help anyone become more comfortable with public speaking. He said his Toastmasters experience helped him replace a fear of speaking with a confidence in presenting before groups.
“As a member of the University Toastmasters of Dallas, I have had opportunities that would not have otherwise been present, such as speaking to the Rotaract group, addressing a class on how to prepare for an oral presentation at the invitation of a professor, leading a new employee orientation session, and working a table at the new student orientation,” McGowan said.
McGowan said that in his leadership roles he has strived to introduce students and other members to clubs in other environments, such as those in corporate settings.
“I wanted to make sure they network with industry professionals, see how a corporate club environment works, and make those connections in the corporate world that would lead to interviews and jobs,” he said.
University Toastmasters meets each Wednesday at noon. For details on visiting a meeting or to get additional information, please contact Christina McGowan at ext. 4791.